Cranberry Sauce - Not Just A Pretty Plate Dressing
Posted Jan 15 2009 11:46pm
This is probably one of the only times of the year I’ll get your full attention about a Thanksgiving Day meal staple – cranberries. While cranberries have always held a special place at the Thanksgiving Day table most people underappreciate just how beneficial these little ruby red gems are – here are some of the highlights that you might want to “impress” your relatives with this coming Thursday and hopefully convince them that cranberry sauce is not just a colorful plate decoration.
While most people know that cranberries are super rich in Vitamin C, many people don’t realize that cranberries are a pretty powerful food that offers a wide range of health benefits, including:
Protects The Heart Cranberries contain flavonoids, which are believed to help reduce bad cholesterol and prevent build-up on the wall of the arteries reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke while also increasing the good cholesterol in your body.
Powerful Antioxidant Since cranberries are a good source of antioxidants it is believed they can protect against certain type of cancers, including breast cancer.
Helps To Keep Teeth Strong & Health Cranberries are believed to inhibit the growth of cavity and plague-causing bacteria in the mouth.
Maintains Urinary Tract Health There is a component in cranberries that is believed to inhibit bacteria from attaching to the wall of the urinary tract, preventing urinary tract infections. If you are prone to UTI infections it is believed that a regular diet of cranberry juice can prevent or reduce these types of infections.
Now that I’ve hopefully got you think more seriously about cranberries let me see what I can do about getting that can of cranberry sauce out of your cart this Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong, I will be the first to admit that I grew up on the kind of cranberries that come straight from a can and when they are sliced and served still have the ring indentation left from the inside of the can. While they will always hold a special place in my heart because of the fond memories each of those rings represent as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realization that you cannot beat the taste of freshly made cranberry sauce and since homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make why not serve the real thing on your Thanksgiving day table – really, making cranberry sauce from scratch does not take more than the recipe on the side of the cranberry package and takes just about as long as opening up that can. And for those of you that would like to have some fun with jazzing up your cranberry sauce there are so many recipes available that are equally quick and easy to make as well as can be made several days ahead of time. I particularly love cranberry sauce recipes that incorporate other seasonal fruits like apples and pears. Click on the link for tons of unique and simple cranberry sauce recipes.Cranberry Sauce Recipes. One of my personal favorites isCranberry Sauce with Pears and Cardamon.
Also, why stop there? Cranberries can be found in a variety of great tasting recipes from breakfast scones to quick breads and cakes. Here is a recipe for light and healthy breakfast scones I made for my family this past weekend.
Cranberry-Buttermilk Scones(Adapted from Health Magazine) Makes 6 servings
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour 2/3 cup sugar 2 t baking powder 1/4 t baking soda 1/4 t salt 2 T chilled unsalted butter cut into small cubes 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk 1 egg, lightly fork beaten 1/2 t vanilla extract 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 egg white, lightly fork beaten 1 1/2 t sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 400. Combine all dry ingredients in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or work in with two knives until mixture looks like coarse meal.
Whisk together all wet ingredients and add to dry mixture; gently fold in cranberries; stir until just moist.
With floured hands knead dough in bowl 5 or 6 times; place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and shape into a 7 inch circle; cut into six wedges.
Brush with egg white and sprinkle lightly with remaining sugar. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool briefly (about 10 minutes) and serve.