Why You Should Eat the Tangy, Tart and Delicious Cranberry All Year Round

Cranberries are a wonderful berry that are usually eaten in the fall and on the Thanksgiving table. Cranberry relish or cranberry confit pairs nicely with turkey. But cranberries are versatile and can be enjoyed all year long.

Cranberries have many health benefits:

  • Cranberries have antioxidants with their bright color to fight free radicals to help prevent and fight cancer.
  • The antioxidants of cranberries also have bacteria-fighting properties to fight urinary tract infections and to benefit urinary tract health.
  • Cranberries also have anti-inflammatory properties which helps the body in general, but especially with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
  • Cranberries are known to boost the immune system, too.
  • There is also evidence of cranberries bolstering heart health.
  • Cranberries in actual food form, as opposed to cranberry supplements, are best absorbed and best by the body.

Cranberries Everyday

Here are some ideas and recipes, so you can start incorporating cranberries as a normal part of your diet.

  • Add color and variety to your favorite recipes for rice pudding, quick breads or muffins by using dried cranberries instead of raisins.
  • When I make “ants on a log” I sometimes use dried cranberries to make “red ants on a log.” This is a fun way to incorporate cranberries into your children’s diets.
  • Sprinkle a handful of dried cranberries over a bowl of hot oatmeal, barley, any cold cereal or on top of your salad.
  • Mix dried cranberries with lightly roasted and salted nuts for a delicious snack.
  • Take advantage of cranberries’ tartness by using them to replace vinegar or lemon when dressing your green salads. Toss the greens with a little olive oil and then add color and zest with a handful of raw cranberries.
  • For an easy-to-make salad that will immediately become a holiday favorite, place 2 cups fresh berries in your blender along with 1/2 cup of pineapple chunks, a quartered skinned orange, a sweet apple and a handful or two of walnuts or pecans. Blend till well mixed but still chunky. Transfer to a large bowl. Dice 3-4 stalks of celery, add to the cranberry mixture and stir till just combined. This is delicious. It can even be a topping/dressing to a salad.
  • Combine unsweetened cranberry in equal parts with your favorite fruit juice and sparkling mineral water for a lightly sweetened, refreshing spritzer.

Cranberry Recipes

Here are three of my favorite recipes that use cranberries:

  1. Cranberry and Herb Turkey Burgers — This is a fun and delicious way to prepare turkey and cranberries.
  2. Healthy Cranberry Walnut Bread — Try making french toast with this bread. I promise it will not disappoint.
  3. Cranberry Medley Recipe — This is great on top of salads or mixed into oatmeal too or by itself.

How do you incorporate cranberries into your diet?

Photo Credit:  jillmotts

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