Cranberry Goodness

Cranberry Pasta

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Sometime over a year ago I came across a recipe using ricotta cheese, fresh cranberries, and pasta.  I thought I had bookmarked the recipe but no such luck.  And to top it off I can’t find the recipe anywhere.  Of course I realize this after I purchase the cranberries and cheese so I just went for it.  The end result was actually really good.  Too many cranberries for Josh, but I was loving it.  In fact I was eating them raw before I cooked.

Cranberries are one on the three native fruits to the United States.  (The other two are concord grapes and blueberries).  Cranberries are also known as craneberry, bounceberry, bearberry, cowberry, or lingonberry.  American Indians introduced this berry to the earliest settlers, as they used the cranberry as both a food and medicine.

My Fresh Cranberries

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Check out some of the benefits of cranberries:

  • Cranberries have the ability to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Their juice contains an antibacterial agent and certain other compounds, which together reduce the ability of E. coli bacteria to stick to the walls of urinary tract.
  • Cranberries contain quinic acid, which prevents the combination of calcium and phosphate ions to form insoluble stones. Hence, they are also beneficial against the formation of kidney stones.
  • Studies show that the antioxidant content of cranberries is five times that of broccoli. In addition, a comparison with 19 other common fruits proved that the berry has the maximum amount of antioxidant. This is very important in the treatment of cancer and also helps lower the cholesterol level, to some extent.
  • Cranberry lowers harmful cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. Researchers attribute this property of cranberries to the presence of high level of polyphenols, a type of potent antioxidant, in the fruit.
  • The antioxidants present in cranberry improve the function of the blood vessels, which reduces the risk of heart diseases and heart attack.
  • A handful of dried cranberries everyday can protect you from breast cancer. Laboratory studies have shown that cranberry stops the growth of human breast cancer cells. It does so by causing the cancer cells to commit suicide and also by stopping their ability to multiply.
  • Cranberry juice increases the effect of medicines used to treat ulcer and many digestive complaints. Drinking the juice remarkably speeds the eradication of the bacteria responsible for ulcers and digestive complaints in women receiving triple therapy with the antibiotics omeprazole, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin (OAC).
  • Cranberry is found to have protective effects against bladder infection. Its juice has the potential to stop and even reverse the formation of plaque.
  • Studies suggest that undiluted cranberry juice can become an alternative to antibiotics. The compounds in cranberry juice have the ability to change the harmful bacteria strains, which have become resistant to conventional treatment. This way, cranberry juice makes these harmful bacteria incapable of causing infection.
  • Cranberries are a rich source of dietary fiber. The roughage present in them helps relieve constipation, among its other benefits.
  • Cranberries aid in recovery from stroke.

Aren’t they incredible little fruits?

Anyway here’s my recipe…

Cranberries

Fresh Cranberries and Pasta

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Ricotta Cheese, as much as you’d like
  • Red Onion
  • Green Onion
  • Shallot
  • Lemon Zest, of 1 whole lemon
  • S&P
  • Olive Oil
  • Quinoa Pasta

Onion Trio

1. Chop onions.  I had a little left over red onion, a few green onions, and one small shallot.. so I used them all.

2. Heat water for pasta and cook.

Cranberries and Onions

3. Heat a skillet with some olive oil and add the onions.  Once they have wilted add the cranberries.  Cook until cranberry skin has split and they have softened but are not mushy.

4. Drain pasta and place in a bowl.  Add cranberry/onion mixture, ricotta cheese, and lemon zest.  Mix well and season with s&p.

Dinner!

*** I had leftovers so for dinner the following night I heated some left over red sauce in a skillet and added the pasta dish to heat through.  You don’t want to overcook cranberries, which is why I opted to add the pasta to preheated sauce.  This was as good as it was without the sauce.  Maybe even a little better!

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