Have you ever wondered what to do with all of those frozen cranberries that become so widely available during the holiday season? Don’t ignore them. Pick up a package or two, because aside from being cooked into a popular condiment for white meats and cheese cranberries have been used to manage urinary tract infections, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease ,enhance oral health and slow cancer progression.

Keep in mind that is the raw frozen cranberries that have the most nutrition with 1 cup supplying 18% of your daily need for Vitamin C, 16% of fiber and manganese, 8% of Vitamin e, 7% of copper and 6% of Vitamin K and pantothenic acid. The berry also contains an astounding number of phytonutrients that fight cancer, inflammation including several anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavanols, proanthocyanidins, tannins, and terpenoids.

Ways to Get More Cranberries into your diet.

Combine the raw juice with sparkling water to create a very adult-tasting non-alcoholic cocktail or add a bit of vodka for fun (if you are into the holiday spirit.)

Stay hydrated by drink cranberry infused water. Place raw cranberries in an infusion pitcher and let the fruit soak in two quarts of icy spring water for about an hour in the refrigerator. You can also add other fruits as well such as a handful of cherries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds or strawberries and slices of lime or lemon.

Drink a sugar-free iced tea made with cranberry juice. Raw cranberry goes well with ginger tea, mint tea, cardamom tea, green tea, white or black tea. Simply brew four cups your favorite type of tea and add it to a pitcher full of ice cubes and then 1 cup of fresh cranberry juice.

Make a raw cranberry slushy. Whirl together a cup of ice and a cup of cranberries in a blender. Add a dash of liquid stevia and a splash of your favorite organic, sugar-free juice. Juices that go well with cranberry include pomegranate, mango, grapefruit, strawberry, papaya, orange, lemon, and lime.

Add whole raw cranberries to a salad or any dish that requires a bit of tartness. You can use them mashed or juiced to replace lemon or vinegar in a salad dressing. 

Make a savory cranberry pear and blue cheese salad. Add a cup of cranberries and juice to a bowl of arugula or watercress that is also topped with a cup of raw diced pear and sprinkled with blue cheese

The tartness of cranberries pairs well with sweet fruits and nuts such as oranges, sweet apple, bananas, walnuts or pecans. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup to make it a bit sweeter.

Of course, you can also make that old stand-bye Holiday relish simply by macerating 1 package of fresh cranberries, 1 pear, 1 apple, ¼ cup of honey, orange juice or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon grated ginger and a splash of balsamic vinegar in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth or to the consistency you want and serve as a condiment at your holiday table or as a dip, spread in sandwiches or rolled up in a wrap with cream cheese.

Note that a study  has found that cranberries may interfere with some medications and in particular antibiotics such as fluconazole and amoxicillin. It might also interfere with the blood thinner Warfarin.

For more information about nutrition, Toronto weight loss or to book a consultation about anti-aging, naturopathic testing, weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.ca or call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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