Happy National Cranberry Day!

With Thanksgiving just two days away, it is quite fitting that we should talk about cranberries today! Cranberries tend to be forgotten about during the rest of the year, but they have so many wonderful benefits, that you will want to start adding them to your meals all year long!

What are the benefits?

Cranberries are:
High in antioxidants – in fact, they rank one of the highest in antioxidant power!
Helping fight and surprise cancer – in fact, some studies have shown that cranberries beat out other fruits in helping to suppress liver cancer
Can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTI’s)
Decreases inflammation, which is very important since inflammation is the start and root cause of many other diseases, like heart disease cancers, diabetes, and more!

Unfortunately, you will not get the same body loving benefits from canned cranberry sauces or juices. They are so processed and high in fructose corn syrup, that the syrup acts as a pro-oxidant, which cancels out many of the benefits.

However, that is why we are revisiting a Thanksgiving staple – Cranberry Sauce – and making your own at home! Once you try this homemade recipe featured from the Thanksgiving section of your nutrition plan, you will not want to go back to store-bought cranberry sauce! Plus, you get a large batch of this sauce, which is great for leftovers and using as a spread on sandwiches or toast.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:
-1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
-1/2  cup water
-3/4 to 1 cup honey (can add more if you like it sweeter)
-1 cinnamon stick
-Optional, 1 orange zested and juiced and/or a splash of orange liquor
-Optional, sprinkle of nutmeg and cloves

Directions:
Pour water and cranberries into a pot and bring to a boil. The cranberries will start to pop – that is good! If needed, add up to a 1⁄2 cup more of water and continue to let the berries simmer until they are all popping and breaking down (about 5-10 minutes). Use a potato masher to help crush the cranberries a little more, depending on your desired consistency. Mix in the cinnamon stick and honey and orange zest and juice, and continue to simmer for up to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in orange liquor and spices, if using.

Pour into jars or ramekins (you will need 3-4 of them) and let chill for about 15-30 minutes. Then wrap and refrigerate to let the sauce firm up even more.

Option: If you do not want any chunks in your sauce, you can push all of the cranberries through a sieve before storing in the refrigerator.

Bonus Recipe

Enjoy cranberries all year long with this fast and simple Berry Maca Smoothie!

Ingredients:
-1/2 frozen sliced banana
-1/3 cup frozen blueberries
-2 tbsp. frozen cranberries
-1 1/2 tsp. maca powder (can omit or replace with cacao powder)
-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
-Optional splash of vanilla and/or honey or maple syrup
-Water or almond milk (can use any plant milk) to blend

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy!

Happy eating and #NationalCranberryDay!


Want more healthy holiday recipes? Check out the Full-Length Nutrition & Fitness Plan HERE, or, you can get the Holiday Cookie & Treat Guide below:

P.S. – It is also National Gingerbread Cookie Day! If you have a little extra time, whip up the gingerbread cookies from your Holiday Cookie & Treat Guide!


References:
https://nutritionfacts.org/video/cranberries-versus-cancer/
https://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-fruit-fights-cancer-better/

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