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fresh and dried cranberries

Cranberry health benefits

Cranberries are part of the heather family and, along with blueberries and lingonberries, are associated with health around the world.

There are lots of ways you can enjoy this sour red fruit, from delicious juices and smoothies to raw and dried. Discover the key health benefits of cranberries here and add them to your routine with confidence.

The health benefits of cranberries

Fresh cranberries are 87% water1, which means they’re a great choice if you’re trying to increase your hydration. Eating fruits and vegetables with a good water percentage helps increase your daily fluid intake and can be useful for children or older people who struggle to hit their target.

The fruit is also low in calories, with only 15 per 100g, making cranberries an excellent choice for dieters looking for something sweet and tangy.

Cranberries’ nutrition profile includes calcium, as well as vitamins A, E, and C. Calcium is an essential mineral which contributes to formation of normal blood clots.2 Meanwhile, vitamin C helps protect cells from oxidative damage and supports collagen production.3 Their vitamin C content means cranberries are good for skin’s health and appearance.

The best way to eat cranberries

Eating cranberries fresh is the best way to get the most out of them. Cranberry juice has around three times more calories than the fresh fruit per 100g, as well as higher sugar content.4 While dried cranberries are a delicious addition to breakfast bowls and salads, you should avoid options with lots of added sugar.

Cooking with cranberries

Here are some of our favourite cranberry recipes to help you enjoy the uniquely sour fruit in new ways.

Cranberry sauce

One of the most popular ways to eat cranberries, particularly at Christmas time, this ruby-red sauce goes perfectly with roasted meat. The method is simple: pour all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook for five minutes. You can store your homemade cranberry sauce in the fridge for up to four days.

Ingredients

  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • 250g pack cranberries (fresh or frozen)

Carrot, cranberry, and pecan muffins

This tasty treat is a great way to enjoy fresh or frozen cranberries, as well as some other nutritious veggies. You can find the full method here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup pecans

Whatever way you enjoy cranberries, whether you cook with them or eat them raw, we hope you’ll fall in love with the tangy red gems and add them to your regular fruit rotation.

Last updated: 10 June 2020

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