Packages containing pops of ruby red with jewel undertones start arriving in October and they usually have availability through January. Cranberry season straddles fall and winter beautifully and when the white snow falls, and the evergreen trees glisten, they add color and life to my sustainable table.
While there are a large variety of health benefits to these fruits, the berries themselves get little love outside of tarts, crumbles, juice or sauces to be featured in recipes. So, when the bags appear in my fridge like the magic superfood and beautiful bulbs that they are, I try to put them in a BUNCH of things. This is my first for putting them into a smoothie, and (um, yet again - I feel like this is a "thing" now) my "use it up" tendencies made a masterpiece!
Sustainability Spotlight: In 2020, (OceanSpray brand specifically via GreenBiz.com) became known as America's "100% sustainable crop." This accolade was based upon the following factors:
Intervention Requirements are Low: Cranberries (along with blueberries and Concord grapes) are one of only three indigenous (i.e. - originating) fruits in North America. As an indigenous fruit, they require no intervention from humans to grow, cultivate, or ripen.
Environment "The berry grows best in boggy, water-soaked soil that can’t be used for many other crops. And every one acre of cranberry bog requires 5.5 acres of wild marsh needed around it — a built-in wetlands preservation strategy."
Symbiosis: Cranberry bogs use the water in the land for their growth and in return, nutrients from the cranberries enrich the soils of the surrounding land. The mini-cycle of resource use, nutrient enrichment and return is reliant upon the land and cranberries working in unison.
So, next time you spot these beautiful fruits, think of their sustainability and how your consumption of cranberries promote a healthy relationship with agriculture, humans and the Earth.
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 cup frozen cauliflower florets
1/3 cup plant-based vanilla yogurt (I used Silk Almond brand)
1 large ripe banana
2 scoops plant-based vanilla protein powder (I use Garden of Life Plant-Based Sport)
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup peeled and chopped red beet
2 cups coconut water
Optional Garnishes: chopped fresh cranberries
Place all ingredients (raspberries through coconut water) in the order shown above in a high-powered blender.
If you have a Vitamix with smoothie button, turn on and wait for the blender to automatically stop. Proceed to Step #4.
If you do not have a Vitamix with a smoothie button, turn on blender on low and gradually increase in increments of 20 seconds each all the way up to the highest setting. Use a tamper or scrape down sides as needed and blend until smooth (~4 minutes).
Pour into glasses and top with the optional garnish(es) noted above. Serve & enjoy!
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie