Cranberries are synonymous with Fall cooking, baking and holidays. Pilgrims learned how to use cranberries from native Americans and it is one of America’s original superfoods. Since Boston was initially the main shipping point for cranberries, sailors on ships started consuming these berries to help prevent scurvy.1
Today, these berries still pack a powerful punch with numerous health benefits. Here are 3 of my favorite modern day uses and why you may consider adding cranberries to your diet all year.
3 Major Health Benefits of Cranberries
1. Contains significantly high amounts of phytochemicals, which have potential health benefits against cancer, neurological diseases, inflammation, and diabetes.
2. Holds high levels of antioxidants, such as quercetin, which may help to prevent cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory diseases.
3. Helps to prevent bacteria from sticking to the uterine wall, helping to prevent urinary tract infections.
Because cranberries are extremely tart, many food producers will dilute with massive amounts of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. This will negate any of the health benefits of the berries. Instead, look for cranberries that have been unaltered.
If buying juice, read the label to ensure it is 100% cranberries. You can always dilute on your own with water or seltzer if the taste is too strong. Or you can try a natural sweetener such as pineapples like featured in my cranberry sauce recipe.
Simple Cranberry Sauce
When people think of cranberry sauce, they usually think about the jellied version that comes in a can. The end result is usually shaped like a can! It has always boggled my mind why people would opt for canned jelly cranberry sauce when the real thing is so good, good for you, and so easy to make.
In canned jelly, not only is high fructose corn syrup listed as the second ingredient, but corn syrup is also listed there again. Did you know that high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup are both synonymous for sugar? Most canned cranberry sauces list at least two types of added sugar in the can.
Cranberries are so good for you but all these health benefits are negated when you combine that with a bunch of added sugar. High fructose corn syrup and corn syrup are especially worrisome as these are most likely genetically modified; sugar is extracted from corn as a cheap sweetener (corn is the #1 gmo crop in the United States).
Instead, make your own cranberry sauce without any added sweeteners. You’ll be amazed at how all of the natural flavors in these real-food ingredients compliment one another in a very healthy dish. Here are just some of the incredible health benefits of cranberries:
- Significantly high amounts of phytochemicals, which have potential health benefits against cancer, neurological diseases, inflammation, and diabetes
- High levels of antioxidants such as quercetin which may help to prevent cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory diseases
- Prevention of bacteria from sticking to the uterine wall, helping to prevent urinary tract infections
3 Ingredient Real-Food Cranberry Sauce
- 1 bag of organic whole cranberries
- 1 20 ounce can of crushed organic pineapple packed in 100% juice
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- Open can of crushed pineapple.
- Drain juice from pineapple.
- Measure juice in a measuring cup; should yield around 1 cup.
- Add 1/4 cup of fresh water so you have a total of 1 1/4 cup liquid.
- Pour juice in medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add golden raisins.
- Let juice and raisins come to a low boil.
- Add in crushed pineapple and whole cranberries.
- Simmer until the cranberries have burst and most of the liquid is evaporated (should take about 15 minutes).
- Remove from heat and enjoy!
|↑1||Caruso, Frank L., Peter R. Bristow, and Peter V. Oudemans. “Cranberries: the most intriguing native North American fruit.” APSnet Features. doi 10 (2000): 1094.|