Berry Better Bling
- 2 organic sweet apple such as Fuji, Pink Lady, or other sweet variety
- 1 cup cranberries
The fresh tartness of ruby red cranberries is balanced by the sweet purity of the apples. Juice them together and enjoy this juice as a fantastic pick-me-up and for health. And with only 23 calories per ½ cup, this recipe is a great addition for dieters.
Nutritional and Health Benefits of Apples
The benefits of the apple are well-documented. Click here to get in depth information on why an apple a day is indeed good medicine.
Vitamin C, Manganese and Vitamin K are the key players in Cranberry health bennies. But more important are its array of phytonutrients that ‘bring it’ nutritionally.
Cranberries offer 5 major types of phytonutrients:
- Phenolic Acids
These phytonutrients are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. In fact, it is the special combination of phytonutrients in the cranberry that make this small red fruit such a nutritional powerhouse.
Urinary Tract Health: Cranberries have a well-earned reputation for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). This particular superpower of the cranberry is its content of the phytonutrient combination of proanthocyanidins. This phytonutrient simply stops the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract lining and thereby stops or inhibits the infection.
Anti-Inflammatory: Cranberries help reduce inflammation in both the cardiovascular system and in parts of the digestive tract. It is in the role of anti-inflammatory that the cranberry truly embraces all of its phytonutrient content.
- Digestive Tract: One of the digestive tract benefits is anti-inflammation to our gums. The consumption of cranberries reduces the incidents of gum disease. Also, the intake of cranberries reduces inflammation of the stomach and colon. And perhaps reducing the risk of stomach ulcer and cancer in these sensitive areas.
- Cardiovascular Health: The special combination of phytonutrients strikes again in promoting cardiovascular health. Cranberries help reduce the inflammation in our blood vessels, reducing the incidence of plaque formation and wall thickening. With this reduction of oxidative stress, cranberries assist in lowering high blood pressure.
The cranberries that we know and love today are native to the Americas. Native peoples enjoyed this fruit cooked and sweetened with maple syrup or honey. Cranberry sauce is indeed a traditional recipe.
Native peoples also used the cranberry as a source for red dye and for decoration. This fruit was also used in healing as a poultice for wounds. The cranberry was known to be astringent, help contain bleeding, and also have antibiotic properties.
The fruit was so popular that these deep red berries began to be exported to England by the 18th century. Even though there are other forms of cranberries in Europe and Asia, the American version is the most cultivated worldwide.
Cranberries are cultivated throughout the U.S., Scandanavia, and in Great Britain. The most interesting cultivation took root (literally) in Holland, when a shipwreck with a cargo of cranberries washed ashore the island of Terschelling.
Selection and Storage of Cranberries
Cranberries have a short season, with a harvest time between September 1 and October 31. Available only from October through December, choosing a quality cranberry is an absolute necessity. Choose fruit that is deep red in color and that are firm to the touch. They should appear plump and full of juice. The darker the red of the cranberry, the more anthrocyanin compounds the fruit contains.
Organic berries may be available in the traditional 12 oz plastic bags or in smaller pint containers. If you’re lucky enough to find bulk berries, choose the firmest, plumpest, and reddest.
Store fresh cranberries in the refrigerator for up to 20 days. Before placing the bag in the fridge, open it and remove any discolored, soft, or shriveled berries. Like most fruits, the decaying fruit can hasten the decay in the remaining fruit.
Cranberries can be frozen for several years. To preserve them properly, place the berries on a cookie sheet and let them freeze through. Then place them in plastic bags and return to the freezer. Use thawed berries immediately.