Thursday, October 27, 2016

In The News: More Interesting Info From The Cranberry Institute and Great Holiday Tips!

Check out this awesome info just sent to me from the Cranberry Institute, including some exciting research and delicious holiday recipes!

The Latest in Cranberries and Health
New Research Demonstrates Cranberries’ Antimicrobial Properties, Assisting in Global Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance
From a public health standpoint, it is of the utmost importance to continue to expand strategies for combating pathogen resistance. It appears that cranberries hold promise in this effort. For centuries, cranberries have been reported as a remedy for urinary tract infections. Yet, while individuals praised the fruit for its natural cure, science did not fully understand the mechanics of the process. In recent years, scholarship confirmed their anti-microbial properties, demonstrating that a specific type of cranberry phytochemicals known as proanthocyanidins (cPACs) hinder bacterial activity by preventing their adhesion and motility. Now, in a new study published in Scientific Reports, researchers show that cPACs also abolish the production of virulence factors, or the molecules that create disease. The study reports that cPACs inhibit the bacteria’s ability to communicate with one another, and therefore prevent them from causing infection. This research has significant implications, since understanding the multimodal effects of cranberries is extremely useful in combating bacterial infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Inhibiting bacterial communication is a promising strategy to combat infections that antibiotics cannot cure. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that the bacteria did not develop resistance to the cPACs, as it might with antibiotics. As antibiotic resistance remains a global health concern, the potential of cranberries continues to encourage researchers. 

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

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  

Have a Fresh Cranberry Friendsgiving!
It’s that time of year again, when the trendiest fall holiday is kicking off and cranberry-filled celebrations are full swing – Friendsgiving 2016 is here! As you may remember from last year, Friendsgiving is the new holiday trend all about celebrating and giving thanks with your closest friends, either on Thanksgiving, or during the weeks before or after. And this year, the Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest has returned as well, with even more categories and prizes!

This is your opportunity to show off your cranberry creativity – remember to post your party photos featuring your unique cranberry dishes or décor (yes, you heard us, cranberry décor!) on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter with #FriendsgivingCranberryContest and submit them at Please visit the contest website and enter your own cranberry dish by December 19 for a chance to win!

Fresh Cranberries Take Center Stage this Holiday Season
Don’t often cook with fresh cranberries? What exactly is cranberry décor? Have no fear – the all new Guide to Entertaining with Fresh Cranberriesis here to help! Check out this guide for awesome seasonal recipes using fresh cranberries and some fun ways to make cranberries a part of your tablescape and holiday décor this year. Take a sneak peek at one of our crowd-pleasing favorites below:

Cranberry Cilantro Salsa

With These Tips, You’ll Never Have Leftover Cranberries Again!
·         Most fresh cranberry recipes work just as well with frozen cranberries! Fresh cranberry season is almost over, so head to your local market to buy a few bags for now – and few for the freezer! 
·         Cranberry ice cubes make functional décor! Place 1-2 cranberries into each ice cube mold space on an ice cube tray, fill with water and freeze until solid. The berry-filled ice cubes make for visually-stunning drinks.
·         Get saucy! Fresh cranberries can be made into jam or sauce – then refrigerated or frozen so you’ll always have a quick cranberry spread on hand.

#LoveCranberries Every Day
As a dietitian, you know there are so many reasons to love cranberries. This harvest season, we encourage you to share your love of cranberries on your favorite social channels with our latest infographic – A Daily Reason to Love Cranberries!

We challenge you to share a cranberry a day this fall. Check out the full infographic, and share a post for each day of the week – which you can find here: Daily Reasons to #LoveCranberries


Cranberry Institute
P.O. Box 497
Carver, MA 02330


Friday, October 21, 2016

Recipe ReDux Post # 51 and Gabby's Eats: Fabulous Fall Veggie Bowl

“Plant Power Protein Bowls” is the October theme for the Recipe ReDux Challenge and us bloggers were encouraged to put together our own nutritious and delicious plant based, protein packed bowl.  I am fortunate to have a kid that loves veggies so I thought I’d bring Gabby in on this one to help me out. I was very intrigued to find out what kinds of ingredients that she would put in her ideal veggie and protein bowl. Her first step in the planning was to ask me what veggies and fruits were in season.  We took to the internet to research Fall produce and she decided she wanted to do a Fall themed bowl featuring some of the best produce of the season.  

She then literally “mapped” out her bowl recipe on a paper- including kale, sweet potatoes, turnips, Brussels sprouts, as the veggies.   

