Cranberries – As American as Apple Pie & the Jewel of the Pine Barrens

Cranberries are packed with nutrients like antioxidants and other natural compounds.  They’re available in a variety of forms including fresh fruit, juice, sauce, and dried. Juices and sauce are available year-round but the fresh fruit is generally only available from September to December. Throughout history they have been eaten for their nutrients, used as medicine and clothing dye.  Out of all fruits, only three, including the cranberry, have roots that trace back to North American soil!

Health Benefits:
Cardiovascular –Health Preliminary research shows that cranberries have the ability to decrease total cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol) and increase blood flow.
Anti-Cancer -Cranberries are rich in flavonoids. These phytonutrients have been shown to inhibit certain types of cancer.
Ulcers – New research suggests compounds found in Cranberries may inhibit ulcer-causing bacteria from sticking to the stomach wall.
Anti-Aging -Polyphenolic compounds found in Cranberry may help to protect against neurodegenerative diseases, and the memory and coordination losses often associated with aging.
Urinary Tract Infection – The Proanothcyanidins found in Cranberries can prevent urinary tract infections by inhibiting E. coli bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract wall. The National

 Visit a Cranberry Farm!

 Whites Bog Village http://www.whitesbog.org/

 Double Trouble State Park http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/double.html

 Cloverdale Farm http://www.pineypower.com/Cloverdale/cloverdale.htm

I found some interesting cranberry recipes that I’d like to share.  Make one or two (or as many as you want) and send me your results (pictures & comments)! All recipes are courtesy of PineyPower.com

PineyPower’s Cranberry Sauce

1 package fresh cranberries
1 cup water, or 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
1 cup sugar
finely minced zest from 1/2 orange
1/8t. salt – it brings out the flavor!
1/4 c. chopped pecans or walnuts, preferably lightly roasted (also optional)

Place sugar, salt and liquid in saucepan, bring to slow boil until sugar is dissolved. Place berries and zest in pan. Cook over slow heat for about ten minutes, until cranberries pop. Remove from heat; stir in nuts and let cool.

Leftover sauce makes a delicious dip:

One package cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Cranberry sauce to desired taste
1/4t. hot pepper (or more to taste)

Serve with crackers – very festive, and great with wine!

I’ve used this recipe with a can of Mandarin oranges. I used the juice with water to equal one cup and cut the sugar just a bit. After the cranberries pop, I added chopped orange pieces, and let it cool.

Cranberry Cole Slaw

1 cup cranberries coarsely chopped
3 cups cabbage — finely shredded
2 tablespoons celery, diced
2 tablespoons green pepper, diced
1 can seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vinegar

Combine cranberries, cabbage celery green pepper and grapes. Mix juice, mayonnaise, honey and vinegar and mix with fruits and veggies. Chill until served. time.

 Cranberry Cole Slaw II

Shredded Cabbage
Dried cranberries
Mayonnaise to taste
Salt and sugar to taste

Combine cabbage and dried cranberries; add mayonnaise to desired creaminess. Refrigerate for several hours, then slowly add salt and sugar, mixing thoroughly and tasting after each addition. Best if refrigerated overnight, allowing cranberries to plump.

Quick Cran-Carrot Salad

One package pre-shredded carrots
1/2 (or more, to taste) dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Mayonnaise to taste

Rinse and drain carrots; mix all ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.

Cranberry Mallow Pie

32 large marshmallows or 3 cups miniature marshmallows
16-ounce can whole berry Cranberry Sauce
1 cup chilled whipping cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (6-ounce) pre-made vanilla wafer or graham cracker crust

Combine marshmallows and cranberry sauce in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, just until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour or until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. Beat whipping cream and vanilla in a small mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir cranberry mixture until blended; fold gently into whipped cream. Pour into crust. Chill until set, at least 5 hours. For a cool treat on a hot day, try freezing the Cranberry Mallow Pie until firm. To serve, garnish slices with additional sweetened whipped cream, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Cranberry Party Meatballs

2 1-pound bags frozen cocktail-size meatballs (about 64 meatballs)
1 16-ounce can Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 12-ounce bottle chili sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, cumin and cayenne in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the cranberry sauce is melted and smooth. Add meatballs; stir gently to coat. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through. Place in chafing dish or slow cooker to keep warm.

Cranberry Spread

1 package cream cheese
2 tbs. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. sugar
zest of 1 orange
1/4 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 c. finely chopped dry cranberries

Combine first 4 ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Fold in zest, nuts and cranberries. Refrigerate to blend flavors. Serve with bagels, crackers or fruit.

Cranberry Spinach Salad

Baby spinach
Dried cranberries
Chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
Mandarin orange sections
Plain goat cheese
Honey-Lime dressing (combine honey, fresh lime juice, mayonnaise and pepper to taste)

Mix the spinach with cranberries and nuts to taste, top with crumbled goat cheese and top with honey lime dressing- scrumptious!

Cranberry-Chicken Salad

Leftover chicken (or turkey), preferably white meat
Mayonnaise
Craisins (Dried cranberries by Ocean Spray)
Celery
Pecans

Chop chicken into small pieces; chop craisins and pecans; dice celery. mix all ingredients together and serve! It’s a wonderful but easy treat!

 

*All recipes are curtsey of PineyPower.com

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