Cranberry-Apple Compote

Yields ~6 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ – 2 cup honey**
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6 cups fresh cranberries 
  • 1 ½ cup Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced

**You may use 1 ½ cup sugar instead, in which case you also need 1 ½ tbsp white vinegar.

Video de la receta

ELABORACIÓN

  1. Place honey in a medium saucepan and add orange juice, and slowly dissolve under low heat, stirring frequently.* Add grated ginger and orange zest, mix and bring to a slow boil. Add cranberries.
  2. Cook at medium heat, stirring often, until the cranberries begin to pop. Add apple slices and continue cooking for a few more minutes, until most of the cranberries are popped, but some remain whole. You may use the back of a spoon to encourage popping.
  3. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan and let it rest until it cools to room temperature.
  4. Serve as a side to chicken, turkey or pork dishes, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Of course, you may enjoy immediately on its own! 😉

*If you use sugar, put sugar and vinegar in the saucepan and cook under low heat, stirring constantly, until a syrup-like liquid forms. Remove from the heat and add orange juice, little by little, stirring constantly. Add ginger and orange zest and continue with the rest of the recipe. 

NOTE: if you like a more homogeneous looking compote, you may use a hand blender to mix with small pulses until it gets the consistency you like.

What are the benefits of this?

Cranberries and citrus fruits such as orange are great sources of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the immune system by influencing the development and functioning of white blood cells, one of the body’s main types of immune cells.

Low levels of vitamin C result in higher susceptibility to infections, while a higher supply has been shown to help prevent and treat respiratory infections – especially in people undergoing heavy physical stress. Vitamin C also shortens the duration of the common cold if you were unlucky enough to catch it.

Cranberries are very high in bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants — particularly flavonol polyphenols. 

Both cranberries and apples are great sources of pectin. The longer the cranberries and apples are heated, and broken down the more pectin they release. Citrus peel is also an excellent source of pectin!

Pectins are a type of prebiotic, meaning that they cannot be broken down by human enzymes, but can be broken down by the beneficial bacteria in your gut (microbiome). 

Once broken down by your gut bacteria, they release short chain fatty acids (SCFA), small molecules that serve as fuel to the cells of the intestinal lining, nourishing them and keeping them healthy. 

In this regard, pectins contribute to maintaining and improving the integrity of the gut mucosa, preventing intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) and pathogenic bacteria from causing harm.

When the integrity of the gut lining is compromised, it may become too porous, allowing toxins, bacteria, and partially digested food to reach the bloodstream and other tissues, causing inflammation, autoimmunity, and dysbiosis (an imbalace of your microbiome’s composition).

References:

  1. Pappas E, Schaich KM. Phytochemicals of cranberries and cranberry products: characterization, potential health effects, and processing stability. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Oct;49(9):741-81. doi: 10.1080/10408390802145377. PMID: 20443158.
  2. Chung WSF, Meijerink M, Zeuner B, Holck J, Louis P, Meyer AS, Wells JM, Flint HJ, Duncan SH. Prebiotic potential of pectin and pectic oligosaccharides to promote anti-inflammatory commensal bacteria in the human colon. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2017 Nov 1;93(11). doi: 10.1093/femsec/fix127. PMID: 29029078.
  3. Larsen N, Bussolo de Souza C, Krych L, Barbosa Cahú T, Wiese M, Kot W, Hansen KM, Blennow A, Venema K, Jespersen L. Potential of Pectins to Beneficially Modulate the Gut Microbiota Depends on Their Structural Properties. Front Microbiol. 2019 Feb 15;10:223. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00223. PMID: 30828323; PMCID: PMC6384267.
  4. Côté J, Caillet S, Doyon G, Sylvain JF, Lacroix M. Analyzing cranberry bioactive compounds. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Oct;50(9):872-88. doi: 10.1080/10408390903042069. PMID: 20924868.
  5. Côté J, Caillet S, Doyon G, Sylvain JF, Lacroix M. Bioactive compounds in cranberries and their biological properties. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Aug;50(7):666-79. doi: 10.1080/10408390903044107. PMID: 20694928.

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