Cranberries are one of the most nutritious berries that tolerate low temperatures well. It is no coincidence that it can usually be found in the northern regions.

Useful properties of this red gift of nature are known in many countries. It is valued for the ability to maintain its energy composition even during long-term storage. Vitamins and minerals are not lost even if raw materials are processed into fruit drinks or jam is made from it. It is enough to follow the rules of minimal heat treatment, making a delicious mass with sugar, which can be stored in the refrigerator for months.

According to Indian legend, the cranberry first appeared as a designation of the lands where brave warriors fell. The Delaware (as this people was called) believed that it was there that the warriors died in a fight with the mythical giants.

Information summary

From a biological point of view, this plant is classified as an evergreen plant. The shrub has low, but thin shoots, the length of which rarely exceeds 30 centimeters.

Ripe fruits are bright red in color and spherical in shape. There are no strict parameters when determining the size of berries, but with the development of selection, scientists managed to develop varieties with two-centimeter indicators.

The flowering time of the plant falls at the beginning of summer, and picking berries for the winter begins from early autumn until November. If we are talking about farms, then ripening is fixed a couple of weeks earlier than in the wild. Fresh, under favorable conditions, the berry will easily survive until spring.

Recipes for its preparation can be collected in a separate book, since it is absolutely not necessary to eat the berry itself, especially since without sugar, many children will not even want to try it. But various jams with the addition of sweeteners will appeal to everyone.

Home canning is not limited to stocking berry-based sweets. If desired, you can dry a few kilograms or try urinating for a change. The sauerkraut pairs well with cabbage, acting as an almost bottomless well of vitamin C, which resists winter flu outbreaks.

Cranberry juice is also good. It is used for cooking jelly, kissels, kvass, cocktails or fruit drinks. And if you want to create an original marinade for poultry or barbecue at home, you can hardly do without a red assistant.

The options for preparing various alcoholic beverages based on it deserve special attention. And not always such a tincture carries an exclusively culinary background. Traditional medicine offers many remedies for alcohol with cranberries as an aid to the body in various diseases.

A swampy area in the forest zone is considered a common place for growing cranberries. Especially a lot of it will give birth in the tundra, within the sedge-sphagnum and moss swamps. Only on the territory of Karelia alone there are about two dozen berry varieties.

But how many more varieties are there that are found in different regions of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, northern America and Canada.

Useful elements

The energy value of fresh cranberries is only 26 kcal per hundred grams of product. If it is pre-dried, then you can forget about the minimum calorie content, since the indicator will exceed 300 kcal.

Because of this, nutritionists advise all weight watchers to consume the berry fresh. This way it will turn out not only to take care of the waist, but also to keep a complete set of vitamins, minerals, pectins. This is especially true for the preservation of all important for the body organic acids :

The pulp, rubbed through a sieve, will become a storehouse of vitamin C, equating the product in terms of the amount of this element with citrus fruits and garden strawberries. In addition to ascorbic acid and phylloquinone, which denotes vitamin K1, cranberries will please with the presence of B vitamins from B1 to B6, as well as RR.

If the recipe calls for simmering, chefs advise using the five-minute rule. The algorithm is suitable for housewives who intend to make jam and are not ready to sacrifice the nutritional value of raw materials. A feature of the technique is the heat treatment of the mass ready for seaming for only five minutes. This is enough to stop the fermentation processes. The minimum period of exposure to high temperatures will also save:

  • phenolic acids;
  • leucoanthocyanins;
  • catechins;
  • betaines.

It is even better if the stage of aging the berry mass in sugar is excluded during canning. Instead, it will be more useful to make a preparation with honey, although this is somewhat more expensive, but much more useful.

Frozen, in accordance with all the nuances of the technological process, cranberries can be replenished in abundance with potassium, phosphorus and calcium. In addition to these three important trace elements, the berry is rich in other beneficial elements:

Together, this allows you to saturate the body at the cellular level with nutrients, as well as improve appetite and digestion. The latter occurs due to increased production of gastric juice and pancreatic secretion.

It is not for nothing that doctors insist on adding berries to the diet of those who suffer from inflammatory processes in the pancreas, and also have low acidity.

Natural healer

Despite the huge list of different biological.

Thus, the components of proanthocyanidin guarantee the blocking of the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria in the genitourinary system. This will protect the organs from possible infections.

Numerous experimental results have shown that the inherent antioxidants in cranberries have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Against the background of the results obtained, doctors began to recommend it for daily consumption to people with oncology.

