I am always experimenting in my kitchen, especially this time of year. One of the things I try to do most often is add herbs into our food, both to enhance the flavor, and to make sure my family is consuming enough vitamins (herbs are jam packed with vitamins and minerals). Rosemary and Juniper are two herbs that I absolutely love and they have great health benefits, so when I ran across a recipe online for Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary and Juniper, I decided to try it out and make it my own. I have included the URL for the original recipe down in my resources, for those of you who want to check it out.
A note about the herbs:
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis is excellent for your memory, improves your mood, reduces inflammation, eases pain, protects the immune system, stimulates circulation, detoxifies the body, protects against bacterial infections, prevents premature aging (because of its high amount of antioxidants no less), and helps heal many skin conditions. Most of these benefits have been known and used for centuries. Shakespeare even wrote “rosemary, that’s for remembrance” in his play Hamlet. Rosemary is also commonly added to food in many areas and does help aid digestion and calm the stomach. Also, because of its antibacterial properties, rosemary makes a great breath freshener.
Juniper Juniperus communis is naturally antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic. This makes it a great choice to fight infections of all kinds. Juniper is useful to reduce inflammation and to increase the production of stomach acids, which means that it’s great for digestion. Juniper, like cranberry, is great for the urinary tract and helps to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Juniper also helps to lower blood sugar and can alleviate some of the problems associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Rosemary Juniper Cranberry Sauce
12 cups organic cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 bottle hard apple cider of your choice
2 cups apple cider (the family friendly kind found in your local produce department)
1 cup orange juice
½ cup red wine of your choice
1-2 tsp dried juniper berries, lightly crushed (I love the taste of juniper, so I lean more towards 2 tsp, but it is a strong flavor so start light)
3 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
Raw, local honey
½ tsp sea salt
Combine cranberries, apple cider, hard apple cider, orange juice, wine, juniper, and rosemary in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 10-15 minutes, or until all the cranberries have popped. Add ½ cup of the honey and all of the salt. Stir and taste, if it needs more sweetening, add more honey about ½ cup at a time. Add more juniper or rosemary at this time as well, if needed. Simmer until the sauce has reached the desired consistency, remember that it will thicken a bit upon cooling.
If you want to store it/can it, pour into sterilized mason jars (makes 5-6 pints), leaving ¼ inch free at the top. Put the jars into a boiling water bath for about 15 minutes. This sauce will keep, canned, for about 1 year. Refrigerate after opening, or just serve fresh at Thanksgiving dinner!
I hope you all enjoy this recipe. Just like with all my recipes, feel free to play around and make it your own. Change up the herbs (basil or mint should be tasty, or you could go with the classic cinnamon and clove combination), use beer instead of cider (there are some really good gluten free beers out on the market right now), gin instead of wine (for those of you who just love the flavor of juniper), or add some seasonal nuts (walnuts might be especially tasty). Experiment and have fun making healthy food for your friends and family!
Herb Wisdom – Juniper: http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-juniper.html
Local Kitchen Blog – Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary and Juniper Berries: https://localkitchenblog.com/2009/12/12/cranberry-sauce-with-rosemary-juniper-berry/
Organic Facts – Health Benefits of Rosemary: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/rosemary.html