Spring cleaning: No more canned cranberry sauce at holiday dinners


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According to the Smithsonian, the cranberry sauce “log” first became available across the nation in 1941. Over five million gallons of this slimy, jelly-like log substance is consumed as a condiment for holiday dinners in the U.S. every year, and it’s time for this to end. Why cover the beautifully seasoned dishes your family slaved over the stove for with this heavy, thick mess of a food? This use of cranberries is not worth the holiday hype it’s given.

Beyond the mess of getting cranberry sauce out of the can and the disgusting taste, it’s also filled with calories. After piling the tons and tons of calories from turkey, stuffing and side dishes, do you really want to add more with dreadful canned cranberry sauce? Not to mention it’s one of the only foods that completely retain its shape when un-canned– and that can’t look appealing to anyone.

We all argue over the best ways to eat our foods from time to time, like how to cut our sandwiches (diagonally, of course) or what toppings to put on pizza (always say no to pineapple), but when it comes to canned cranberry sauce there’s only one answer– absolutely not.

Instead, choose cranberries in their original form. Native Americans were the first to cultivate cranberries in America, and they weren’t sold commercially or marketed until the 1700s. Though no one knows exactly what was served on the first Thanksgiving, we can speculate that cranberries were involved in some way– straight off the vine or even baked into a cake, perhaps.

Cranberries in this form are not only tastier but are also filled with far fewer calories than the canned option and contain plenty of antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C.

So, rather than heading straight to the cans this holiday season, pick up some fresh, natural cranberries to add a splash of fruit to the side of these calorie-packed feasts, and pay a little homage to the wonderful treat Native Americans gave to us so many centuries ago.