Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Delicious Potato Salad Recipe and the Latest Cranberry Info and Research From the Cranberry Institute

Check out these interesting fasts and studies, along with a very creative potato salad recipe, from the Cranberry Institute!!

Tasty Tidbits about the Tiny, Tart Cranberry

·         Cranberry products are naturally low in sugar and high in acidity (very similar to a lemon!) so they require sweetening to be palatable—but when it comes to dried cranberries, the total amount of sugar is equal to that of other dried fruits, like raisins and dried cherries.
·         Drinking 8–16 oz. of 27% original, low- or no-calorie cranberry juice cocktail each day is recommended to maintain urinary tract health and prevent urinary tract infections.
·         One-quarter cup of dried cranberries is equal to  cup of fruit, according to MyPlate.

Science Bites: News from Cranberry Scientists

Does Cranberry Protect the Urinary Tract Post-Surgery?
As you know, placing a urinary catheter is quite common when having surgery – including gynecological surgeries.  Unfortunately, the risk for a urinary tract infection (UTI) after the catheter is removed can be quite high – 10-64% of patients contract one.  To determine if there is a simple way to relieve women from the aches and pains of a post-surgical UTI, researchers from the University of Michigan provided 160 patients with two cranberry juice capsules, two times a day, for six weeks post-surgery.  The cranberry capsules contained whole cranberry extract from cranberry juice, skins, flesh, and seeds, and were standardized to contain 36 mg of proanthocyanidins (PACs) per two capsules. The capsule dose is similar to drinking two, 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice. Compared to a placebo-control group, the women that consumed the capsules had a significantly lower occurrence of UTIs – even when confounding variables were considered, e.g., frequency of intermittent self-catheterization.

Foxman, B., Cronenwett, AEW, Spino, C., Berger, MB., Morgan, DM.  Cranberry juice capsules and urinary tract infection after surgery: results of a randomized trial.  Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Apr 13; pii: S0002-9378(15)00355-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.04.003. [Epub ahead of print]

Two Cups a Day for your Heart
For people struggling with cardiometabolic risk factors – like high blood pressure, high triglycerides or insulin resistance, and above normal levels of C-reactive protein and fasting blood glucose – dietary approaches are king.  Among the recommendations RDs make for such individuals, new research shows that low calorie cranberry juice (just two cups a day) may also help attenuate these factors.  Research published in the Journal of Nutrition looked at the impact of two 240 mL servings on blood pressure, C-reactive protein, triglycerides and glucose in an eight-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm study.  Twice a day, 30 women and 26 men on a controlled diet were given 240 mL of low calorie cranberry juice or the placebo beverage, containing 173 or 62 mg of phenolic compounds and 6.5 or 7.5 g of total sugar per a 240-mL serving, respectively.  The results showed that these two cups a day of low calorie cranberry juice significantly improved triglycerides, C-reactive protein, glucose, insulin resistance and diastolic blood pressure.

Novotny, JA., Baer, DJ., Khoo, C., Gebauer, SK., Charron, CS.  Cranberry Juice Consumption Lowers Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk, Including Blood Pressure and Circulating C-Reactive Protein, Triglyceride, and Glucose Concentrations in Adults. J. Nutr. April 22, 2015 jn203190.  [Epub ahead of print]


USDA-Reviewed Cranberry Health Research Review
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the USDA-reviewed cranberry nutrition and health review published in the Cranberry Health Research Library on

Cranberry Health Research Library
Browse the selections by year to find the most recent publications:

Say Cheers with America’s Original Superfruit㈢
Stay hydrated this summer with cranberry juice cocktail five different ways!
·         Celebrate July 4th with a patriotic red, white and blue punch featuring cranberry juice cocktail and champagne mixed with fresh blueberries and diced applesˇfor a festive finish, top with a flag instead of umbrellas! For the kids, make it with sparkling cider instead of champagne
·         Freeze cranberry juice cocktail in ice cube trays and add to seltzer for a fruity zing that invigorates your drink
·         Combine cranberry juice cocktail, pineapple juice and club soda for a spritzer perfect for hot summer days
·         Make your favorite sangria recipe, swapping out your typical juice combo for cranberry juice cocktail
·         Mix orange and cranberry juice cocktail (one to one ratio), pour into ice pop molds and freeze for a refreshing summer snack!
o   No molds? No problem! Pour into sturdy, freezer-proof cups and add popsicle sticks

Put a Twist on a Summer BBQ Classic!

Amp up a stand-by side dish for your next barbeque with tangy cranberries and crisp cucumber in a fresh take on potato salad.

