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Among the few local North American fruits that are grown commercially, cranberries are considered to be a real star of the autumn season. Collect it from late September to October, and fresh berries harvested in this period, you can eat until Christmas. Dacha owners often prepare several bags of cranberries, then place in plastic containers, freeze and eat all winter.
Only 15% of the harvest of cranberries is sold as fresh berries. The rest is transformed into juices, sauces and other similar products.
Traditions of using cranberries
Native Americans used cranberries for food, and also made dyes and medicines from it, and then partially opened recipes to Europeans. Some tribes chopped dried berries along with strips of dried or dried jerky and mixed with animal fat. So they received nutritious, easily assimilated, high-energy foods called "pemmikan".The product was used by both Native Americans and Europeans in long walks in the winter forests. Due to its nutritional value and low weight, Pemmican is in demand among tourists to this day.
Why cranberries are considered a superfood
Probably, you read that cranberries are positioned as the most useful berry. Although fresh fruits are a good source of fiber and a modest source of vitamin C and minerals, the status of the superfood cranberry was obtained due to the abundance of phyto-compounds in its composition. These are the chemicals that the plant produces for its own protection: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant compounds.
Many women use powdered additives with cranberry to prevent recurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Studies have shown that one of the unique phyto-compounds of the berry called "proanthocyanidin" prevents bacteria to the walls of the urinary tract, thereby preventing infection and reinfection in people in risk group.
The same hypothesis states that cranberry products will help to avoid ulcers, preventing the appearance of bacteria causing the disease on the walls of the stomach. However, researchers warn that although cranberries improve immunity and prevent infections, it can not cure the disease. Therefore, if you suspect that you have a UTI, or if you have stomach pain, consult your doctor.
Today, the potential of cranberries began to be investigated for use in the prevention and treatment of heart diseases, various forms of cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and viral diseases. It should be borne in mind that it is necessary to consult a specialist before you start using berries for medicinal purposes. This is due to the fact that the cranberry can react with the medications that you take.
Given that the cranberries are very acidic, most juices and finished products with berries require a large number of sweeteners. Home recipes are no exception. Try to put out fresh cranberries with pears, apples, sliced dates or dried apricots. If the taste is still too sour, add a little sweetener.
Beets and cranberries, root and fruit of the autumn season, are well combined in soups, sauces, seasonings and chutney (Indian seasoning). The recipe for one of these dishes:
- 2 cups of fresh cranberries;
- 2 large beets, cooked, peeled and sliced;
- ⅔ cups of thawed frozen concentrate of apple juice, salted to taste.
Bring the cranberries and apple juice to a boil. Cook over low heat until the berries are broken. Then add finely chopped beets and salt.
Alternatively, start cooking 2 sliced apples or pears on low heat in a container with apple cider until the fruit is soft. Add the cranberry and continue until the berries burst. Then mix with beets and salt. If the dish turns out not sweet enough, add 1-2 spoons of your favorite sweetener.
Now you know how valuable and useful cranberries can be. With proper care this wild-growing culture can be grown at your dacha. If you manage to create all the conditions for the normal growth of this berry, you will be able to provide for a long time a source of a unique product that positively influences the human body.