Real Food We Love: Cranberries
It’s finally fall, which means it’s finally cranberry season! If you still associate cranberries with a sad can-shaped mold wobbling on the Thanksgiving table, it’s time to give this fall fruit another chance and to share the wonderful flavor with your baby.
Why we love them
- Fresh cranberries contain fiber and Vitamin C, what’s not to love about that?
- Their super tart flavor always livens up a dish.
- They’re surprisingly easy to mix into a homemade meal for you or your baby—yes, babies can enjoy cranberries, too! Offering purees beyond the expected bland or sweet blends helps expand your LO’s palate to appreciate a range of flavors.
How to buy
- Fresh: Look for cranberries that are firm and smooth, not shriveled up or bruised. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, so there’s no pressure to use them all at once.
- Dried: Be sure to check the label for ingredients. Dried cranberries can be softened in water and added to purees, but they usually have added sugar your baby doesn’t need.
How to try
- Add chopped fresh cranberries to pumpkin bread or muffins (try this recipe) for a pop of tangy flavor.
- Toss unsweetened dried cranberries into just about anything. We love them in a salad with blue cheese and sliced almonds.
- Pick up a jar of homemade-inspired Beech-Nut Organics apple, blueberry & cranberry You can serve this 100% organic baby food as is, mix it with warm cereal, or stir in a few larger fruit pieces if your baby is moving on to finger foods.
- Or make a simple homemade baby food recipe, like the one below. This quick preparation puree balances the tartness of cranberries with sweeter apple and banana. Be sure to make some extra for yourself, because it’s freezer friendly and you’ll definitely want to steal a bite or three!
Recipe: Cranberry, Apple & Banana Puree
Combine 1 cup of water + ¾ cup fresh cranberries + 1 peeled/chopped apple. Simmer over medium-high heat until fruits are tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain, reserving liquid for later. Push the fruits through a fine mesh sieve to separate the cranberry skins (discard these).
Combine the fruit mixture with 1 banana and a pinch of cinnamon and blend until very smooth, thinning with reserved liquid as needed.
We hope your baby gets a first taste of real cranberries soon, and that you remember to take a picture of their reaction…
For more tips on unique baby foods to expand the palate: