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Cranberries are not only that red sauce you see with turkey for the holidays.  A little science before we get to baking!

The berry is filled with proanthocyanidins,  in other words, good for your immune system and also with Vitamin C.  A study published within  Obstetrics and Gynecology Feb 2016, has shown that the berries themselves not the juice, will help UTI’s (urinary tract infections) due to their (pac’s) or proanthocyanidins that block bacterial adhesion also called biofilm. Research being done  on cranberries eliminating ROS ( reactive oxygen species)  in the gut, and modulate inflammation as in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) too.

In the blog MNT, (Medical Nutrition Therapy) written by Megan Ware RD,  Dr. Timothy Boone PhD, a Vice Dean at the Texan A&M Health Center of Medicine, states that cranberries have polyphenols that exert a have a strong influence on the gut microbiota but not the juice. So eat the whole berry either in a sauce, smoothie or added to a tart. Yes, we have the sour notes of the fruit to consider, so adding any number of sweeteners will help with that. I particularly like coconut sugar for its quicker caramelizing capabilities!  The following recipe is a gluten free nut crust and a filling of pears, cranberries and coconut sugar with a  couple of tablespoons of maple syrup thrown in.  Seasonal but freeze very well.

Pear Cranberry Tart

Gluten Free Almond Crust:

1/1/2 cups of almond meal

1/2 stick 4 tablespoons of earth balance or regular butter

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

2-3 tablespoons of sugar

1/4 cup oat flour or other gluten free flour

Filling :

4 ripened and cored pears any kind

1/2 cup of fresh cranberries

1/4 cup of coconut or brown sugar

zest of a 1/2 orange

1/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger or 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (optional)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are combined and become a ball.  Take the dough which adheres as a ball out of the food processor and flatten into a tart pan or pie pan and up the sides and bake  @ 350 degrees  for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

Cut up 4 cored pears, any variety which are ripened and cover the base of the crust.  Add ginger and orange zest to cranberries. Cover the top of the tart with the berries, maple syrup and sprinkle coconut sugar or brown sugar over entire tart. Cut up the butter substitute or butter into small pieces and dot the tart.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the cranberries pop and the pears are knife tender.






Cover blog photo of cranberries: