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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is Honestly Cranberry®?
Honestly Cranberry® is our brand of unsweetened dried cranberries with no added sugars, juices, or oils. As cranberry growers, we want to share the true tart taste and natural goodness of cranberry year-round.
How do you dry Honestly Cranberry’s cranberries?
Honestly Cranberry® uses a proprietary process to slice and dry its cranberries, leaving in the natural goodness without adding anything. The consistency and texture is unique, but similar to a raisin; not as plump or juicy though.
Since cranberries are acidic, and we just have one product with one ingredient, we leave in quite a bit of moisture – around 22%, and a water activity level of <.85. We think it’s a better mouth feel, and better flavor. But unfortunately, if our product is left out on the counter, or mixed with something drier, like nuts or granola, it will continue to dry out. On the flip side, they will take on moisture, making them very fun to cook with, but less shelf stable.
What are the health benefits of cranberries?
Cranberries prevent bacteria from adhering to mucous tissues. If you want to consume cranberries for the health benefits, make sure to get the purest form of cranberries possible. Fresh cranberries are honestly your best option. Honestly Cranberry’s dried cranberries are a close second, since our only ingredient is cranberries! Make sure to read your labels when choosing which cranberry products are right for you. Hidden sugars/juices and oil are everywhere.
How are Honestly Cranberry’s dried cranberries different than sweetened dried cranberries (eg. Craisins®)?
There are differences in volume, serving size, health benefit, and flavor...
One pound of Honestly Cranberry = about 12 cups and 250-300 pieces per ounce
One pound of sweetened dried cranberries = about 3 cups and 60-70 pieces per ounce
A serving size of Honestly Cranberry = 6 grams
A serving size of sweetened dried cranberries = 40 grams
To receive the health benefit of cranberries, it takes:
2.8 grams (9 calories) of Honestly Cranberry (we call this a “daily dose”)
72 grams (234 calories) of sweetened dried cranberries
What are the macros in Honestly Cranberry?
15 calories, 0 fat, 4 carbs, 0 protein per 6g serving. 1g of completely natural sugar, and 1g of dietary fiber.
Keep in mind our product is very lightweight. A little goes a long way in regards to volume, health benefit, and flavor.
What do Honestly Cranberry’s dried cranberries taste like?
They’re tart! Honestly Cranberry® delivers the True Tart Taste® and natural goodness of cranberry adding a zip to your favorite recipes without additional sugars. We Heart the Tart®!
How do you cook with Honestly Cranberry?
Use Honestly Cranberry’s dried cranberries as you would sweetened dried cranberries or fresh cranberries. Experiment in your favorite cookies, salads, brownies, dips, oatmeal, sauces, breads, pancakes, seafood, burgers, and vegetables. Let us know, or tag us on social media about your favorites!
Pro-tip: soak them in orange juice before putting them in a cranberry bread or muffin, or let them soak in salad dressing for a few minutes before adding to the greens. Cranberries compliment many different flavors and recipes. Most of all, have fun!
Do dried cranberries re-hydrate?
It is not necessary to re-hydrate them, but yes, ours do. The fastest way to re-hydrate, is to soak them in hot water and let them steep for a few minutes. This makes for a nice “cranberry tea” too!
What is the shelf life of Honestly Cranberry? And what are surface sugars?
Our ‘best if used by’ sticker is about a year, but the product lasts much longer. We started drying cranberries in 2015, and have intentionally kept product to test periodically. Guess what?! It’s still good! It definitely dries out over time, actually making it more shelf stable, and some product may develop surface sugars. Surface sugars are just that – we don’t add or change anything about the process; similar to a chocolate bloom, or other dried fruits without oil. Sometimes it happens, and we cannot repeat it. Those who have tried them say it tastes like a sweet tart! Email us if you’re interested in purchasing surfaced-sugared unsweetened dried cranberries.
How do you ship?
We mainly use the United States Postal Service. For larger orders we ship via FedEx. We have a variety of boxes, and we try to use the smallest box without squishing the product. If there is extra room in the box, we use a variety of packing materials, and re-use whenever we can – this would include, but not limited to, packing peanuts, sealed air, packaging paper, bubble wrap, and the backing to shipping labels or packing list envelopes. It’s our way of recycling!
Are your cranberries organic?
We currently do not have an organic option. Our cranberry marsh has been in commercial operation since 1873, and for four generations. We were one of the first cranberry farms to implement an integrated pest management program in the early 1980's, and we have prided ourselves in maintaining wildlife diversity, being good stewards of the land, and managing the ecosystem as a whole.
The fertilizers we use are comprised of the same elements that are found in all plant species, and we use biological controls whenever possible, such as flooding, for insect control. Cranberries need nitrogen to grow, but cannot use the typical nitrate form. The form of nitrogen cranberries can utilize is ammonium sulfate, and there is no residue of any chemicals by the time we harvest (we, and other handlers who buy our fruit, test for this).
We bring in (rent) honeybees for pollination, which lasts about a month, since we have early to late season cranberry varieties (yes, there are more than one variety of cranberry! – similar to different varieties of apples or grapes). This is also the time when insect pests emerge and we do not want to apply anything that would jeopardize the honeybees and native pollinators. We work very closely with "scouts" who are part of our Integrated Pest Management team, and when it is appropriate to do so, we apply limited amounts of fungicides and insecticides. Our last application of anything is at least a month before harvest, and there is no concern for residue by the time we harvest.
Since we are surrounded by wetlands, the cranberry industry is highly regulated in regards to adding anything to the soil, water, and/or plants. The fertilizers and pesticides that are registered to use on cranberries are very limited, due to the fact that cranberries are a minor use crop that are grown near sensitive areas.
There is no genetic modifying in any way, no need for Roundup® ready vines, and cranberries were found growing wild on the same land we use today. Cranberry vines are a perennial, so whatever we do this year affects next year, and some vines have been going strong for more than 75 years. We live on the farm, we value clean water and bio-diversity, and are very mindful as to what we apply to the nearby cranberry beds. We constantly focus on our sustainability program, and use the best management practices established by UW-Madison.
Thank you for your interest!