A Side Dish with Health Benefits

Hawthorn Berries in Your Cranberry Sauce Gives Your Holiday Table a Healing, Healthy Side Dish.

What holiday table would be complete without the beautiful red cranberry relish we love to see beside our turkey every Thanksgiving? Try a new recipe this year that will not only add sweetness and color but has some extra added bonuses as well.

Hawthorn berries have been researched as a tonic for the heart and they are traditionally prescribed to treat irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chest pain, hardening of the arteries and heart failure. However, around the holidays, most people are interested in their ability to improve the digestion of fats and meats. They also contain vitamin C and antioxidants.  Add in some hawthorn berries this year and get rewarded with a happy tummy and heart!

Recipe contributed by friend and colleague, Rachel Toomin:

Cranberry Hawthorn Berry Sauce


2 C fresh cranberries           2 T grated orange rind (opt.)

1 C pitted & dried                  1 C sugar/honey/agave             

hawthorn berries                               syrup (or to taste)


Wash cranberries and hawthorn berries separately. Soak hawthorn berries for at least 10 min. (you can put them in a container of water the night before and stash in the refrigerator), strain and discard water. Remove seeds from hawthorn berries.

Place hawthorn berries in a saucepan with sweetener of choice & water. Bring to a boil, simmering for 10 min.

Add cranberries, bring to boil again, and simmer until the cranberry skins burst—about 10 min.

Add orange rind and/or other additions. Allow to cool or refrigerate.  May also be served warm.

Additions: pecans, candied ginger, love, imagination


Experience has shown that you cannot shortcut the process by using already-made cranberry sauce, even if  it is fresh/homemade cranberry sauce.  You have to cook the cranberries with the hawthorn berries, or it tastes awful!



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