Cranberries – A Berry Way To Be Well
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on December 17, 2009 by Paulina Nelega, RH
We all know that we are what we eat, and diet plays such an important part of our wellness. And that’s why I love, love, love the holiday season – the food is incredibly tasty, and so good for the body beautiful!
Last month I shared with you my love of yams. SO yummy. This month, our ubiquitous holiday meal would be incomplete without my famous cranberry sauce – delish, delectable, and de-great for us!
Cranberries are of the evergreen family, and can be found growing in acidic bogs all over the Northern Hemisphere – maybe that’s why they’re so mouth-puckeringly sour!
Cranberries are low shrubs or vines with slender, wiry stems and small evergreen leaves. They have lovely little dark pink flowers that domestic honeybees just love (love the bees by the way, people. They are the reason we have this fabulous food all over the place. Ahem.)! Cranberries grow white, but turns a deep red when ready for the picking in fall.
Cranberries are rich in Vitamin C and polyphenol antioxidants. Eating and drinking these berries can fill us with potent anti-aging, cancer-preventing, and cardiovascular support. The tannins in cranberries (the substance that makes them tart and rather sticky-dry in the mouth) gives these berries anti-clotting properties and can help flush out urinary tract bacteria (read my post about that HERE) and can reduce the amount of dental plaque-causing bacteria – in other words, sweeten your breath!
Cranberries are blended with sweeteners and can be found commercially as juice, sauce, and sweetened dried cranberries. You can find canned or frozen cranberries in grocery stores, but I prefer mine fresh. I make my own sauce, throw the berries in to pies and baked goods, and simmer them in teas and wines!
Speaking of making my own sauce, here it is:
- 1 cup (200 g) organic honey
- 1 cup (250 mL) water
- 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh organic cranberries
- organic pecans, organic orange zest, organic currants, organic cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Add in your other ingredients to taste! So simple.
Remove from heat and cool before serving. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
This makes just over 2 cups.
To a berry, berry holiday season!
Warm, spicy love, Sage
Photo Credit: vieuxbandit
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan