Antioxidant-rich cranberries are grown on vines in freshwater bogs and are found mostly in the northern United States and southern Canada. Cranberries are small, hard, round, red fruits, related to the blueberry. Although fresh cranberries can be eaten raw, many people describe their flavor as both bitter and sour. For this reason, most people enjoy the fruit cooked in sauces or juiced.
Cranberries and cranberry juice contain high levels of phytonutrients, an essential compound for reducing inflammation in the body. Phytonutrients help prevent the build-up of plaque inside the blood vessels and may prevent or delay the onset of heart disease. And because cranberries are high in Vitamin C, they are also vital for healing wounds and promoting healthy skin, blood vessels, and bones.
Because cranberry products are high in vital nutrients, people call this fruit a superfood. Here is a list of the many (but not all) health-boosting benefits of antioxidant rich cranberries :
- Prevents urinary tract infections
- Fights age-related damage that contributes to health problems such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s
- Promotes heart health
- Supports a healthy digestive system
- Good for dental health
- High in Vitamin C
- Good source of Vitamin E which helps to strengthen the immune system
- Aids in reducing cholesterol to support a healthy menopause
- Prevents infection by fighting certain viruses and bacteria
Take a look at some simple, fresh recipes using cranberries, adapted from Prevention.com.
- 1 cup frozen cranberries
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 banana peeled and chopped
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- ½ cup ice cubes
- Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour in a glass and enjoy!
- Food Processor
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 seedless cucumber finely chopped
- ½ jalapeno finely chopped
- ¼ sweet onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- Sliced veggies or NutThins crackers for serving
- In a food processor, pulse cranberries to a fine chop.
- Transfer to a bowl and fold in chopped cucumber, jalapeno, sweet onion, and cilantro.
- Add honey and salt.
- Serve with your favorite dipping veggies or NutThins crackers.
Pork Chops with Cabbage & Cranberry Saute
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 boneless pork chops 6-8 oz each
- Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- ½ small head red cabbage cored and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season pork chops, add to skillet and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.
- Reduce heat to medium and add 1 Tbsp oil, red onion, cabbage, fennel, salt and pepper. Saute, covered, 5 minutes.
- Stir in cranberries and water. Cook stirring occasionally, until water has evaporated.
- Place pork chops in cabbage mixture and drizzle with vinegar. Simmer until chops are just cooked through. Serve hot.
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