A Delicious Twist On Cranberries

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and as folks begin to plan their holiday menu out comes a wonderful fruit that only seems to make an appearance once or twice a year, cranberries. These deliciously tart fruits are grown on low shrubs in bogs. They're grown commercially in the Northern US and Canada with most of the crop being turned into juice, craisins (dried cranberries) or canned “sauce.”

It is believed that Native Americans shared the berries with the starving Pilgrims in Massachusetts and this may explain part of its appearance on our Thanksgiving table.

Health Benefits of Cranberries

It is unfortunate that cranberries don't play a larger role in our diet. These luscious red berries are high in fiber, a great source of vitamin C and also provide a lot of manganese and vitamin K. They are also high in anthocyanins and anti-inflammatory antioxidants. As if that wasn't enough, their health benefits range from improving cardiovascular health and supporting brain function to helping fight H. pylori and E. coli bacteria in the body.

Many folks are familiar with the use of cranberries as a treatment for urinary tract infections. A recent study, published this year, 2009, in the Scandinavian Journal of Nephrology and Urology, found that “daily consumption of concentrated cranberry juice can significantly prevent the recurrence of symptomatic UTIs in children.” It is important to note that this would be 100% cranberry juice with no added sugar, not cranberry juice cocktails which tend to be more popular.

Sweet and Spicy Recipes

This year for Thanksgiving we're having our traditional cranberry orange sauce which everyone loves. Now that we live in Texas we're going to add a new tradition and make a cranberry salsa. I bought a large bag of cranberries and will keep the extra (they freeze really well) to use throughout the winter in cranberry muffins, cranberry scones, to use in salads, I even put some in oatmeal with maple syrup for a tangy breakfast treat.
If cranberry makes an appearance on your Thanksgiving table, try making your own sauce instead of purchasing the over-processed jellied mass they sell in cans, it's not a lot of effort and it's so much tastier.
Cranberry Orange Sauce
  1. 1 C. water
  2. 3/4 C. evaporated cane juice crystals
  3. 3 C. cranberries
  4. 1 orange chopped fine (I use a Cuisinart)
  5. generous pinch cinnamon
  6. nutmeg (I use a nutmeg grater and shave several times)
  1. bring the water and cane juice to a boil, stirring until crystals are dissolved
  2. reduce to a simmer, add cranberries, orange, and spices
  3. cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop
  4. remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving
  1. One really delicious way to use leftovers is to add a dollop to a bowl of oatmeal
The Ingredient Guru, Mira Dessy https://www.theingredientguru.com/
Cranberry Salsa
  1. 2 C. fresh cranberries
  2. 2 bell peppers
  3. 3 spring onions, minced
  4. 1/4 C. evaporated cane juice crystals
  5. 3/4 C. fresh cilantro, chopped
  6. juice of one lime
  7. generous pinch sea salt
  8. 1 t. crushed red pepper
  1. Put cranberries and peppers into a food processor and chop well
  2. put mixture into a bowl and add remaining ingredients
  3. toss well and let sit at least 2 hours before serving for flavors to blend
  1. This is a fabulous topping for a warmed brie with organic corn chips
The Ingredient Guru, Mira Dessy https://www.theingredientguru.com/



  • Ferrara, P., et al. Cranberry juice for the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections: a randomized controlled trial in children. Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2009;43(5):369-72
  • Matsushima, M., et al. Growth inhibitory action of cranberry on Helicobacter pylori. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Dec;23 Suppl 2:S175-80
  • Zafra-Stone, S., et al. Berry anthocyanins as novel antioxidants in human health and disease prevention. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):675-83.




About Mira

Mira Dessy is The Ingredient Guru. A holistic nutrition professional, author, and a popular public speaker, she knows that it's not just what you eat, but what's in what you eat. She is the author of The Pantry Principle: how to read the label and understand what’s really in their food. Dessy is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner whose mission is to educate and empower consumers. She curates the Lean Clean Green Subscription box, the premier, organic, earth-friendly, healthy, sustainable subscription box which can be found online at https://theingredientguru.memberbox.com