We all know that cranberries help prevent and fight urinary tract infections, right?
Yet did you know that cranberries have other beneficial properties as well?
They are full of Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system.
Their high level of antioxidants may help lower your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Quite possibly, they play a role in maintaining healthy teeth and gum by reducing the bacteria in your mouth.
Unfortunately, many commercially-available cranberry juices are sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and combined with other juices such as apple or grape.
Pure cranberry juice is available, but can be very expensive.
The good news?
It’s so easy to make your own cranberry juice — without any fancy equipment!
I currently use my high-speed blender for the job, but for years I used simply a pot on the stove or my regular blender.
- Place cranberries and water in a blender and blend on high for 2 minutes.
- Check to see if there are any solid cranberry pieces left, and if there are, blend again until they disappear.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
- Stir in lemon or orange juice and sweetener, if desired. I prefer mine unsweetened, but it might be too tangy for some.
- The juice keeps in the fridge for a few days.
- If you have a high speed blender, and don’t mind pulp in your juice, consider skipping the straining step and get all the benefits of the whole cranberry!
- Place cranberries and water in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down and allow the cranberries to simmer for about 20 minutes. The berries should pop open, and the water will turn a bright red.
- Pour the mixture through a fine sieve.
- Add sweetener to taste. I drink mine completely unsweetened, but most find it too tart. Freshly-squeezed lemon or orange juice also helps to brighten the flavor of your cranberry juice.
- Although the strained cranberry “pulp” in this recipe has lost much of its nutrients and flavor into the water, I can’t bear to throw it away. Instead, I use it to add a little extra moisture and flavor to muffins or breads.
Have you ever made homemade cranberry juice? What is your favorite way to use cranberries?
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