Most people like cranberries for their beautiful color. You can definitely make cranberry sauce or use it in cakes or Cranberry Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles or Healthy Apple Cranberry Muffins or Warm Pear Cranberry Cobbler or White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars and more recipes.
Do you know that in the health world cranberries are considered a superfood?
Even doctors and nutrition experts recommend that we should have a handful of cranberries instead of apples every day!
But what makes cranberries so special? And aren’t cranberries considered a hassle store for a long time since they spoil so fast?
If you have all these questions too then just keep on reading! We’ll make sure that by the time you are finished, you will be expert on everything that is cranberries!
What are Cranberries?
Cranberries are technically berries, but it's okay if you consider them as a fruit. There is no hard and fast rule about it. But if you are new to cranberries then it's a good idea to get to know about it!
First of all, cranberries are a native to North America, and were grown there historically by the Native Americans, who considered cranberries to have medicinal properties.
They also used cranberries as a preservative to keep their deer meat preserved.
In addition to all these uses, cranberries have also been used as a dye for clothes! Quite a versatile berry, isn't it?
But it's not just our festive tables where cranberries make its presence known!
Millions of pounds of cranberries have been used by soldiers in World Wars to keep them well nourished and healthy. But that's enough about history! It's time we learn about these so-called benefits of cranberries!
What are the benefits of Cranberry?
There are multiple good reasons why cranberries are hailed as superfood by all health experts.
Not only do cranberries come packed with nutrition which improve our general health, but they also come with extra perks that most other foods just don’t have.
- We can call any food healthy for us only when it comes with a balanced and diverse nutrition profile. Cranberries happen to tick both these boxes! We cannot present to you the list of all the nutrients cranberries contain, it is that long! But we can definitely tell you the most important ones down below!
- Healthy carbohydrates
- Vitamin C, A, K and E
- Vitamin B and all its complexes
- Antioxidants like Quercetin and Myricetin
- Experts and doctors say that if you want your body to be able to fight off diseases, then you need to have a diet that is rich in antioxidants. Not only do antioxidants improve the disease fighting capacity of your immune system but they also reduce oxidative stress and cellular damage. So it is really one of the basic health requirements to include food that is a good source of daily antioxidants. Lucky for you, cranberries alone have so many antioxidants that they top the list! Not even the likes of strawberries or broccoli can match up to the vast reserves of antioxidants cranberries have!
What Does Cranberry do for Females?
- All the ladies reading this article must be already aware how great cranberries are for UTIs (Urinary Tract Infection). For those who don’t know, UTI is caused by bacteria sticking to a female's urinary tract walls. It is a serious disease and should be taken seriously because if ignored, it can even lead to one’s death. But don’t be afraid, as prevention is always better than the cure and nothing can prevent a UTI from happening like cranberries!
- Thanks to the abundance of proanthocyanidins in cranberries, you can avoid those nasty bacteria from staying in your urinary tract in the first place! But you need to keep in mind that you can take full advantage of this health effect only if you either eat cranberries or drink pure cranberries juice. Those bottled and sweetened cranberry juice won’t be as effective as the real deal!
Is Cranberry good for my Brain?
- If you find yourself forgetting things more often or your motor skills declining, then maybe you need to give your brain a little boost! These days even youngsters show a high rate of brain decline at an early age thanks to modern lifestyle and diet.
- This brain aging is caused due to oxidative stress and inflammation. Which is why it makes sense that foods which are high in antioxidants would be good for you.
- Cranberries are especially high in these brain boosting antioxidants and you will soon find yourself feeling alert again after having cranberries everyday!
Can Cranberry Help in Weight Loss?
- If you are looking to reduce weight, then you must have been told that fruit juices are good for you.
- But not all fruit juices are good for weight, as some contain really high amounts of sugars. But not cranberries!
- These red colored berries are not only low in sugar and carbs but they also come with compounds that can emulsify the fat inside you!
- This means you will be losing weight like never before just by drinking a glass of fresh cranberry juice every day!
Storing and Using Cranberries
Although cranberries come with many benefits, storing them fresh can be a little tricky!
Did you know that only 5% of cranberries are sold fresh? The rest of 95% is sold dried, frozen or converted to juice and other items. But buying fresh cranberries is always worth it, which makes it important you know how to store it!
- Cranberries like the cold and you should definitely not store them outside the fridge. The best way to store cranberries is to keep them in a brown paper bag inside the crisper shelf of your fridge.
- You can seal this brown paper bag in a plastic bag as well to keep it airtight. Fresh cranberries stored this way can last up to four weeks!
- If you want to freeze your cranberries for future use, then simply seal your cranberries in an airtight container or ziplock bag and keep it in the freezer. Frozen cranberries can last up to a year, so make sure you freeze them in a bulk among and during the season when they are available fresh!
Ways to use Cranberries
When it comes to using cranberries there is little to no fuss about it. But there are just so many ways in which you can use cranberries that you might end up a little confused! So let us start with the basics first!
- Cranberry Sauce - The most basic way to use cranberries is to simply make a sauce out of it. Doing this is so easy that even a home cook with beginner cooking skills can do it. All you need is fresh cranberries (dried and frozen ones will also work), water, sugar and salt. Just bring your water and sugar to a boil and then add your cranberries. Let it simmer on low heat for a while until the cranberries sufficiently dissolve half way. Then you can either serve it in this rustic and chunky format or sieve this mixture for a more refined sauce. Either way, it will be way better than the canned one!
- Cranberry Pie - Has anyone ever told you that you can make a great pie out of cranberries? It will probably be the healthiest pie you can ever eat if you pull back on the sugar! You can also jazz up your apple pie by giving it a dash of cranberries! Not only will this addition make your pie more delicious but more healthy as well!
- Roasted Turkey with Cranberry - Okay we have talked about cranberry desserts, but what about savory dishes? Because cranberries can also be a great addition to any savory dish! You should definitely try roast turkey with cranberry relish this fall season just to confirm it!
More Cranberry Recipes
- Chewy Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brown Sugar Glazed Orange Cranberry Muffins
- VEGAN GRANOLA CUPS
Cranberries are one of the most beloved berries in the whole berry family. Not only do cranberries beat every fruit out there in health factor, but they also beat them in how much you can use it in cooking! So what are you waiting for after reading this guide to cranberries? Go buy them for the coming fall season now!