Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving anymore: starting your day with a shot of their crimson juice or tossing dried cranberries into salads and side dishes can confer copious health benefits. Antioxidant proanthocyanidins in cranberries have an antiadhesive quality that repels bacteria, preventing urinary tract infections. And mounting research suggests the Teflon-like mechanism also works in the stomach and mouth, deterring ulcer-causing bacteria and tooth-decaying plaque. Beyond that, new research suggests that a powerful blend of antioxidants in cranberriesflavonoids, polyphenols, and high levels of beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin Amight help increase heart-healthy HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
Choose It & Use It
Find fresh cranberries in produce departments September through December. The best are firm, plump, and light to deep crimson. They last up to two weeks in the fridge and a year in the freezer. For maximum benefits, drink 8 ounces of juice cocktail (27 percent cranberry) or 1/2 ounce unsweetened 100 percent juice, morning and evening; or eat 1/4 cup fresh or frozen berries or 1/3 cup sauce or dried berries.
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Puréed Cranberry Soup
The color of this soup is a gorgeous burgundy, perfect for a holiday dinner. It’s both slightly sweet and slightly tart, and it’s meant as an appetizer—so serve it in small cups, not large bowls. It’s equally good hot or cold. Add more sugar if you prefer amore
Warm Farro Pilaf with Dried Cranberries
An Italian wheat grain, farro is chewy and tender like barley but with a milder flavor. Pearled or cracked farro cooks much faster than whole regular farro, and it doesn’t require soaking before it’s made. The farro in this recipe can be made a few days ahead ormore
Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Dried Cranberriesmore
Persimmon Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Dried Cranberries
Pick up a persimmon while doing your fall produce shopping and you won’t regret it. The supersweet fruit has a peach-like texture and slightly spicy flavor. Hachiya and Fuyu are the two types of persimmons you’re most likely to find. When ripe, heart-shaped Hachiya are jelly-like, while the squatter Fuyumore
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