Who remembers - like me - the neat slices of canned cranberry sauce served at Thanksgiving time when you were growing up? I’ve never even seen a cranberry vine, or even a cranberry bush, as some people believe them to be. And the only cranberry bogs I’ve seen are on the Ocean Spray TV commercials. Yes, I admit I am ignorant when it comes to the cranberry. Make that “was”. Because now, I believe it’s truly a super-fruit; the small berry with big health benefits — huge benefits!
If you knew cranberries were actually named after the crane (as in bird), you may as well just skip to Chef Michael’s cranberry sauce recipe. Some people thought the blooms looked like the head of a crane, so they called the fruits crane berries, which over time became cranberry. Here’s why I think it’s one of the best fruits around:*
- That mouth watering, sweet, tart, POW! taste of cranberries and cranberry sauce can help offset the sleepy, triptophan-induced feeling you get when you indulge in too much turkey at the Thanksgiving table. When you get that gush of saliva stimulated by fresh cranberry sauce, it actually helps your body digest the protein from the turkey.
- Here’s another benefit. According to Ayurvedic practitioners, cranberries promote good cholesterol and the sour taste also tells the liver to produce bile. Bile breaks fat into tiny pieces that are easier to digest or emulsify. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes need help getting my full belly to move around after an hearty, family feast like Thanksgiving.
- Cranberries are high in antioxidants and beta-carotene. Both can help detoxify the blood and boost your immune system. Anything that helps detoxify free radicals is a friend to me.
- Just look at the amount of Vitamin C and dietary fiber provided by this tiny super fruit.
* I read somewhere that if you take blood thinners, you should be cautious about consuming cranberries. Please remember, I’m not a health care professional; I’m a foodie.