Holiday season with a cranberry craze
Issue date: 11/20/09 Section: Focus
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup dried golden raisins
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Put all the ingredients except the vinegar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir
While stirring, bring the ingredients to a boil over medium heat.
Lower the heat and simmer gently until relish thickens, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar. Spoon into a heatproof container, cover with plastic, and cool to room temperature
Yield: 10 servings
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Nutrient Analysis: 90 calories, 0 grams fat, 23 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams protein, 0 grams cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.
The cranberry jelly mold has been a staple in the traditional Thanksgiving dinner forever. Your grandmother's grandmother probably used the same can of deliciously processed cranberries that you are contemplating incorporating into this year's menu. However, this holiday classic is packed with overlooked hazards (100 grams of sugar in 1 cup: ouch). Why not ditch the can for an incredibly easy and seriously fresh alternative?
According to Ocean Spray, the self-proclaimed cranberry gurus, cranberries are one of only three fruits native to North America. These tart little fruits quickly rose to celebrity status among Native American groups who used them for food, dye and medicine. Obviously, this was long before studies were conducted on the health benefits of cranberries.
By the 1800s, the berries were harvested throughout the United States through a crafty process called wet-picking. Cranberry bogs are flooded with water, causing the berries to float to the surface, eliminating the tedious task of picking individual berries directly from the bush. This method is still practiced today, greatly reducing labor and costs of fresh cranberries.
Many assume that cooking with fresh ingredients is more costly, and thus impractical for a college student. But a 12-ounce pack of fresh cranberries for $2.41 is reasonable for any budget. For this low cost, you are receiving more than a proportional amount of vitamin C, fiber and vitamin K. In addition, cranberries provide flavonoids and phenolic acids, both recognized as polyphenols with antioxidant properties. Nutrition jargon aside, cranberries as part of an overall healthy diet may prevent urinary tract infections, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Guess great-great-grandma was on to something after all.