Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Cranberries

Mostly associated with Christmas dinner and chutneys and sauces, cranberries follow us through the festive season to January, bringing a welcomed pop of colour and a tart, fresh taste against a background of otherwise hearty food in the colder months. Whilst at first a little daunting due to their tart taste if eaten raw, cranberries make the perfect addition to both sweet and savoury once stewed.  

Cranberries grow wild across Northern Europe, coming into season from October until January. Rich in vitamins C and D, as well as potassium and iron, they are well deserving of their superfood title, believed to be a natural remedy for a host of health conditions. For the best, choose firm, plump and shiny berries. 


- Tart in flavour, cranberries benefit from a little added sweetness, whether it be honey, maple or sweeter fruits such as apple or dates. Simply add to a pot with a little water, add your choice of sweetener and stew for 5-10 minutes over a medium heat until the cranberries are broken down into a compote. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze. 

- How to use your compote? There’s endless options! Use it to top your porridge, stir it through your porridge whilst it’s cooking for a tinted pink breakfast, serve with coconut yoghurt, serve with pancakes or waffles, mix it into cake batter, add it to a raw cheesecakes to create a cranberry layer or simply spread it on rice cakes for a snack. 

- And don’t be limited to sweet. Serve your compote with lamb or turkey for a homemade cranberry sauce. 

- They're great to use fresh too. Add the cranberries to a muffin mix and they’ll cook and break down in the oven for a pop of flavour, complimented by the sweetness of the muffin.