We think of Bunnery Original Granola as a very American product, produced in Jackson Hole according to our own recipe since 1975. When we began to think about enriching our granola with fruit, we thought about all-American fruit first. Blueberries, of course, came to mind, but as the autumn approached, cranberries occurred to us, and now we have them in the bag with Bunnery Natural Foods Cranberry-Nut Vanilla Granola.
Cranberries are a native North American vine fruit indigenous to the northern United States and Canada. Related to the blueberry. they have a history in Native American culture as a food, ceremonial and medicinal plant, notably to combat illness and urinary tract infections, for centuries. First cultivated domestically in Massachusetts in 1816 by Henry Hall, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, they now account for about 40,000 acres of cranberry vineyards across the northern states and Canada. The vines flower in late spring and early summer, and the harvest takes place during September and October.
For such a small, tart berry, cranberries are a remarkable source of healthful benefits, some of which are unique to this fruit. High in dietary fiber and vitamin C, one cup, or roughly four ounces, provides a fifth of recommended daily fiber and nearly a quarter of vitamin C with only fifty-one calories. Vitamin C enhances absorption of iron for a strong immune system and is essential to collagen formation and vascular health. Of all fruits, cranberries are among the most concentrated sources of antioxidants, which have been demonstrated for some time to be cancer-preventive and protective against heart disease, impaired cognitive function and other diseases resulting from free-radical damage. They are particularly rich in flavonoids and polyphenols that inhibit oxidation of low-density lipoproteins that can lead to atherosclerosis.
Cranberries have a unique property long known to inhibit urinary tract infections, a property attributed to compounds called proanthocyanidins, a form of condensed tannins, which prevent certain bacteria from adhering to tissues. In the intestines, these compounds not only inhibit relatively benign infection but also resist the much more dangerous E. coli bacteria. This anti-adhesion activity has more recently been thought to work in the same way in other areas of the body, including inhibition of H. pylori, the bacterium responsible for gastric ulcers, in the stomach; and in the mouth, where it appears to resist and reverse accumulation of oral bacteria responsible for periodontal disease and dental plaque.
Bunnery Natural Foods Cranberry Granola contains all natural cranberries processed by a method called “low moisture.” The berries are frozen and the moisture slowly removed, and the water content is then partially replaced by a small amount of all-natural sweetener. This results in a shelf-stable, moist, sweet and deliciously flavorful berry that compliments the toasty almonds and walnuts and silky vanilla flavor of our new granola blend.