SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

November 20, 2012

Safely enjoy Cranberries

Low Glycemic Cranberry Sauce

 (From the “HEALING GOURMET,  a timely offering to enjoy your cranberry relish and be safe and healthy without breaking the calorie-bank.  Enjoy.  Jan)

 November 19, 2012

 Turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie… and cranberries.  Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be complete without these tart little fruits.

In fact, each year, approximately 80 million pounds of cranberries are enjoyed during Thanksgiving week alone. They star in everything from fruit salads and festive cocktails to baked dishes and desserts.

And cranberries are loaded with health benefits. They rank second only to blueberries in antioxidant capacity (among fruits). They act as a strong alkalizing agent in the body. They also reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and promote cellular health.

But I have some bitter news to share…

Cranberries contain high levels of dangerous pesticides.

Cranberry Sauce… with a Side of Chlorpyrifos

The main pesticide used on cranberries is called chlorpyrifos (or Dursban).

This chemical is among a group of compounds known as organophosphates. They were originally developed as chemical warfare agents by the Nazis in the 1930s, for their ability to damage DNA while also causing toxic effects to the brain and nervous system.

Like other organophosphates, chlorpyrifos is also an endocrine disruptor. That means it can cause a wide variety of effects on your hormonal system – from promoting weight gain to increasing the risk of diabetes and infertility.

  • And get this: Dursban is so dangerous that many of its uses were banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2000. However, it hasn’t been entirely eliminated. Existing supplies are still being used while the chemical is “phased out.” And much of that ends up on conventional crops.
Take a look at the research on the effects of chlorpyrifos:
    • In two recent studies, the babies of women the most exposure to chlorpyrifos (Dursban and Lorsban) and another oganophosphate, called diazinon (Spectracide), had significantly lower birth weights.
      • A recent Harvard study also found that children with high levels of these types of pesticides in their urine were almost twice as likely to develop ADHD as those with undetectable levels.
      • The Silent Spring Institute found that the dozen Massachusetts towns at the epicenter of the cranberry industry (and where chlorpyrifos is widely used) were found to have breast cancer rates at least 15% higher than the rest of the state.
      • A study published in Diabetes Care found that people with the highest level of exposure to pesticides had a 3,700% increased risk of diabetes.
      • Organophosphates also cause developmental damages to fetuses and children – even in doses that are considered “safe” by the FDA. One study showed that chlorpyrifos exposure – measured by umbilical cord blood concentration – corresponded to a significant decrease in mental and motor development among newborns. A separate study, conducted at Harvard, showed that children exposed to these chemicals in the womb were an average of nearly two years behind in developmental functions!

But it’s not just cranberries that are contaminated with organophosphates. Many “healthy” fruits and vegetables are. To learn more about which foods to avoid (or to always buy organic) and the easy ways you can to detoxify, read Organics: Beyond Green. It’s part of Healing Gourmet’s health transformation series, The Food Cure.

And this Thanksgiving, bring organic cranberries to the table to avoid feeding your family a side of chemicals. Not only will you reduce your exposure to harmful toxins, but you’ll also get a product with greater antioxidant value, while protecting the environment too!

Low Glycemic Cranberry Sauce

Forget the high-fructose syrup-laden, canned and contaminated cranberries! You can bring this fresh, tangy, wholesome, low glycemic cranberry sauce to your table this Thanksgiving with just a few minutes of prep time.

And while most cranberry sauces have 20 grams of sugar and 86 calories per serving, this just-as-sweet sauce has a mere 2 grams and only 18 calories.

Start to Finish: 15 minutes

Yield: 12 servings of 3 Tbsp. each (about 2 cups)


  • 1 cup organic erythritol (try Sinless Sweetener)
  • 1/2 cup fresh organic orange juice
  • 1 tsp. organic orange zest
  • 12 ounces fresh organic cranberries
  • 1/8 tsp. stevia extract (to taste)


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the erythritol in the orange juice
  2. Stir in the cranberries, and cook until they start to pop (about 10 minutes). Sweeten to taste with stevia.
  3. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

Nutrition Information per Serving

18 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 5 carbohydrates, 2 g sugars, 1 g fiber, 0 g protein

And stay tuned to Healing Gourmet in the coming days and weeks for more healthy tips, comfort food makeovers and delicious  holiday delights including “Cornbread” Stuffing… Snickerdoodle Cookies… Dark Chocolate Truffles… and more!
To Your Health,
Kelley Herring
CEO & Editor-in-Chief
Healing Gourmet
Easily Whip Up the Most Decadent & Delicious Low-Glycemic Desserts…
As someone who values their health, you already know that sugar is bad news. It ages your body, contributes to weight gain and can increase your risk of disease. And artificial sweeteners are even WORSE! But now for some good news…You can still enjoy rich, decadent desserts (without a side of guilt!)…Healing Gourmet has spent the last four years researching the latest all-natural sweeteners and functional ingredients to create healthy versions of your favorite traditional desserts!We put everything we learned into a comprehensive reference and recipe book, called Guilt Free Desserts. Claim your copy today and get two free bonuses – Better Breads and Awesome Appetizers by clicking here.


  1. Ban Dursban: Government finds excessive risks in widely used insecticide.
  2. Chloriphyros and Breast Cancer:
  3. Harari, R. et al. Neurobehavioral Deficits and Increased Blood Pressure in School-Age Children Prenatally Exposed to Pesticides. 2010. Environ Health Perspect, 118:890-896
  4. Lovasi , G. et al. Chlorpyrifos Exposure and Urban Residential Environment Characteristics as Determinants of Early Childhood Neurodevelopment2010. Am J Public Health. AJPH.2009.168419v1
  5. Brody, J., Aschengrau, A., McKelvey, W.Breast cancer risk and drinking water contaminated by wastewater: a case control study.Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source 2006, 5:28 doi:10.1186/1476-069X-5-28
  6. Josephson, J. Cancer: New Chlorpyrifos Link? Environ Health Perspect. 2005 March; 113(3): A158.

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