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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Berry of Thanksgiving

I love cranberries.  And, cranberries love me.  As Thanksgiving approaches, many traditional meals will include some sort of cranberry compote or cranberry sauce.  In my opinion, the cranberry should get a bigger share of glory during the year.  Cranberries occasionally come up in recipes, but not mass consumption until Thanksgiving.  I am generalizing here, but I think it holds some validity.  Why do I think cranberries deserve more glowing reviews and increased consumption?

1) Cranberries have antioxidants.  Cranberries, like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc. are loaded with antioxidants that boost immunity, energy and a host of other bodily functions that are probably not understood.

2) Cranberries are sour, but with added sugar, they burst with sweet flavor.  I am not a proponent of consuming lots of refined sugar, but when you combine cranberries with sugar, it can bring your oatmeal, salad, chicken salad to a whole new level.  If it stays in a dish or salad for long enough, dried cranberries (Craisins) will absorb the moisture and become more plump, adding a nice texture to food.

3) Cranberry juice, although loaded with sugar, but in small amounts can be a good alternative, non-alcoholic drink when combined with club soda.  It's better than a coke.  And, it holds some trace of antioxidants in the juice.  Who would have thought that the bar could even offer you some antioxidants?

I hope you enjoy the cranberry at Thanksgiving, and also consider giving it a longer life outside of Thanksgiving dinner if you don't already.  The best way to buy it, if you have one available, is from Costco: Ocean Spray Craisins.  And, Craisins run some great commercials.

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