Sunday, September 17, 2017

In the News: The Latest and the Greatest From the Cranberry Institute

Check out the latest news and recipe sent to me from the Cranberry Institute!
Cranberries and Health
Deep Data Dive: Cranberry Products and UTIs
Even with evidence to support the health benefits of a food, assessing the culmination of data allows practitioners to confidently make recommendations to their clients and patients. This is true for the medicinal use of cranberry products to protect against urinary tract infections (UTIs). Led by Ângelo Luís, a team of scientists took on the task of taking a deep dive into clinical studies involving cranberry products and UTI. The systematic review and meta-analysis of data revealed that through the years, studies have confirmed that there is significant support of the use of cranberry products in reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections. Their work also found that for those with some risk for UTIs, the effects of cranberry products were more pronounced. The outcome of their analyses provided support for their conclusion statements: [the results] could be used by physicians to recommend the ingestion of cranberries to decrease the incidence of UTIs, particularly in patients with recurrent UTIs.

With just a few exclusive months of fresh cranberry season, the weeks between late September and early December are some of our favorites! There are just so many fresh cranberry recipes, and so little time!

Below, we’ve shared some of our favorite ways to use the first fresh cranberries of the season. Over the next few weeks, we’re excited to see how you enjoy the #FirstCranberriesOfTheSeason!

4 Reasons, 4 Seasons 
We LOVE fresh cranberry season – but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy cranberries all year! Our newest resource, 4 Seasons, 4 Reasons for Cranberries Year-Round, can help your readers discover a healthy reason – and recipe – to enjoy cranberries (and their health benefits) during every season of the year.

And don’t let these Insta-worthy recipes go unnoticed – keep an eye out for news in just a few weeks with the annual Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest (hint: there will be $4,000 in prizes!).

Follow us! 
In case you missed it: The Cranberry Institute is tweeting! Please tweet with us, tagging @CranInstitute and using #CranberryBogBlogger to share your blogs, recipes and cran-thoughts!

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

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


Saturday, September 2, 2017

New Segment: Nutrition News Bites!

I've decided to start a new segment called "Nutrition News Bites" to provide some interesting updates going on in the world and nutrition all in one post.  Here is the first edition, enjoy!

Check out this great review on color additives that discusses labeling considerations, labeling and safety!

There was a huge study published about the benefits of plant based eating, recently. This large dietary study which included 18 countries revealed some great results, including that even moderate intake of legumes, fruits and veggies can help lower risk of CVD and death.

Did you know that consuming caffeine can change your tastebuds? This study showed that it may temporarily adjust perception of sweetness of food and drink!

That's all for now, keep an eye out for more updates soon!


Monday, August 21, 2017

Recipe ReDux Post # 61: Bacon N’ Egg Breakfast Fried Rice

Recipe ReDux for August is “Rise and Shine with a Savory Breakfast” and as the title implies we were challenged to create a savory, “dinner inspired” breakfast with our own healthy spin. This was a true challenge for me because I tend to like something neutral or sweet for breakfast and it forced me to think outside the box, which was great!  I happened to have some instant brown rice in the freezer, along with some turkey bacon and eggs, so I decided to try my luck at a breakfast style fired rice. I combined those simple three ingredients along with a little butter and green onion and it came out surprisingly delicious.  A few other bonuses are: its easy to make, reheats well for leftovers (so go ahead and double or triple the batch!), not to mention it has a good amount of protein, includes a whole grain and is low in fat.  So I’d say it’s a winner and I hope you will try it along the other savory breakfast creations brought to you by the talented RecipeReDux bloggers!


1.5 cups cooked brown rice
(I used Trader Joes instant microwavable)
1/3 cup diced green onion   
1/2 cup chopped turkey bacon  (fully cooked variety, I used  Trader Joes, nitrate free peppered variety)
1 teaspoon margarine or butter, divided in half
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese for garnish


Begin cooking the rice according to package directions. While the rice is cooking, add ½ teaspoon butter/margarine, the turkey bacon and the green onion to a large skillet, wok or flat saucepan and sauté on medium to high heat for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly (until slightly browned.) Set aside. Whisk the egg in a small bowl, and add it to the pan coated with another 1/2 teaspoon butter/margarine and scramble for 2-3 minutes. Add in the rice, bacon and onions and  cook for about 3-4 minutes until rice is lightly browned and the mixture is warmed through.

