Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Cranberry Magic

Cranberries have almost magical healing properties. These pretty little berries were used by Native Americans to make poultices for healing wounds. Eating cranberries can help prevent infections, increase blood circulation, act as a diuretic, prevent skin irritation, and prevent dental decay. They are high in vitamin C and antioxidants and they are low in calories. An 8 ounce glass of Ocean Spray Cocktail has 130 calories and contains 100% of the daily recommendation of Vitamin C. There are many different varieties of cranberry juice including a pomegranate/cranberry mixture which is delicious!

There are hundreds of cranberry recipes and making cranberry sauce is incredibly easy. Fresh and canned cranberries are on sale this week in many grocery stores. Here is an easy recipe for making your own cranberry sauce:

Ingredients:
4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Wash cranberries. Bring water and sugar to a boil in sauce pan. Add cranberries and simmer on low heat until berries burst – about 10 minutes. Add pecan, orange zest, or spices if you prefer. Cool at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Makes 2 ½ cups. I like to use half strawberries and half cranberries in my sauce.

You can store cranberry sauce for about a month in the refrigerator so it is one dish you can make ahead of time. Leftover cranberry sauce can be added to your morning oatmeal or yoghurt. There are many recipes for cranberry bread, muffins, cake, and main dishes that use cranberry sauce. You can also make a beauty treatment with those leftovers. Cranberry facials are very good for oily skin. Just mix together equal parts of cranberry sauce and honey. Spread over face and leave for 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water.

Raw cranberries make pretty decorations too. They can be arranged in jars with candles. Fill a glass bowl with water and add some fresh cranberries and floating candles for a festive centerpiece. They can be strung together with dental floss for a pretty garland. They can be glued to wreaths, candles, and styrofoam balls and cones. See oceanspray.com for more decorating ideas and crafts plus delicious recipes. Cranberries make very festive Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

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