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In Season | Cranberries

Posted By GreenChef Staff Monkies On January 12, 2008 @ 9:00 pm In GreenChef Foodie Talk,Recipes / GreenChef Ingredients & Tools | No Comments

Blueberries tart red cousin, the cranberry (also called bounceberries because they bounce), still grow wild as a shrub. Now they are cultivated in low trailing vines in bogs of sand, pean and clay – growing mainly in Washington as well as Oregon, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. Cranberries are one of the few berries native to North America. The cultivated cranberries are twice as big as the European cranberry. They are harvested between late September and November, just in time for the holidays.

Health Benefits:

Cranberries pack a fierce nutritional punch into such a small package. High in vitamin C, A, fiber and loaded with anti-oxidants. Emerging research has suggested that cranberries are good for everything from promoting oral health, heart health, preventing kidney stones, lowering LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol, to preventing cancer.

Probably the most recognized benefit of including a healthy dose of cranberries in ones diet, is it’s effect on the health of the urinary tract. Cranberries have been valued for hundreds of years as a preventative for UTI’s. Recent studies have confirmed their effectiveness. They work in multiple ways, by acidifying the urine, through a natural anti-bactrial in the cranberry called hippuric acid, as well as a sugar called D-mannose and tannins called proanthocyandidins that prevent bacteria from adhering tot he walls of the urinary tract. Blueberries also have these same tannins and sugar, and work equally well.

Cranberry Recipes:

Cranberry Sauce with Port and Cinnamon

Cranberry Sauce with Pears and Cardamom

Cranberry, Pear, and Ginger Chutney

Cranberry Relish with Ginger

Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce

Hot Spiced Cider and Cranberry Juice

Cranberry Cosmopolitan

Cranberry Martinis

Cranberry Sorbet

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