We thought it would be a fun idea to take a variety of our favorite recipes I have previously created using these veggies in the past, to fill the bowl with all kinds of flavor.  Once our ingredient shopping was done,  we had a busy afternoon of cooking the veggie recipes to put in her bowl. To make it complete, she chose steamed edamame as her plant protein source and then topped her bowl off with a sprinkle of dried cranberries for the finishing touch.  The result was rainbow of color, taste and nutrition and I was very proud of her creation.  We hope you will give it a try and also check out some of the other powerful plant based bowls developed by the awesome group of Recipe ReDux bloggers.


½ cup Super Smoky Sweet Potato Chips:  Recipe HERE
½ cup Simply Sauteed Kale:  Recipe HERE
½ cup Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts:  Recipe HERE
½ cup Sea Salt Roasted Turnips:  Recipe HERE
¼ cup cooked edamame
1 tablespoon dried cranberries


Prepare all the veggie recipes as listed per links above and arrange a ½ cup of each into a medium sized bowl.  Add the edamame and cranberries and serve!

Serving size: 1 bowl Calories 415  Protein 14 g Carb 54 g  Fiber 13 g Sugars 18 g Fat 15 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium  600 mg


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Gabby's Eats: Autumn Harvest Popcorn Bars

Being that October is National Popcorn Popping Month and Halloween is also right around the corner, I decided I had to celebrate both these occasions.  When I saw that SkinnyPop was gluten-free and kid friendly,  I was inspired to develop a recipe that puts a fun “Halloween spin” on popcorn. 

My daughter Gabby LOVES popcorn and I do too, so we were both very excited to work together to create a recipe for the challenge! We have done snack mixes using popcorn in the past, which were super yummy but this time around we wanted to do something different… Gabby and I decided to try our luck with using popcorn in a bar recipe with some Autumn inspired ingredients as "mix-ins" like apples and cranberries.  We used almond butter and a touch of honey as the base, added some sea salt and vanilla to go along with the popcorn, and the combo worked perfectly!  These bars are easy to make, have just the right amount of sweetness and a nice texture.   They are great for a snack, dessert or as a fun treat to bring to a party/gathering.  We hope you will give them a try!


½ cup creamy or crunchy unsalted natural almond butter  (or sunflower butter for those with nut allergies)
3 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla 
¾ cup chopped dried apple rings
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 cups air popped or store bought light popcorn (plain or lightly salted)
Wax or parchment paper


In a medium sized bowl, combine the almond butter, honey, sea salt and vanilla together  and mix well.  Stir in the chopped apple, cranberries and popcorn. Press mixture into an 8 by 8 inch pan. (Lining the pan with a large rectangular piece of parchment paper, placing the mixture on one side and then folding the paper over to press down works nicely since the dough is so sticky.) Chill in the freezer for one hour or the fridge for several hours until firm. Cut into 8 squares and serve. Store in the fridge.

Makes 8 bars

Serving size: 1/8th of recipe  Calories 170 Protein 4 g Carb 22 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 16 g Fat 9 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 40 mg


Monday, October 10, 2016

Gabby's Eats: Sea Salt Roasted Turnips

Gabby and I were overdue for time in the kitchen together so this past weekend we got cooking!  She wanted to make something seasonal and after doing a little research online about Fall fruits and vegetables, she chose turnips. Gabby was intrigued because they are one of the only vegetables she has not tried and I was all about her choice since I have never cooked turnips at home and have only enjoyed them at restaurants. I asked her how she wanted to prepare them and she came up with something simple- olive oil and sea salt. I suggested the best way to cook them was to roast them with her two chosen ingredients.

I peeled and chopped up the turnips (since this was a bit of a challenging task requiring a sharp knife) and then Gabby added the olive oil and the salt and mixed them up. We spread cubed turnips on a greased pan and in just 15 minutes we had crispy delicious turnips fresh out of the oven. They were so delicious and the olive oil and salt were just the perfect way to season them.  Gabby ate them all up and was happy to have a new veggie choice in the rotation.  We hope you will give them a try too!


2 average sized turnips, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (about 4 cups raw cubes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼- ½ teaspoon sea salt
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add the cubed turnips into a medium bowl, put in the olive oil and salt and toss to coat.  Spread the turnips out on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and roast for 10 minutes. Flip them over and cook another 5-10 minutes until tender with a fork and browned.

Makes 2 Cups, 4 servings

Serving Size: ½ cup Calories 95 Protein 1 g Carb 8 g Fiber 2.5 g Sugars 5 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 400 mg


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