Quintessentially British: It’s a Cranberries Christmas!

‘Tis the season to welcome back this fruity holiday food! Cranberries are often part of our Christmas plates, but what do we really know about them? Here are some fun facts:

cranberries christmas

Cranberry cultivation began in 1816 when an American war veteran, Captain Henry Hall, began transplanting cranberry vines in Massachusetts and spreading sand on them.

Botanical name: Vaccinium oxycoccos, Vaccinium macrocarpon.

Varieties grown in the UK include Early Black, Pilgrim, Redstar and Stevens.

In 1959 there was a Cranberry Scare which caused the American industry market to crash.

Health benefits:  Cranberries are considered a superfood, as for to their high nutritional content and wide-ranging health benefits. They’re particularly high in disease-fighting antioxidants, outranking almost every other fruit and vegetable (including spinach and broccoli). They’re rich in vitamins C, A and K as well as flavonoids, which help lower the risk of heart problems.

Most commonly known as a popular remedy for cystitis, they are also anti-inflammatory, helping to prevent arthritis, cardiovascular disease and strokes. They contribute to good cholesterol and can help lower blood pressure.

Cranberries are naturally low in calories, fat and sodium.

Cranberries can last for weeks in the fridge.

Did you know that Cranberries bounce and float? Why not try for yourself during the festive season!

Although I do enjoy eating fresh cranberries, I also like them when dried and often mixed with other fruits and nuts. Mixing them with a yoghurt or in porridge is certainly another way of eating these lovely red berries. But I also have to say that I look forward to a lovely Christmas roast with either cranberry sauce or cranberries!

Here are a couple of recipes from supermarket Lidl that caught my eye which look pretty amazing and not so difficult to prepare.

Easy honey cranberry sauce

easy-honey-cranberry-sauce description
 
 

6 servings,  5 mins prep, 15 mins cooking, 20 mins total time

Ingredients:

1 package (12-ounce) fresh cranberries

½ cup Lidl Preferred Selection acacia honey

Directions

1. Add all ingredients to large pot. Stir to combine. 2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. 3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, until thickened and cranberries are popped. 4. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly then pour into serving bowl. 5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nut roast

Nut roast
 

Ingredients

1 butternut squash
(peeled and chopped)
 
 
100 g dried cranberries  
 
4 garlic  
 
2 inch ginger  
 
1 tsp paprika  
 
75 g pecan nuts  
 
100 g cashew nut  
 
1 egg  
 
150 g porridge oats  
 
1 bag parsnip  
 
2 tbsp olive oil  
 
1 pinch salt  
 
 
 
Quick to make when time is of the essence this Christmas, try this nut roast recipe, created by influencer Madeleine Shaw. Serve with Madeleine’s Brussels sprouts recipe and another portion of your favourite vegetables.

1. Preheat oven to 200°C / gas mark 5.

2. Cut squash into small cubes.Drizzle over olive oil and season with a pinch of salt.

3. Bake for 40 minutes until golden and cooked through. Reduce the temperature to 180°C / gas mark 4.

4. For the last 10 minutes add the nuts onto the tray to toast them.

5. Fry the onion with olive oil for 5 minutes add the garlic, ginger and spices paprika fry for another minute, add the cranberries and take off the hob.

6. Allow the nuts to cool. Pop the onion mix, squash, nuts, oats and egg in a processor and process until it fully combines.

7. Bake at 180°C for 40 minutes. Roast parsnips in olive oil. Serve together.

 

Enjoy!

References:  

Fascinating Facts: Cranberries

Cranberries Christmas recipes

Nut roast

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