Yield: 6 servings

8 oz. small red or yellow-skinned potatoes
 cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt
2 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. white balsamic or cider vinegar
 tsp. hot red pepper sauce
 cup dried cranberries
1 cup diced seedless cucumber
 cup thinly sliced scallions

1.       Wash potatoes and boil with skin on for 15-20 minutes or until almost tender. Remove from heat and drain. Cool. Cut into cubes and set aside.
2.       In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar and pepper sauce. Stir in cranberries and let stand 20 minutes to soften cranberries slightly.
3.       Stir potatoes, cucumber and scallions into yogurt-cranberry mixture and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Mix it up! Switch out cucumber for diced apple or pear, or try it garnished with chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 70, Calories from Fat 10, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 70mg, Total Carbohydrate 14g, Sugars 6g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 8%, Calcium 4%, Iron 2%

Hungry for more recipes?
Cranberry Institute
P.O. Box 497
Carver, MA 02330


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Recipe ReDux # 35 Strawberry Almond Tarts

The Recipe ReDux for June is "Pie Love" and we were challenged to make over a sweet or savory pie recipe.  To be honest, I am not much of a pie eater these days, but I do love tarts, namely mini ones. So I decided to develop a healthy tart recipe instead.  I went with a cream cheese and fresh strawberry base and a raw oatmeal/almond based crust and the flavors together were awesome! An added twist is that these little yum yums are stored and served frozen so they really resemble strawberry ice cream in texture.  Another bonus is they are fairly low in calories AND made with very simple, clean ingredients.  Hope you will try them out and also take a look at what the  talented Recipe Redux bloggers have come up with as well!!



1/2 cup almond butter (salted variety works best, or you can add a pinch of salt if you are using unsalted)
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cups oats  (use a gluten free brand like Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten free diet)
2 tablespoons oat flour or you can grind oats to a powder in a blender or food processor (use a gluten free brand like Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten free diet)
mini muffin tin, muffin liners and cooking spray


Mix all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Add 16 mini muffin liners to a mini muffin tin ad spray them lightly with cooking spray.  Roll the dough out into a 8x8 in square and cut into 16 squares.  Roll each square up into a ball and then add to the muffin tin.  Press a hole in the middle with fingers and then work to make a small crust cup by pressing the dough against the edges of the tin to form the shape of the crust for 16 tarts.



3/4 cups sliced fresh strawberries (plus a few extra for garnish)
1/3 cup light cream cheese
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl and mix/whip with an electric mixer until well blended together and the strawberries are mostly pureed to be a uniform mixture.  (small pieces here and there are ok) Spoon the mixture into the tin with the crusts, dividing it evenly amongst  all 16.  Add small pieces of choped strawberry tp the middle of each as a garnish if desired.  Freeze for about 3-4 hours until the centers are very firm. Enjoy straight out of the freezer.  NOTE: tarts will get very soft if left out for more than 10-15 minutes so they are best served while they are frozen/only slightly thawed.

Makes 16 mini tarts

Serving size: 1 tart Calories 100 Protein 3 g Carb 10 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 6 g Fat 6 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 45 mg


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer Salad Round Up

Summer is upon almost us so I thought I'd share some my favorite salad recipes created over the years, as an inspiration for you to eat your greens during the upcoming "too hot to cook" months.  Enjoy!!


Friday, June 5, 2015

Gabby's Eats: Blueberry-Nana Pineapple Smoothie

I honestly think that Gabby is one of the only kids in the world who is not super jazzed about consuming smoothies.  I mean, huh?  What kid wouldn’t love a frosty milkshake-esque blend of fruits and milk/yogurt?  Mine, that’s who! It’s not that I think she needs to consume smoothies all the time…. Gabs eats plenty of fruits and veggies, but it would be fun every so often to whip up some yummy combinations for her to have as a cool refreshing treat, that is also great for on the go.

One particular day, after I picked her up from school AND when we actually had plenty of nice fruit in the house, I threw out the idea to make  a smoothie as a snack.  Gabby was open to the challenge and I let her choose the fruits.  Banana, blueberry and pineapple were her picks and that must be a genetic thing because her dad loves this exact combo!

The flavors came together wonderfully and Gabby really enjoyed it too, which was a big win! We hope you will try this fruity, refreshing and easy to make smoothie as well!


½ medium banana (preferably frozen), sliced
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup cubed pineapple
½ cup milk (we used unsweetened almond milk which works great)

optional protein boosts- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt or 1 Tablespoon nut butter (will add about 4-5 grams protein each)


Add milk to blender and then the fruit. Blend on high for at least 1 minute, until a smooth mixture is formed. Pour and serve. Chill if not serving immediately.

Makes 1 smoothie, one serving, or 2 small child/snack size

Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories 140 Protein 2 g Carb 33 g Fiber 5 g Sugars 20 g Fat 2g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 90 mg

Serving size: 1/2 smoothie Calories 70 Protein 1 g Carb 17 g Fiber 2.5 g Sugars 10 g Fat 1 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 45 mg

Gabs Shot:


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