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Why We Give Thanks For The Health Benefits Of Cranberries

Many of us sitting down for Thanksgiving feasts today have made cranberries a part of our holiday table. And from a health perspective, those bitter, bright red berries should be on your list of things to be thankful for.

As my colleague Allison Aubrey has previously reported, the Pilgrims believed that cranberries could cure scurvy. They were wrong on their reasoning but right on the cure: The berries are packed with vitamin C.

Indeed, cranberries and other berries are full of health-promoting antioxidants. Blueberries, for example, have been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. And a meta-analysis published last year found that drinking cranberry juice or eating other cranberry products really can help women fight urinary tract infections.

Want to know more? Watch this Tiny Desk Kitchen video from our archives exploring the benefits of berries. And if that leaves you wanting to make cranberries a regular part of your diet rather than just at turkey time, check out the recipe below for cranberry antioxidant punch, courtesy of Washington, D.C., bartender Gina Chersevani.

Happy Holidays!


Cranberry Antioxidant Punch


Makes approximately six drinks

2 cups fresh cranberries

6 to 8 pears, medium size

1 cup quince simple syrup — make ahead, recipe below

Feed cranberries and whole pears into a juice machine. Double strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer to remove the cranberry seeds. In a pitcher, mix the pear and cranberry juice with the quince simple syrup. To serve, pour over ice and garnish with fresh cranberries.

To make alcoholic, add 1 1/2 ounce of vodka per cocktail.

Quince Simple Syrup

1 cup honey

2 cups water

3 medium-sized quinces, sliced with seeds removed

In a small pot, combine honey, water and quince. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow quince to simmer for about 10 minutes or until fruit is soft. Remove from heat, strain the quince out, discard. Let syrup cool to room temperature before using.

Recipe courtesy of Washington, D.C., bartender Gina Chersevani

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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