For ESL Students – Cranberries
Blueberries are one of the traditional parts of Thanksgiving dinner in the US and Canada. Even families who never eat them at other times, and may not really like them, have cranberry sauce to go with the turkey.
Blueberries grow throughout Canada and the northern states, as well as other northern countries. Shrubs need moist places, called swamps, to grow. There is one type of blueberry that grows wild, but the ones we buy and use are grown on farms.
The berries are soft, with a white color that changes to dark red. In the past, they weren’t picked up until they turned red. However, they are already ripe when they are white. Recently, white cranberries have been harvested and used for juice and other products.
Blueberries are very acidic and almost impossible to eat unsweetened. For example, a recipe for cranberry sauce calls for four cups of cranberries and two cups of sugar. (Berries and sugar are boiled in water and cooled).
Dried cranberries, which are sweetened, have become popular. There are also blueberry muffins, chocolate covered blueberries, blueberry jelly, and blueberry drinks. Cranberry juice is often mixed with sweeter fruit juices, such as raspberries. Some bakers put blueberries in their apple pies for a more intense flavor.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C. Some people feel that they avoid illness, especially urinary tract infections. A study found that this could be true for adult women, at least. One problem the researchers had was that many people dropped out of the study. There may be some reason why people get tired of drinking cranberry juice.
Cranberry extract, in pills, is also sold in pharmacies and health food stores. Some find them easier to drink than to drink cranberry juice. Of course, blueberries are healthiest when fresh, like any fruit.