Natural Medicine: Healing Benefits of Cranberries-Seasonal and Vegan Recipe Included

Cranberries, the cousin of blueberries, have long been valued for their ability to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Recent studies show that this berry may also promote gastrointestinal and oral health, prevent the formation of kidney stones, lower LDL and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, aid in recovery from stroke, and even help prevent cancer. Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C, a very good source of dietary fiber, and a great source of manganese and vitamin K. Cranberries are also a source of polyphenol antioxidants, which are being researched for their possible benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system. Fresh cranberries are at their peak during the holiday season between October and December. When in season choose fresh, plump cranberries, deep red in color, and quite firm to the touch. Firmness is a primary indicator of quality. The deeper red their color, the more highly concentrated are cranberries’ beneficial compounds. When the season is over or if you can’t find fresh cranberries but still want all the nutritional benefits, simply look for dried or frozen cranberries at your local grocery store. The recipe included is perfect as a holiday side dish or throw over brown rice to make a complete vegan meal. Trust me, these are not your mother’s Brussels sprouts.

These Ain’t Your Momma’s Brussel Sprouts

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Yields: 4 servings


2 cups Brussel Sprouts-cut in half
1 large Vidalia Onion-sliced
½ cup dried Cranberries
½ cup Pine Nuts
2 tablespoons on Olive Oil


1) Toast pine nuts in a dry pan over low heat for about 3 minutes until fragrant and lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
2) Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally. Then add salt and pepper and reduce to low heat for an additional 15 minutes to caramelize.
3) Add brussel sprouts and an additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cover and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until tender.
4) Add cranberries and continue to sauté for an additional 2 minutes until heated through.
5) Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

Photo Credit: vieux bandit at flickr for creative commons

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