Cranberry is the color of winter holidays. The deep red, set against snow white popcorn garlands, and a holiday dining table.
Cranberry popcorn garlands capture the deep red cranberry color against snow white popcorn. Simply thread air popped corn and fresh cranberries on a string then arrange them over the Christmas tree. After the holidays lay them out on a tree for the birds to pick at.
Cranberry sauce completes a holiday turkey dinner with the deep red jelly mold. To make sauce - combine 3 cups cranberries, 1 cup sugar (or ½ cup honey), 1 teaspoon of pectin and 1 cup water then boil for a half hour. Pour into a pretty mold and refrigerate overnight. For a jelly like consistency push the sauce through a sieve before placing it into the mold.
Cranberry relish adds another pop of fresh raw red to the table. Combine 3 cups of cranberries, 1 whole orange sliced with skin intact and seeds removed, and 1/3 cup honey. Blend all ingredients in a food processor to chunky consistency and store overnight to blend flavors.
Cranberries grow in cold, northern environment in acidic soil. In the United States, most cranberries are grown in Wisconsin and Massachusetts where vines over 100 years old are still in production. The cranberry floodplains you see in pictures is the wet harvesting method. In October, they flood the cranberry fields and create a current, so the berries break off and float to the top and are easily picked out of the water for harvesting.
Cranberry nutrition includes vitamin C for the immune system, quercetin which is great for allergies and manganese which is good for the joints. Cranberries are always combined with something sweet like sugar, honey, or apple juice because they are just too tart to be eaten alone.
Cranberry is used for bladder and urinary infections. Cranberry and the active ingredient, D-mannose, work by drawing good bacteria to the urinary and bladder walls which prevents bad bacteria from adhering to those walls. For a mild bladder or urinary tract infection simply drink sips of cranberry/apple juice and take bites of plain yogurt several times a day. For a more persistent infection use cranberry or D-mannose capsules along with probiotic capsules to get a higher dose and avoid the need for apple juice sweetener.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and Cranberry filled Holiday Season. Sincerely, Anna