Phytonutrients in Cranberries
Phytonutrients found in cranberries include proanthocyanidins and resveratrol. Proanthocyanidins are a group of phytonutrients that may help prevent urinary tract infections and they have anti-inflammatory properties. Widely known as the heart-healthy compound in red wine, resveratrol is also found in cranberries and may help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce “bad” cholesterol and prevent blood clots. In addition, preliminary studies have shown cranberries may help reduce the risk for cancer as well.
Selection & Storage
With the chilly fall weather upon us, take advantage of the autumn season by making delicious foods with seasonal vegetables and fruits, like cranberries. When selecting ripe cranberries, they should be shiny, plump and range from bright light red to deep red in color. To store, keep in an airtight bag in the refrigerator for up to two months. Washed cranberries can also be stored in the freezer for up to one year in an airtight bag. To retain texture, avoid thawing frozen cranberries before cooking.
Tasty Ways to Eat Cranberries
You can combined cranberries with other fruits in a fruit salad, mixed them with roasted nuts for a healthy snack or add them to hot oatmeal, barley or cold cereal. If you like making your own homemade condiments and sides, then cranberry sauce should be a breeze to prepare. If you’re more adventurous or daring, add cranberries to chicken or salmon dishes as part of a relish or incorporate them into a smoothie like the one below.
Not a fan of the tart taste of fresh cranberries? No problem. According to the Cranberry Institute, all of the following contain the same level of antioxidants:
- 8 ounces of 25% cranberry juice cocktail
- 1 ½ cups of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 ounce of sweetened dried cranberries
- ½ cup of cranberry sauce
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 2 or 3 ice cubes
Place banana, cranberries, milk and ice cubes in a blender; blend until smooth.
Recipe Courtesy of EatingWell Magazine