Well, you just never know what you’re going to find by accident when you are looking for interesting articles to write about. I was looking for Christmas stuff for our December Issue and also looking for wonderful Christmas Recipes because we get the greatest number of comments about our jokes (good and bad) and our recipes! I did cover Cranberries in my book (Fruits & Vegetables) – which would make a VERY WONDERFUL Christmas present by the way. But I just could not help writing another article on this incredible little berry. So, here are some interesting facts and some super delectable recipes just in time for Christmas!
Cranberries are a native North American fruit. Aboriginals, who had been consuming cranberries for hundreds, or perhaps thousands of years, introduced cranberries to the early settlers. I wonder if they knew that cranberries have five times the antioxidant content of broccoli, which means they may protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease. Cranberry’s special combination of phenolic antioxidants, proanthocyanidin antioxidants, anthocyanin antioxidants, flavonoid antioxidants, and triterpenoid antioxidants is without a doubt unique. Also unique is the particular combination of three antioxidant nutrients—resveratrol, piceatannol, and pterostilbene. Dietary consumption of cranberry has also been shown to reduce the risk of chronic, unwanted inflammation in the stomach, large intestine (colon) and cardiovascular system (especially blood vessel linings). This “superberry” should most definitely have a place on your Christmas table this year.
AND, NOW THE GOOD PART – CHRISTMAS CRANBERRY RECIPES
Cranberry Orange Relish
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 oranges, pitted, peel removed from one orange
6 heaping Tbsp. toasted, chopped pecans
6 Tbsp. dried cranberries
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg.
Wash the fresh cranberries, and grind them in a meat grinder using a fine blade or process in a food processor until the cranberries are finely chopped. Cut the oranges into eighths, and grind or process until finely chopped. Combine fresh cranberries, oranges, pecans, dried cranberries, maple syrup, Grand Marnier, sugar and nutmeg; stir well, and refrigerate at least an hour or up to 3 or 4 days.
6 ounces Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 ounce orange juice
Orange wedge, garnish
Pour cranberry juice cocktail and orange juice into a glass with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with orange wedge and maybe a little Grand Marnier (it is Christmas after-all)
Cranberry Crock Pot Roast
From Evelyn M. – South Mountain
Pork roast (3 to 4 pounds)
1 cup cranberries, finely chopped
1 tsp grated orange peel
1/8-tsp ground cloves
1/8-tsp ground nutmeg
Sprinkle salt and pepper onto all sides of meat and place meat in crock-pot. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spread this mixture over meat. Cover and cook 8 to 10 hours on low.
2 1/2-cup fresh cranberries – (frozen berries can be used, but thaw first)
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4-cup butter or margarine
2/3-cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. almond extract
Beat eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light in color then add softened butter or margarine and extract. Next, add flour and baking powder, but do not over mix. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Place mixture in a greased 9 x 13 and smooth top. Bake for 45 minutes at 350. Remove from pan and cool.
HO-HO-HO MERRY CHRISTMAS
References: whfoods.com, nytimes.com, nationalgeographic.com, oceanspray.com and uc-cranberries.com