Makes 2 cups, 4 servings

Serving size:  ½ cup Calories  130 Protein 6  g Carb 18 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 1  g Fat  4 g Saturated fat  1 g Sodium  160 mg  


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Recipe ReDux Post # 60 Slow Cooker Taco Soup

July's Recipe ReDux challenge is "beat the heat" with recipes from your slow cooker and I was happy to participate as it has been awhile since I have used mine! Mexican themed dishes are always a favorite in our household so I decided to try my luck with a taco soup-ish recipe.  I simply browned  some turkey in a pan, added it + canned beans/tomatoes/corn and taco seasoning...and that was it.  7-8 hours later you have a hearty flavorful soup reminiscent of chili in a way.  It's great served with tortilla chips and topped with low fat cheese and avocado.  I hope you will try it out and also check out the other yummy recipes from the recipe redux crew!


1.5 pounds extra lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon olive oil
two 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
one 14 ounce can of black beans, rinsed well
one 14 ounce can of pinto beans, rinsed well
one 14 ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed well
one 14 ounce can of corn, rinsed well
2 tablespoon taco seasoning


Coat a large skillet with the olive oil, put in the turkey and lightly brown it for about 7-10 minutes until mostly cooked through.  Add browned turkey, the beans, corn  and taco seasoning to the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours.

Makes 12 cups, 12 servings

Serving size: 1 cup  Calories  235 Protein 22 g Carb 36 g Fiber  g Sugars 9 g Fat 1 g Saturated fat less than 0.5 g Sodium 674 mg



Monday, July 10, 2017

Cool Summer News From the Cranberry Institute

Hope you are all having a great Summer!I just returned from vacation and wanted to share some cool Summer news from the Cranberry Institute, enjoy!!

Follow That Bog!: A Day in the Life of a Cranberry Grower
Over the last few months, we’ve been learning from Jeff LaFleur at Mayflower Cranberries how cranberry growers across the country were gearing up for the growing season.

This summer, we’re taking a trip to Gottschalk Cranberry to visit Fawn Gottschalk and see the next step in the growing process. Last year, Fawnshared with us what it is like to own and operate a cranberry marsh. This year, Fawn will teach us about the bogs and the bees – and share more about how cranberry vines blossom and get pollinated each year.

Check out the video below!  CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO VIEW

Bog Bites: Cranberries & Health
Need a reason for cranberry season? Consider these bites from the bog (or lab):
  • International Journal of Health Sciences & Research published an investigation that evaluated the efficacy of cranberry juice in improving urinary symptoms in women presenting with recurrent Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). In this one year, open label, single arm prospective study of 100 female participants, there was significant reduction (around 20%) in the UTI infections as a result of cranberry juice consumption. Moreover, there was also a significant reduction in the mean number of episodes of UTI between pre-Cranberry and post-Cranberry juice time periods. Study authors assert that cranberry juice is a suitable and safer option for women with a risk of UTI. Arain FR. Role of cranberry juice in improving symptoms of recurrent UTI in women of reproductive age group. Int J Health Sci Res. 2017; 7(4):176-182.
  • New cranberry reason?! Researchers hypothesized that cranberry extract would improve the oxidative damage associated with a high-fat diet. They evaluated the effects of cranberry extract on food intake, adiposity, biochemical and hormonal parameters, lipogenic and adipogenic factors, hepatic morphology and oxidative balance in mice. They found that cranberry extract improved the metabolic profile and reduced oxidative damage and steatosis – indicating that it may be possible cranberry could play a role in managing obesity-related disordersPeixoto, T.C., Moura, E.G., de Oliveira, E. et al. Eur J Nutr. 2017. doi:10.1007/s00394-017-1467-2.

