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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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It’s an age old debate – fresh cranberry sauce or the jiggly canned jelly kind? Growing up, I was never a fan of either one, and neither was anyone in my family. But a few years back, I was asked to do a TV interview about the healthiest Thanksgiving sides, and since cranberries are incredibly good for you and a tradition on most Thanksgiving tables, I started experimenting with recipes. Well, I fell in love! I now make this cranberry sauce every year, but not just for Thanksgiving. It makes a great topping for just about anything including oatmeal, winter fruit salad, brown rice, a baked sweet potato, or even a sandwich or wrap (note: it tastes better and better with each day that goes by).

You’ve probably heard that cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections and it’s true. But other studies suggest that this gorgeous berry is also linked to improved gastrointestinal and oral health (by helping the healthy bacteria that live in our digestive system and getting rid of not so good bacteria in our mouth), a lower risk of age-related vision loss, the prevention of kidney stones, a lower LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), higher HDL (the “good” cholesterol), and a lower risk of certain cancers including prostate and breast cancer.

Ok, here it is – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Cynthia’s Fresh Cranberry Sauce
1.5 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup 100% orange juice
2 Tbsp maple syrup
One fourth tsp cloves
Half tsp cinnamon
One fourth tsp ginger
1 tsp grated orange rind
Combine berries, juice and maple syrup in saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes until berries pop. Remove from heat and stir in spices and rind. Cool to room temperature and then chill in a covered container. Drain off excess liquid if you prefer a thicker sauce.

Oh and here are today’s fun facts:
-Cranberries are sometimes called "bounceberries" because ripe ones bounce.
-The Cranberries are a popular Irish alternative rock band.
-Only 5% of all cranberries grown are sold as fresh (the rest are sold as juice, sauce/jelly, or dried).

P.S. It is recommended that people taking the drug warfarin avoid cranberry juice because it can interact with the medication.

photo courtesy of yunphoto.net
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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