December

December

October 16, 2010

Crimson Cranberries!

It's that season where we delight in the rich colors of fall....The Maine House has stocked our recession pantry with Libby Farm apples, squash, pumpkins and oh yes...those delightful crimson cranberries. Just thought it would be beneficial to pass a few health benefit facts along that have been associated with this tiny jewel!

Cranberries have been making a lot of health news recently – it seems they are good for almost everything! This is great for low carbers, because they pack a lot of nutrition, fiber, and flavor into a package without many carbohydrates. Cranberries have the ability to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Their juice contains an antibacterial agent and certain other compounds, which together reduce the ability of E. coli bacteria to stick to the walls of urinary tract.



Cranberries contain quinic acid, which prevents the combination of calcium and phosphate ions to form insoluble stones. Hence, they are also beneficial against the formation of kidney stones.
Studies show that the antioxidant content of cranberries is five times that of broccoli. In addition, a comparison with 19 other common fruits proved that the berry has the maximum amount of antioxidant. This is very important in the treatment of cancer and also helps lower the cholesterol level, to some extent.


Cranberry lowers harmful cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. Researchers attribute this property of cranberries to the presence of high level of polyphenols, a type of potent antioxidant, in the fruit.
The antioxidants present in cranberry improve the function of the blood vessels, which reduces the risk of heart diseases and heart attack.
A handful of dried cranberries everyday can protect you from breast cancer. Laboratory studies have shown that cranberry stops the growth of human breast cancer cells. It does so by causing the cancer cells to commit suicide and also by stopping their ability to multiply.


Cranberry juice increases the effect of medicines used to treat ulcer and many digestive complaints. Drinking the juice remarkably speeds the eradication of the bacteria responsible for ulcers and digestive complaints in women receiving triple therapy with the antibiotics omeprazole, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin (OAC).
Cranberry is found to have protective effects against bladder infection. Its juice has the potential to stop and even reverse the formation of plaque.
Studies suggest that undiluted cranberry juice can become an alternative to antibiotics. The compounds in cranberry juice have the ability to change the harmful bacteria strains, which have become resistant to conventional treatment. This way, cranberry juice makes these harmful bacteria incapable of causing infection.
Cranberries are a rich source of dietary fiber. The roughage present in them helps relieve constipation, among its other benefits. Cranberries have been said to aid in recovery from stroke.




OATMEAL CRANBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce package dried cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

RUSTIC APPLE CRANBERRY TART
2 15-ounce package refrigerated pie crusts
1 21-ounce can apple pie filling
1 cup Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar


Preheat oven to 400°F. Unwrap pie crust; press seams together firmly. Place in a 9-inch pie plate.
Combine all ingredients, except sugar, in medium mixing bowl; mix well. Spoon fruit mixture into pastry-lined plate. Fold edges of pastry over fruit, pleating so crust lies flat. Sprinkle sugar over crust.
Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and crust is golden brown.







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