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

Entertain in Minutes with Cranberry Sauce 
Summer is all about relaxing, having fun – and spending time entertaining with family and friends. But with the weather so warm, why turn on the oven? Cranberry sauce can help you build the perfect no-cook dish that you and your guests will love! Just like jams and honeys, cranberry sauce can be an unexpected – but delicious – sweet addition to a classic cheese plate.

The Summer Guide to Entertaining in Minutes
  1. Always keep a can of cranberry sauce on hand!
  2. Grab some crackers, honey and brie (or your favorite cheese!).
  3. Arrange on a cheese board.
  4. Relax and enjoy!

Bonus: Serve alongside a cranberry spritzer (cranberry juice cocktail + seltzer + lime juice) for a refreshing pairing! 

Feeling inspired? We’ve got 5 More Underappreciated Ways to Enjoy Cranberry Sauce All Summer.
  • Swap it in for mayo or mustard as an easy and delicious sandwich spread
  • Create quick parfaits with layers of plain yogurt, cranberry sauce and fresh fruit
  • Blend cranberry sauce and plain yogurt and freeze for on-the-go ice pops that will please moms and kids
  • Add to a smoothie for a tangy, tart and PAC-filled boost 
  • PB&C: Mix up the classic peanut butter & jelly sandwich by using cranberry sauce and your favorite nut butter

Cranberries for a Cause 
Don’t let your summer cranberry recipes go unnoticed!

The Cranberry Marketing Committee has teamed up with Chef Gaby from What’s Gaby Cookin’ to launch the #SummerCranFan Challenge, encouraging cran fans to share a favorite summer cranberry recipe (either a picture, video or description) to help raise funds for their local food bank

Here’s how it works:
  1. Simply share your summer cranberry recipe on your social media with the hashtag #SummerCranFan
  2. Tag or name your local food bank in your post
  3. The top five mentioned food banks will each receive a $1,000 donation from the Cranberry Marketing Committee

The contest runs from June 12-July 31, 2017. For official rules, visit

Follow us! 
In case you missed it: The Cranberry Institute is on Twitter: @CranInstitute! Please follow us and tag @CranInstitute – along with #CranberryBogBlogger – in your cranberry-inspired posts!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Recipe ReDux Post # 59 and Gabby's Eats Strawberry Brownie Bites

June's Recipe ReDux is Bite Size Desserts to celebrate the 6th birthday of the Recipe ReDux challenge.  One of Gabby's Summer "To Do's" is to create a new recipe so I thought I'd bring her in on this one and so glad I did!!  She suggested we do something with a "brownie" and I also wanted to incorporate Summer into the mix so we decided  to use fresh strawberries for the toppings. This no-bake dessert is super easy to make, SO delicious and fairly low in carbs and sugar too.  We hope you will try them out and the other bite size treats from the Recipe ReDux bloggers!

½ cup creamy or crunchy unsalted natural almond butter (we used Trader Joes Raw Unsalted Crunchy)
3 tablespoons honey
1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder 
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2  cup oats (old fashioned, not quick)(*use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
¼ cup chocolate chips, measured, then finely chopped
4 strawberries, each quartered
3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
Wax or parchment paper

In a medium sized bowl, combine the honey, cocoa, salt and almond butter and mix well.  Stir in the oats and chocolate chips and mix some more. Press mixture into an 8 by 8 inch pan. (Lining the pan with a large rectangular piece of wax/ parchment paper, placing the mixture on one side and then folding the paper over to press down works nicely since the dough is a bit sticky.) Chill in the fridge for an hour or more (if you can wait that long!) or in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and cut into 16 squares. Roll each square into a ball, top with 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese and add one strawberry quarter.  

Makes 16 mini bites

Serving size: 1/16 of recipe, 1 bite  Calories 97 Protein 4 g Carb 9 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 7 g Fat 6 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 59 mg


Sunday, May 28, 2017

In The News: Some Great BBQ Recipes and Information From the Cranberry Institute

Follow That Bog!: Update from Mayflower Cranberries
In our last mailer, you saw cranberry growers hard at work prepping the bogs for growing season in our Spring on the Cranberry Bog video – but that was just the beginning! We checked in with Jeff LaFleur to hear the latest from the bog.

