If you’re like us, you may only really be familiar with cranberries in the form of a sauce or jelly served at holiday meals. Or perhaps sweetened and dried then added to salads, granolas, and baked treats.
So maybe you’ve decided it’s about time you do some digging to find out more about this wondefully nutritious fruit. And one question that may come up is:
Do cranberries have seeds? Like most berries, cranberries contain a small seed inside each berry that is completely edible. In fact, they are so small that you will barely even notice them. But if you cut the berry in half, you will see a little seed in the center.
Read on to discover whether you can remove cranberry seeds, eat them, or use them for other purposes.
Do Cranberries Have Seeds?
Since cranberries are classified as a fruit, that means they will contain seeds. When it comes to defining food as a fruit, technically we are looking at the mature, ripened ovary of the plant.
Often it grows out of a flower blossom and matures into the edible fruiting part of the plant.
These ovaries contain the seeds that are required for the plant to reproduce and create more plants. Since cranberries are a fruit, then they will contain seeds inside.
Are Cranberries True Berries?
If you want to know whether the fruit you’re eating is a true, botanical berry, then there are a few things you will need to look for.
Berries are any fleshy fruit that has their seeds on the inside. While it may be surprising, this includes fruits such as watermelons, tomatoes, lemons, and grapes.
Technically, watermelons belong to a specific family of berries called pepos. Other fruits that belong to this berry family include cucumbers and gourds.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges are also classified as berries in the family of hesperidium.
You may be shocked to discover that the fruits we commonly call berries such as raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are not actually berries at all. They are called aggregate fruits. That means that they consist of a number of smaller fruits.
Think about a blackberry and you’ll see that each one looks like a small bunch of grapes, as opposed to one complete berry fruit. Each small little bobble on the blackberry could be a berry, but taken together, they are an aggregate fruit.
Cranberries and blueberries, on the other hand, have their seeds on the inside and are classified as true botanical berries. That means that your cranberry isn’t lying about itself in its name, like some of our other favorite fruits and you can enjoy it, seeds and all!
Can You Eat Cranberry Seeds?
You can absolutely eat cranberry seeds! They are rather small, and they don’t contain any compounds that are unsafe for people to eat. The texture of the seeds isn’t bad either, and they are small, so you will hardly even notice them when you enjoy your cranberries.
Since cranberries are super bitter, it is very unlikely you will be enjoying them by the handful. It’s much more likely you will be preparing your cranberries in some way, which means it is even less likely you will notice the seeds when you eat them.
No matter how you enjoy your cranberries, you can feel safe eating the seeds.
Can You Remove Cranberry Seeds?
If you are not a fan of cranberry seeds or are making a recipe that requires they be removed, there are a couple of ways you can get rid of the seeds inside of the berry.
- Cut your cranberry in half.
- Separate the two halves and drop the berries into a bowl of cool water.
- When you have finished cutting all your berries in half and adding them to the bowl, give the cranberries a gentle stir.
- After a short time, the cranberries will float to the top of the bowl, while the seeds and the pulp will sink to the bottom.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove your cranberries and use as directed in your recipe.
You can save your berries to use in body scrubs and other beauty product preparations. If you don’t want to throw them away, try searching how to use cranberry seeds in beauty care for some simple recipes.
Another way to remove the seeds from your cranberries is to puree and strain them through a fine mesh strainer before or after cooking.
How To Freeze Cranberries
Sometimes there are great sales on cranberries when they are in season. So if this is a berry that you enjoy, then it makes sense to stock up on them when the price is right. However, if you keep them in the fridge, they only last so long.
Like most other berries (and fruits that we call berries), cranberries freeze remarkably well and can last for several months in this form. To preserve your haul of cranberries follow these steps:
- Wash and dry your cranberries. We like to leave them in a sieve for about an hour then pat them dry with a tea towel or paper towel.
- If you want, you can cut them in half and remove the seeds or you can leave them whole depending on your preference and how you are going to use them once thawed.
- Spread parchment paper over a plate or a small baking sheet.
- Lay the cranberries in a single layer on the parchment lined plate or sheet. Try to keep a little space between them, so they freeze evenly and don’t stick together.
- Place the cranberries in the freezer for 12-24 hours.
- Once your cranberries are frozen, then you will want to place them in an airtight freezer bag.
- Label the bag with the date and contents so you don’t forget when you froze them and what they are.
Your cranberries should stay fresh for about 12 months after freezing.
Super Simple Cranberry Sauce Recipe
We like making this cranberry sauce to have at the holidays or to add to oatmeal, yogurt, or other snacks. This berry is versatile and doesn’t only need to be enjoyed during the holiday season!
- 3 cups of whole cranberries
- 2 cups of orange juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 cup of sugar, maple syrup, or honey
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)
- Place a medium-sized saucepan on your stove top.
- Add all of your ingredients to the pot and give them a stir.
- Turn the heat to medium high.
- Bring the cranberries to a gentle boil and then reduce to a simmer, while stirring regularly.
- Let the cranberries simmer until they burst open and soften, which should take about 15 minutes or so.
- If you want a thicker sauce, you can let the cranberries reduce on the stove top for half an hour or more until it becomes thicker. It depends on your preference.
- Taste your sauce and feel free to stir in more sweetener if it is still quite bitter.
- Remove your sauce from the stove and enjoy warm over cake, oatmeal, yogurt, or muffins.
- Store your cranberry sauce in the fridge for up to 1 week.
You can also make larger batches of this cranberry sauce and freeze it for future use. Follow these steps to freeze your cranberry sauce:
- Pour your cranberry sauce into glass jars or plastic storage containers and leave it about 1 inch from the top.
- Let your cranberry sauce cool fully. We will often cool it overnight in the fridge.
- Once it is cooled, seal your cranberry sauce tightly.
- Place a piece of masking tape on the container and write the date and contents on the label. This step will help you remember what you froze and when.
- Place the sauce in the freezer and use within about 6-12 months for optimal freshness.
How Can I Use Cranberries In The Kitchen?
While cranberries are generally too bitter to enjoy raw or fresh, they can be used in tons of creative ways in your kitchen. Some of my favorite uses for cranberries include:
- As a delicious sauce. Don’t be restricted to a basic cranberry sauce. You can get creative by adding apple juice, orange juice, cinnamon, and other flavors to make it really special.
- Make a cranberry jelly. This option is great for holiday meals, but can also be enjoyed on toast, cakes, and other delights.
- Add them to sauces for chicken.
- Used dried cranberries in salads, cheeseballs, roasted Brussels sprouts, homemade granola, energy balls, and cookies!
- Use them in baking. There are lots of ways you can use cranberries in your baking:
- Cranberry Muffins
- Cranberry Loaf
- Cranberry Cookies
- Cranberry Pie
- Cranberry Coffee Cake
- Cranberry Apple Upside Down Cake
- Cranberry Cheesecake
- Cranberry Brie pull-apart bread
- Cranberry Brie Bites on Puff Pastry
- Use your leftover cranberry sauce in turkey sandwiches or to on top of oatmeal and other dishes.
While cranberries contain seeds, the seeds are completely edible and don’t take away from the distinct flavor of this tart berry.
While you may not want to eat them raw, there are countless ways you can enjoy cranberries no matter the season.