Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

December 2, 2000 - Issue 24




Cranberries are one of the few fruits native to North America. In fact, long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, cranberries were a staple in the diets of American Indians.

According to The Cranberry Book (1883), wild cranberries ripened in such abundance that they were eaten fresh, ground, or mashed with cornmeal and baked into bread. Dried berries were mixed with wild game to form pemmican, a survival ration for long trips. Maple sugar or honey was used to sweeten the berries' tangy flavor.

Cranberry juice was used by the Indians to dye rugs and blankets. They made poultices from unripe berries, and even believed the berry had special powers to calm the nerves.

This cheery little fruit adds more than just zip to your meals! It's high in fiber, has just 25 calories per 1/2 cup, and provides over 10% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Cranberries are also low in sodium and are a source of Vitamins A & B, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

Special powers aside, one thing is certain -- cranberries taste great! The following recipes are some of our favorites. Try them yourself and see if you don't agree that cranberries make everything taste better!

Cranberry Pie

  • 2 cups cranberries, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs, well-beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 pie crust for 10" pie pan

Combine cranberries, brown sugar and walnuts together. Spread the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pie shell. Beat eggs well; gradually add the sugar; continue beating. Stir in flour and melted butter. Pour batter over the berries in the pie shell. Cover edges of pie crust with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. reduce heat to 350 degrees, remove foil and bake 35 minutes longer. Serve with ice cream.

Chocolate Covered Cranberries

  • 12 ounces of whole cranberries
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently until melted. Dip cranberries in chocolate with toothpick until coated. Place on wax paper. Refrigerate until firm.

Root Beer Cranberries

  • 12 oz root beer ( 1 can )
  • 12 oz bag cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch


Place root beer and cranberries in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Mix together sugar and cornstarch and add to root beer/cranberry mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes until liquid becomes clear and shiny. Chill cranberry mixture and serve. Also can be served hot.

Hint: For 4 portions of mousse...whip 2 pints heavy whipping cream ( the heavier the better ) until cream is stiff. Fold in 1 cup root beer/cranberries. In 4 tall glasses, layer the cream mixture with the root beer/cranberries to the desired fullness.

Cranberry Punch

  • 4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
  • 1 cup orange juice,chilled
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 12 ounces of 7-Up, chilled
  • 1 pint raspberry sherbet, slightly softened
Mix the cranberry juice, orange juice and orange flavoring. Just before serving, add the 7-Up. Pour mixture into individual serving glasses and top with a tablespoon of sherbet. Makes 12 four-ounce servings.

Blue Ribbon Cranberry Chicken

  • 1 - 16 ounce can of whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 - 8 ounce bottle of reduced-calorie Russian salad dressing with honey (about 1 cup) or regular Russian salad dresssing
  • 1 envelope regular onion soup mix
  • 1 - 2-1/2 to 3-pound broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
  • Hot cooked rice (optional)
  • Fresh rosemary (optional)

In a bowl, combine cranberry sauce, salad dressing and soup mix. Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Remove and discard skin, if desired. Arrange pieces in one layer in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.Pour cranberry mixture over chicken pieces. Cover and chill the chicken mixture in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Bake the chicken mixture, uncovered, in a 300 degree oven for about 1-1/2 hours, or until the chicken is done, stirring the glaze and spooning over chicken once or twice. Serve the chicken and glaze on a platter with hot, cooked rice, if desired. Garnish the chicken with fresh rosemary. makes 4 servings.



Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.

Canku Ota is a copyright of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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