Sunrise on April 18, 2017 – following the first frost of 2017

This time of year, growers are on high alert for “frost watch” – keeping a close eye on temperatures to ensure it does not drop below a temperature that the cranberry vines can withstand, or the vines may be damaged by the cold causing reduced yield, or even worse, a complete loss of crop. When temperatures drop low enough, as on April 18 (22 degrees), growers run their irrigation systems to coat the vines with a layer of water, which will then form a protective frozen coating over the vines, preventing them from getting damaged. 

This year, the spring has been relatively mild, and there have only been a few frost concerns on the bog – however, this can always change at a moment’s notice!

Follow us! 
In case you missed it: The Cranberry Institute is tweeting! Please tweet with us, tagging @CranInstitute and using #CranberryBogBlogger to share your blogs and cran-thoughts! 

Bog Bites
A Sweet, Hot Topic
As an RD, you appreciate that discussing “added sugars” with consumers is more complex than meets the eye. Eliminating a food based on a single nutrient may not always be the answer to eating right. This is true when it comes to Greek yogurt, whole grain cereals, chocolate milk or of interest to the CI – cranberry juice and dried cranberries. As you know, despite having added sugars, research has shown that cranberry products provide many health benefits, including bioactive compounds that help to reduce the incidence of certain infections, improve heart health, reduce inflammation and maintain a healthy urinary tract.  

To help you have those tough conversations, we are pleased to provide you with resources we hope can help you address these questions: 
·         The Cranberry Mnemonic

Host Your Own Memorial Day Barbecue with Benefits
Looking for the perfect dish to jazz up this year’s Memorial Day party? We’ve got you covered with these cookout staples that are just PAC-ed with flavor (and health benefits)! Try your favorite and share how you include cranberries your summer barbecue with @CranInstitute!
·         Cranberry BBQ Sauce
·         Cranberry Baked Beans

Cranberry Health Research Library 
Browse the selections by year to find the most recent publications: doclib/doclib_search.cgi


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Recipe ReDux Post # 58 Family Friendly Sangria

The Recipe ReDux for May is Cocktails and Mocktails for May Celebrations and it couldn't have come at a better time.  Gabby's class breakfast fundraiser was on May 5th and the theme was Cinco de Mayo of course!  So... we decided to develop a mock "family friendly" sangria for the occasion.  Instead adding table sugar were relied on that natural delicious favor of the fruit juices and the cut up fruit and it came out delicious. The kids and parents were hooked and it is so easy to make and looks pretty too.  We hope you will give it a try and asked check out the other tasty beverages from the Recipe ReDux crew!


8 cups white grape juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup no sugar added cranberry juice
4 cups lemon sparkling/mineral water (without sugar added)
2 limes, sliced
4 clementines or 1 large orange, sliced
1 cup blackberries
2 small apples or 1 large, cut into ½ inch cubes (peel left on)


Add all the above EXCEPT the sparkling water, to a large pitcher (or two depending on the size you have on hand).  Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Right before serving add the sparkling water, mix well and serve.

Makes 15 cups (liquid, not including the fruit garnish)

Serving size: 1 cup/ 8 fluid ounces Calories 97  Protein 1 g Carb  25 g  Fiber 0  g Sugars  25 g Fat  0g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 11  mg


Saturday, May 13, 2017

In The News: Some Great Info and a Hummus Recipe from the Cranberry Institute!

Follow That Bog!: A Day in the Life of a Cranberry Grower
While cranberry bogs are best known for their iconic harvest, cranberry farmers are hard at work all year ensuring the success of next year’s crop – and the spring season is no different! To learn more about what is happening on a cranberry bog this time of year, we reached out to cranberry grower Jeff LaFleur, owner of Mayflower Cranberries in Plympton, MA and a member of the Cranberry Institute’s Board of Directors, who shared with us a little more about the anatomy of a cranberry plant, and showed us exactly how they prune the cranberry vines to prepare for the growing season ahead.

