Deep cranberry red is as much an autumn hue as the golds and oranges of the changing leaves. "When you see the leaves turn, that's when cranberries get their color and start to be ready for harvest," explains Kristine Keese, co-owner of Cranberry Hill Farms, an organic cranberry farm in Plymouth, Mass. Fresh cranberry season is short—few stores stock fresh cranberries after the new year. But the tart, distinctively flavored fruit can be easily frozen for up to two years. Simply stash sealed airtight containers of berries in the freezer so they're ready to use in recipes long after the trees are bare.
1 cup whole cranberries contains the following:
• 46 calories
• 13.3 mg vitamin C
• 60 IU vitamin A
• 4.6 g fiber
How to Select and Store
Look for firm, even-colored cranberries with no dents or spots. Bags or boxes should be completely dry. "Moisture is the only thing that's bad for cranberries," says Kristine Keese of Cranberry Hills Farms in Plymouth, Mass. "As long as they are dry and can breathe, they'll stay fresh and perfect a long time." Keep in perforated bags or in an open container in the fridge, where they will last a month or longer, or freeze, sealed inside airtight containers, up to two years.