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Cruz Bay
Tuesday, February 7, 2023


Nov. 19, 2001 – A few years ago, my father and stepmother visited from New Jersey during Thanksgiving time and brought several bags of fresh cranberries. Thinking this would be a real treat, they gave one bag to a friend of mine, a local senior.
About a year later, when the folks were due for another holiday visit, I asked my friend if she would enjoy another bag of fresh cranberries. She smiled, then admitted the berries from the previous year still were in her freezer because she wasn't sure what to do with them.
Visitor magazines are full of tips for tourists on how to select and eat our tropical fruits such as mango and papaya — because these are foods that may not be familiar to them. Similarly, people who have lived all their lives in the Caribbean may not have a working knowledge of how to prepare the indigenous North American cranberry.
For starters, cranberries, unlike naturally sweet blueberries, strawberries and other berries, are tart. This means that they have to be combined with other ingredients to be palatable.
Knowing how to enjoy fresh cranberries, especially when most supermarkets stock them by the bagful at this time of year, is a benefit nutritionally. In a recent study comparing the healthful antioxidant contents of several common fruits, cranberries were found to contain the highest amount of disease-fighting phenols — a type of antioxidant thought to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart disease.
At the store, look for bags of cranberries in which the berries are whole and firm, not squished or mushy. At home, place the berries in a colander, rinse and discard any that have cracks. One of the more healthful ways to prepare cranberries is as an uncooked relish. Simply place the berries in a food processor and chop them up with other fresh fruits to add the needed sweetness. Combining cranberries with cut-up oranges, pineapple and kiwi along with a bit of fresh-grated ginger creates a cranberry relish with a tropical flavor.
Tropical Cranberry Relish
1 bag (12 to 16 oz.) of fresh cranberries
1 cup diced fresh pineapple, or 1 can (8-oz.) diced pineapple in its own juice
1 large or 2 small navel oranges, peeled and seeded
2 or 3 kiwi fruit, peeled
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Honey or brown sugar, if desired
Place all ingredients into a food processor (using a blender will make the mixture too fine and juicy). Process until fruits are chopped into chunky bits and well combined. If the fruits don't make the relish sweet enough for individual taste, add honey or brown sugar. Refrigerating the relish overnight helps flavors to blend. Serve as an accompaniment to roast turkey and the trimmings. Makes 3 cups. Per 1/2 cup serving: 80 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, 3 mg sodium.

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