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Fresh cranberries

Produce Spotlight on Cranberries

Cranberries are small, round, tart berries. They have a high antioxidant value and provide vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, and phytonutrients.  


Shopping for Cranberries

Massachusetts-grown cranberries are available fresh from September to January. Choose shiny, plump cranberries. Discard any berries that are soft or shriveled. Frozen, dried, bottled juices, canned cranberry sauce (whole and jellied), and other processed cranberry products are available year-round.  


Common Types

Red cranberries – light to dark red, sold fresh and processed

White cranberries – have milder flavor than red; mostly processed

Processed cranberries – dried, or made into juice, sauce, jelly, and powder. Sugar or other sweeteners are often added to offset the tartness, so check the nutrition label for the Added Sugars information.


Storage and Preparation

  • When purchasing fresh cranberries, keep in the original plastic bag or another tightly sealed bag. Refrigerate for up to 2 months in the crisper. Do not wash until ready to use.
  • Freeze fresh cranberries whole or sliced. They can be frozen in the original bag for a short time. For longer storage, place cranberries in a labeled freezer bag for up to one year. Individual berries can be frozen on a tray before placing in a freezer container. To prevent the juices from flowing out of the fruit, do not thaw berries before using. Homemade cranberry sauce can be frozen, but use it within 2 months.
  • Store dried cranberries in a sealed container.


Serving Ideas

  • Add cranberries to the apples in homemade applesauce.
  • Add fresh or dried cranberries to muffins, baked goods, trail mix, oatmeal, and chicken salad.
  • Make your own cranberry sauce. Rinse 12 ounces of fresh berries.  Boil 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water to dissolve. Add berries and reduce heat; cook 10 minutes. Add spices and cool.


Cranberry Math

12 ounces of fresh cranberries =

3 cups whole =

2.5 cups chopped


Using Locally Grown Produce

For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website To locate places to buy local produce, visit


Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cup; Calories: 46; Carbohydrates: 12 g; Fiber: 4 g; Fat: 0 g; Saturated fat: 0 g; Sodium: 2 mg