Enjoy the nutritional offerings of cranberries
According to Dr. Axe these are the six Top Benefits of Cranberries:
Prevent and Treat Urinary Tract Infections
May Help Prevent Cancers
Improve Immune Function
Benefit the Digestive Tract
Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
WebMD goes on to give cranberries SuperFood status, noting they are second only to blueberries in regard to antioxidant levels. These tart little cousins to the blueberry have lots of fiber, manganese, vitamins C, E, K and carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin).
Food of the Season
Excerpt from A Fresh Wellness Mindset:
‘Variety is the spice of life. Variety implies a wide array of nutrients. Eating a wide selection of food creates more opportunity for the body to get all of the nutrients it needs….’
3 Truths to encourage variety in your food life
1. Most people eat a small number (around 10 – 15) of the same foods on an on-going basis.
To combat boring routines and nutritional limitation, check in here each week for ideas to add a fresh seasonal food to your life. Ideas are in sync with Mother Nature's brilliant cues to eat in cycles reflecting the availability of seasonal food with the body’s energetic needs.
2. Choose food in sync with nature and you will be making choices which resonate with your body’s design and natural tendencies.
Life puts your body and mind through a lot of figurative and literal stretching, twisting, and extending energetically. Eating in sync with Mother Nature makes it easier for your body to adapt to the life you live.
3. Choosing foods offering a wide assortment of color is more than good for you. Eating this way gives your senses delicious variety of texture, taste, smells and sight.
Have more fun with food. You and your children can experience food as true beauty and joy by getting creative with food choices that evolve to more variety and alignment with nature’s seasons.
Food of the Season:
This glossy scarlet red berry belongs to the same family as the blueberry. They grow in abundance in North America, cultivated in wetlands or bogs. We’ve all seen the humorous commercials for a well known cranberry and cranberry product company with the two gents standing in a deep bog amidst floating cranberries. This may not be how it actually happens, but those are entertaining commercials!
Cranberries are in peak season from October through December. Buying them fresh during this time will give you the highest nutritional concentration. When the nutritional peak is high, so is the flavor.
Juice, sauce, jam and dried cranberries are the products most cranberries are delivered to consumers.
Freeze them in an airtight package to extend their life by a couple of months or even longer. If one has gone bad in the fresh bag, discard it to save the others from the same fate.
Due to the tart flavor of the cranberry most recipes and products have significant refined sugar. Few (if any) people need more refined sugar (over consumption of sugar degrades the immune system). You can reap the nutritional benefits of cranberries without the sugar.
Tam’s favorite cranberry ideas and recipes without added sugar:
Tam’s Smoothie with Cranberry & Coconut Milk. This is recipe # 1 in A Fresh Wellness Mindset. It is utterly delicious and satisfying!
Raw. Yep bet that’s a new one for a lot of people. Pop just one berry and savor the flavor while your body soaks up the nutrients. You might be surprised when you reach for another and another fresh raw cranberry. Chances are you won’t over indulge, because your body signals you when it is satisfied with real food. And yes, your palate will enliven to this tasty treat.
Dried. Add to your own concoction of trail mix with macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, carob chips and coconut flakes. Check the label to be sure you are getting a dried cranberry that is fruit juice sweetened.
Juice, Unsweetened and just cranberry. Add a splash to your water or tea for a refreshing pick me up.
Pop a few of those beauties in your morning oatmeal.
Substitute dried fruit juice sweetened cranberries for the raisins in baked goods.
Sauce: substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar. Play with the recipe for the right ratios, but you can healthify your family food traditions. Note on honey, don’t bring it to a boil.
Martha Stewart has an amazing selection of cranberry recipes. Some you may choose to pare down the sugar or substitute honey or maple syrup.
Remember serving sizes matter. If you are indulging in sugar sweetened cranberries for festive occasions, be mindful of portion sizes. Most of the time, day in and out choose unsweetened cranberries and reap the nutritional zing.