A Cranberry BFO

WA cranberries

Why yes, these cranberries are from Washington. I got them at the farmers’ market on Saturday. How cool is that? At least, I thought so, until I heard a marketer smarter than me ask what sorts of pesticides the farm used. “Round-Up,” came the reply. “But only where we need it.”

I took one strap of my L.L. Bean bag off my shoulder, and confirmed: Yes, I’d already purchased them. Then I had what my friend Megan calls a BFO – a Blinding Flash of the Obvious. Every fall, I eat cranberries. That means every year, I must eat some residual form of Round-Up.

It’s The Choice, all up in my grill again. Do I buy local cranberries, even if they’ve been sprayed with nasty, or do I ask someone from Cape Cod to get me the name of that organic cranberry company out there with the cute packaging, so I can pay them to load my berries up onto a truck and schlep them, fossil fuels dripping, all the way to Seattle? Or do I (gasp!) skip them entirely?

Today, I don’t know. I guess I’ll just eat them. I mean, I already bought them.

But – sigh – that’s the attitude that gets us into trouble, isn’t it.

I only wish I’d chopped the rosemary less finely, so you could actually see how nicely its piney, herby flavor mingles with the tartness of fresh, snappy cranberries. But then you’d have to chew the needles, which would be no good.

WW Cranberry-Rosemary Bread

Whole Wheat Cranberry-Rosemary Bread (PDF)
Recipe 295 of 365

Made with whole wheat flour, plain nonfat yogurt, ground flaxseed meal, antioxidant-rich cranberries, and two sticks of butter, these yummy, fragrant loaves are a pretty fair estimation of my approach to healthy eating: Search out the good, but don’t be afraid of the bad. (I’m sure whole milk yogurt – or sour cream, or buttermilk – would make the bread even more delicious.)

TIME: 30 minutes active time
MAKES: Two 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” loaves

Baking spray, or butter and flour for the pans
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 pint (2 heaping cups) fresh cranberries, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” loaf pans with baking spray, or prepare with butter and flour. Set aside.

Melt the butter with the rosemary in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. When melted, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Let cool for a few minutes, stir in the yogurt, and set aside. Meanwhile, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flaxseed meal in another big bowl, whisk to blend, and set aside.

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the eggs and sugar on medium speed until quite light, about 2 minutes. Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the sugar/egg mixture, mixing on low speed between each addition until the ingredients are incorporated. Remove the bowl from the machine and stir in the cranberries by hand.

Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, and bake on the middle rack for one hour, or until the tops just begin to crack and a skewer inserted into the center of one loaf comes out clean. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes in pans, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Enjoy warm, or let cool to room temperature and wrap in plastic to keep moist.

WW Cranberry-Rosemary crumbled

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11 Comments

Filed under bread, Breakfast, farmer's market, fruit, recipe

11 responses to “A Cranberry BFO

  1. ack, that’s the choice we have to make….local? round-up? fossil fuels? i think maybe a bit of local roundup can’t be that bad? regardless, your bread looks amazing.

  2. Cheryl

    The catch-22 drives me insane, too. Did you ever see the documentary The Future of Food? They show these fields being sprayed with pesticides and describe how many crops are engineered to be “Round-up Ready.” Sickening. I went all-organic for a little while after watching it but then slipped right back into organic for some things, when I can, and practical, conventional food when I can’t. I try not to kick myself for not being my ideal person all the time but it’s not easy.

    Anyway, the cranberry bread looks wonderful. I made your whole wheat biscotti the other day (and added a few chocolate chips) and they were stupendous. Can’t wait to try this one, too.

  3. I’ve been told that round-up breaks down pretty fast, so it’s sort of a lesser evil as pesticides go…not that it’s a comforting thought in any case.

    Where do they grow cranberries in Washington? I want some!

  4. Somewhere down in southwest Washington, near Montesano, I think . . .but honestly, I never looked at the name of the farm, so I’m no help there.

    Maybe call the Seattle Farmers’ Market Association and ask them who was at the UD market on Saturday?

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  7. Max

    Actually you would most likely not be eating any round-up. Since round-up cannot be sprayed onto the berries and when it is sprayed the leaves absorb the spray and translocate it to the roots where it blocks an amino acid necessary for plant growth. Once round-up has worked it is broken down in the soil by microbes and other bacteria in the soil to form naturally occurring coupounds of nitrogen, CO2, water, and phosphate(by the way all these are necessary for plants to grow and act as natural fertilizers, which the plants then reabsorb and thus the farmer can put out less fertilizer.) Round-up does not translocate once in the soil to other plants, when ingested by wildlife is poorly absorbed, so an animal eating the leaves or roots of a treated plant does not absorb any of the chemical. Any traces of round-up do not accumulate in the edible portion of fish or other marine organisms. Round-up is one of the safest non organic chemicals, since its basic ingredient break down into organic compounds.
    Getting cranberries here and fossile fuel use is just a fact of life and have to deal with it till a better and economical way comes along. Cranberries are grown on the coast of WA,OR, and BC Canada…to get them here requires the use of diesel…if they could use something better for the envi and still maintain a low cost so that middle class could afford I would be for it.

  8. Max

    After reading my post I wanted to make a few things clear. Round-up is not applied to the cranberries. If it was it would kill the plant. It is only applied to the weeds. Cranberries are a low growing vine. They practically hug the ground. So the weeds grow taller than the vines and round up can be applied with a bar like system, the round up is not sprayed, but rather the weeds hit a low hanging bar that gets the chemical on them. If you want to see cranberries you need to go to the coast to the long beach or grayland area of WA. Thanks.

  9. This site provides some interesting information about RoundUp.

  10. Sharon

    Oops. the site is rejecting the direct link ..go to jm@mercola.com and look for Issue 1160, Sept 13, 2008. Monsanto makes the product and has some had some issues related to the integrity of its product labeling. The Organic Consumers Association wants HomeDepot to stop selling the product due to multiple health effects asscoiated with its use.

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