Check out his Facebook page, Mayflower Cranberries

Follow us! 
In case you missed it: The Cranberry Institute has officially launched its Twitter Account:@CranInstitute! Please follow us and tag @CranInstitute – along with #CranberryBogBlogger – in your cranberry-inspired posts!

Spring Cleaning Your Eating
Look no further for the perfect snack or quick addition to any meal – dried cranberries have 2.3 grams of fiber per serving, all the benefits of cranberry PACs, and they keep well at room temperature. Below find some of our favorite ways to use dried cranberries!  
·         Check out this video from the Cranberry Marketing Committee to see how to enjoy Dried Cranberries, 5 Ways featuring: 
o   Cranberry Chicken Salad
o   Baked Brie with Dried Cranberries 
o   Spinach Salad with Cranberries
o   Cranberry Trail Mix 
o   Ladybugs on a Log

Inspired? Tweet @CranInstitute with your favorite way to include dried cranberries as part of your spring snacking and meals!

Cranberries and Health
Experts Refute the Findings of Journal of the American Medical Association Study on Cranberries in Urology journal
·         Since the publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article, “Effect of Cranberry Capsules on Bacteriuria Plus Pyuria Among Older Women in Nursing Homes,” experts in both the study of cranberries and the practice of urology have spoken out against the conclusions that were made. A commentary explaining how the design was fatally flawed was published in the esteemed scientific journal, Urology. Led by Bilal Chughtai, MD, Professor of Urology in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell MedicineEfficacy of Cranberry in Preventing Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections: Have We Learned Anything New?, describes that positive results for recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) prevention with cranberries (or any therapy) would not be expected in this population, where 69.2% of patients did not experience a UTI the year prior, as the patients did not suffer from recurrent UTIs as per Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines. Furthermore, asymptomatic bacteriuria and pyuria is unfortunately common in this population, thus the IDSA advises against treatment.  Lastly, obtaining uncontaminated, reliable urine samples in this population is a globally recognized challenge especially given that 78% of the subjects had dementia, 68% had urinary incontinence and 44% had bowel incontinence. It is also concerning that of the 185 initial participants, 33 individuals died during the one-year study. 

Without equivocation, Chughtai et al., states that cranberry products have reduced UTI rates in many at-risk populations in several studies. Adding that, quality randomized controlled trials on antibiotic alternatives, such as cranberry, are encouraged, or the medical community may be unable to manage the ever-increasing antibiotic-resistant UTIs.

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

Sweet Talk 
The Cranberry Institute has teamed up with the experts to provide resources that will help dietitians, and consumers, choose the right foods for a healthy diet.
  • How to Talk to Consumers About Added Sugars
    • The “How to Talk to Consumers About Added Sugars” statement was developed by dietitians, for dietitians, offering guidance for RDs counseling and speaking to media about added sugar.

Hummus Just Got a Pretty in Pink Makeover
Trust us – this contest-winning Cranberry & Roasted Beet Hummus is definitely the prettiest (and probably one of the most delicious) hummus recipes you’ll try this year!

1 cup shallots; approximately 5-6 shallots
1 cup olive oil, divided
2 cups dried cranberries
1 orange, zested
12 fl oz. water
4 cups roasted beets, quartered
6 cups garbanzo beans, cooked
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups water, as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.       Cut shallots into quarters. In small roasting pan, combine with 1/2 cup oil and cover with aluminum foil and roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 45 minutes, or until soft. place shallots in a China cap strainer to separate the oil from shallots and reserve both.
3.       Combine dried cranberries, orange zest and 12 fl. oz. water and simmer uncovered until water has almost completely evaporated and cranberries rehydrate.
4.       Toss beets in 1/2 cup oil, add salt and pepper to taste and roast on a sheet pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until edges become brown.
5.       Place cooked garbanzo beans, rehydrated cranberries, shallots, roasted beets, 1 cup water, lemon juice and shallot oil in blender. Puree until smooth, add remaining water to loosen, if necessary. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
6.       Serve with corn tortilla or pita chips.


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