Thanksgiving is here! It's a wonderful time of year that is full of tradition, family, friends, eating, drinking and of course, giving thanks and gratitude for all that we have in our lives. The bustle of cooking and entertaining, along with the stress of the holiday season and pressure to shop till you drop can make it a challenge to find that moment to reflect on who or what we are grateful for.
Here is a guide to Thanksgiving to help you through one of the busiest weekends of the year!
Cherrified Recipe Idea:
Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cherries & Cloves
This quick and simple recipe with juicy cherries and fragrant cloves offers a new take on a traditional favorite that everyone will enjoy!
2 1/2 cups cherry cider or black cherry cider or cranberry juice cocktail
1 8-ounce package dried tart cherries (about 2 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 12-ounce package cranberries
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground cloves
Bring cider to simmer in heavy, large saucepan. Remove from heat. Add cherries and let stand 8 minutes. Mix in sugar, then cranberries and cloves. