Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, as well as a nutrient called anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are compounds that give the berry its red color. The compounds may also prevent heart disease by improving blood flow, and may reduce the risk of cancer through their antioxidant activity. Another compound in cranberries, proanthocyanidin, has been found to reduce urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.
Besides juice and sauce, dried cranberries are an easy way to sneak this fruit into your diet. They can be used instead of raisins in baking (such as in oatmeal cookies and quick breads), added to both hot and cold cereals, or tossed into salads. Of course, there is always the holiday standard: cranberry sauce.
- 1 medium navel orange, unpeeled, washed
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- 1 (12 oz.) package fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw if frozen)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- Cut orange into eight wedges (with peel) and combine with the dried cranberries in a food processor or blender. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the fresh or frozen cranberries and sugar. Pulse until chopped evenly. Makes 3 cups.