Thanksgiving is coming up! One of the most popular Thanksgiving staples are cranberries. Cranberries are small, red berries that grow on a shrub. They’re usually sweetened into a sauce or jam, often for Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Watch cranberry juice react with baking soda and lemon juice!
There are two reasons that cranberries are going to react in our experiment today. One, cranberries are acidic. As you might know, when acids and bases meet, a chemical reaction takes place. You’ve seen this happen when you mix baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid). What happens? Lots of fizzing and bubbles! Remember, those bubbles are releasing carbon dioxide gas as a product of the reaction. The second reason that you’ll see a special reaction from cranberries is because of their pigment, anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is what makes cranberries their deep red color. When the acidity changes in the juice, anthocyanin reacts by changing color! Today, you’re going to mix cranberry juice with baking soda and lemon juice to see how these ingredients react with each other.
* Cranberry sauce, juice, or whole cranberries
* Baking soda
* Lemon juice
* Glass or container
* Measuring spoons
1. If you’re using cranberry sauce, make sure it’s thawed out and in liquid form. If you’re using whole cranberries, mash them up and add a little hot water to get a good amount of juice.
2. Pour the cranberry juice into a glass. You should have at least one cup of juice.
3. Predict what will happen when you add a spoonful of baking soda to the glass of cranberry juice.
4. Add the baking soda and observe what happens. Record your observations.
5. Predict what will happen when you add lemon juice to the cranberry juice.
6. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice and observe the reaction! What happened?
7. Record your findings.
8. Extension: Add different amounts of baking soda or lemon juice. Does that make a difference? Can you get the color to change even more? What happens if you add baking soda and lemon juice at the same time?
In this activity, you will use cranberries to build the tallest structure possible!
YOU WILL NEED:
* Fresh, whole cranberries
Here’s what to do!
1. Unwrap your cranberries.
2. Connect two cranberries with a toothpick.
3. Continue building and connecting cranberries to build whatever structure you want. See how tall you can make your building before it tips over!
4. Test out the strength of your structure by setting an object on top. See how much your structure will hold!
5. Challenge: Try rationing yourself to only 20 toothpicks. Using those 20 toothpicks, what shape will create the strongest structure? Try a few different structures and test which one is the strongest!
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
YOU WILL NEED:
* 12 ounce bag of cranberries
* Orange zest
Here's what to do!
1. Empty your cranberries into a saucepan.
2. Transfer 1/2 cup of the cranberries into a small bowl.
3. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 strip orange zest, and 2 tablespoons water to the saucepan.
4. Stir over low heat until the cranberries soften and the sugar dissolves.
5. Increase to medium heat cook until cranberries burst.
6. Reduce to low heat and add the 1/2 cup of reserved cranberries.
7. Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.
8. Let cool to room temperature before serving.
Image credits, in order of appearance:
Weller, K., 2005. Cranberry bog. Image uploaded from Wikimedia Commons on 11/13/2016.
File in the Public Domain.
Cjboffoli, 2010. Cranberries20101210. Image uploaded from Wikimedia Commons on 11/13/2016.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/45/Cranberries20101210.jpg/1024px-Cranberries20101210.jpg File used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. No changes were made.
Veganbaking.net, 2008. Cranberry sauce. Image uploaded from Wikimedia Commons on 11/13/2016.
File used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made.