Cranberry Walnut Quinoa and White Bean Salad With Cranberry Sage Vinaigrette and Some Great Info From the Cranberry Institute
This month I got some more great cranberry facts from the Cranberry Institute AND word that they have two awesome challenges going on! The first is a Cranberry Bog Blogger recipe challenge and the second is a Cranberry Friendsgiving photo contest....both of which I finished just in time for Thanksgiving! For the recipe challenge I was sent some fun ingredients- quinoa, canned white beans, cranberry sauce and ground sage that I needed to use to create a unique recipe. I decided to make a salad using the quinoa, white beans, some salad greens and topped it with chopped walnuts and dried cranberries. I dressed it with a simple vinaigrette I made incorporating the cranberry sauce and the ground sage. The result is a very festive and flavorful salad, bursting with cranberry flavor. It makes a great side dish for your Thanksgiving table! The recipe is listed below along with the latest research and info from the Cranberry Institute! I also entered the photo above in their Friendsgiving photo contest, in which participants were asked to share a party themed food photo featuring a cranberry dish. Hope you enjoy the recipe, facts and photos and that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Cranberry Walnut Quinoa and White Bean Salad With Cranberry Sage Vinaigrette
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups salad greens
1 cup canned white beans, rinsed well
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ cup cranberry sauce
a tiny pinch of ground sage
1 tablespoon hot water
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Cook the quinoa according to the package directions, let cool and set aside. Add the salad greens, beans, cranberries and walnuts to a medium bowl and put in the cooked quinoa. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cranberry sauce, ground sage and hot water together. Pour over the salad and toss to coat. Chill if not serving immediately.
Makes 4 servings
Science Bites: Recap from the Cranberry Health Research ConferenceOn October 12, 2015, the Cranberry Institute held a one-day, Cranberry Health Research Conference (CHRC) preceding the Berry Health Benefits Symposium in Madison, Wisconsin, chaired by Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg, of Tufts University's Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. The one-day event brought together a select group of researchers, industry professionals and health influencers to present current research and foster rigorous dialogue. The aim was to integrate knowledge of cranberry health benefits across disciplines and identify critical gaps to be addressed by future research. While each presenter took a deep dive into his/her topic, here are some of the research highlights.Intake and time-dependent effects of cranberry polyphenol consumption in vascular function in healthy individualsPresented by Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, PhD, University of Dusseldorf· Researchers uncovered a potent dose-dependent relationship between cranberry juice and improved vascular function.· Because vascular dysfunction or limitations in blood flow are a central feature in the development of atherosclerosis – improving vascular function can have a powerful, beneficial effect on a person’s cardiovascular health.Cranberries and type 2 diabetes: Novel and promising horizonsPresented by Arpita Basu, PhD, RD, Oklahoma State University· Recent trials with clinical outcomes associated with cranberry juice intervention hold promise in the management of diabetic high blood glucose, dyslipidemia, oxidative stress and inflammation.· Studies in experimental animals and in vitro models have further shown that polyphenols, the most abundant category of phytochemicals in cranberries, can influence carbohydrate metabolism in many ways, such as helping to control postprandial and fasting blood glucose for those with diabetes.Effects of cranberry proanthocyanidins on gram negative bacteria: Implications for gut health and chronic inflammatory diseasePresented by Jess Reed, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison· Research shows that a high fat diet can contribute to gut dysfunction that can cause inflammation and increase susceptibility to bacterial invasions. Together, this can have a negative impact on gut health and lower the body’s natural gut protection.· Recent research has shown that the polyphenols in cranberries may help protect against the negative effects of a high fat diet and help maintain gut health.RESOURCE REMINDER!USDA-Reviewed Cranberry Health Research ReviewIf you haven’t seen it yet, check out the USDA-reviewed cranberry nutrition and health review published in the Cranberry Health Research Library on CranberryInstitute.org.Cranberry Health Research LibraryBrowse the selections by year to find the most recent publications: http://cranberryinstitute.org/doclib/doclib_search.cgiBonus: Impress Your Friends with Tasty Tidbits about the Tiny, Tart Cranberry· Good news for your guests! Research has shown the cranberry may improve blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and the incidence of certain infections· During harvest season, most cranberry bogs are filled with water and the cranberries float to the top to be scooped up—like the traditional flooded bogs often featured. However, other cranberries are actually picked off the vines; this is called dry harvest· Cranberries are one of three fruits native to North America that are cultivated and sold in the USA· The Pilgrims called the cranberry a “crane berry” because the flower looked like the head and neck of a crane!