And the juice of the berry acts as a shield against the risks of developing neoplasms. This is explained by the fact that when bound to enzymes of the patient's body, it prevents not only the spread of dangerous cells, but also counteracts the emergence of new ones.

The medicinal properties do not end there, because it has been proven that substances from the berry are designed to protect DNA. They inhibit the growth of cancer cells, the localization of which is the large intestine and prostate.

It is not necessary to consume this sour gift of the swamps in its pure form. It can be used in pies or other baked goods. This application will appeal to children who can be pampered with sweet cranberry desserts.

But moonshine made with cranberries is not a good idea. The reason lies in the fact that when distilling alcohol, moonshiners cannot provide one hundred percent high-quality purification of the liquid. The abundance of fusel oils provokes severe headaches in the morning, and also negatively affects the functioning of the liver and other internal organs.

It is better to cook a safer compote, which, if consumed regularly, can increase the level of good cholesterol, acting as a preventive measure for the development of atherosclerosis. Additionally, this drink will become a protector against strokes.

Despite the significant benefits of the berry for venous vessels and heart muscle, doctors advise patients registered with a gastroenterologist to first consult with their doctor before consuming cranberries. In some cases, when asked if this berry can be eaten, the answer will be no. The main contraindications affected:

  • stomach ulcers;
  • gastritis with high acidity;
  • duodenal ulcers;
  • liver disease;
  • weakened tooth enamel.

The last point is based on the destructive effect of certain acids on the outer coating of the teeth, which leads to caries.

Traditional medicine and modern pharmaceuticals

American scientists have proven that the components of the berry actively fight E. coli. For the experiment, minced meat contaminated with salmonella was used, into which cranberry juice was poured. After a couple of days, a laboratory test revealed that the number of pathogens had decreased significantly.

The concentrate was adopted by drug developers against various pathogenic organisms. It is not for nothing that since ancient times, doctors have been giving feverish patients such fruit drinks and syrups. They quench thirst well and help reduce fever.

And folk tinctures from cranberries and vodka are used for:

  • rheumatism;
  • angina;
  • respiratory diseases.

It is not always necessary to take the remedy by mouth. There are recipes that allow you to prepare healing fluids to speed up the healing of burns and clean deep wounds.

If someone in the family nevertheless caught the flu virus or got sick with a sore throat, then he should try a simple folk remedy. It will take a little time to prepare it, and the effectiveness is confirmed by positive reviews.

Add a teaspoon to a glass of fresh cranberry juice and take 15-20 minutes before meals. You need to drink half a glass for each dose. After a couple of days, a significant improvement in the condition can be noted. Only here it is worth resorting to such a measure after a preliminary consultation with a doctor.

Also, without the doctor's permission, you should not use cranberry juice along with beetroot to combat colitis and obesity. It must be diluted in a ratio of one to one and taken a quarter cup three times a day.

Harvesting rules

Regardless of where exactly the harvested berries will be added, you first need to learn how to properly harvest them for the winter. The easiest way is to freeze the collected wealth in its entirety in the freezer.

To save space in the refrigerator, you can dry it, and then cook uzvar on the resulting semi-finished product. Sauerkraut with sour berries will be delicious.

But more often than not, housewives prefer to cork the jam, and it is not necessary to process only one ingredient. The best "friend" in terms of taste combination with the inhabitant of the swamps are apples. You can evaluate the treat in practice when cooking a portion for a sample.

To do this, you will need a kilogram of the main ingredients, a glass of chopped walnuts and prepared syrup in the right amount. To prepare the latter, a glass of water and two and a half glasses of sugar are taken. The syrup is brought to a boil, and then moved to a low heat, where it is cooked for another half an hour already, together with the poured mass of jam.

Having tasted such a delicacy once, cooks rarely limit themselves to the original recipe. They start experimenting with various additives like almonds or honey. The latter is the ideal solution for syrup. It must be diluted with water, based on the original consistency and the desire to maintain a certain percentage of sweetness. This approach is considered healthier than using sugar.

You can also add some grated citrus peel along with the nuts. And here it is better to give preference not to lemons, but to oranges. Their peel is more fragrant, and in terms of nutritional value it is not inferior to the yellow "colleague".

If you do not want to bother with conservation, then you can keep the crop completely fresh. So he will delight with juiciness for another couple of months. To preserve the berries, you will have to find a dark and cool place with good access to fresh air.

Berries that are not yet fully ripe can be harvested and left to ripen without losing their beneficial properties.

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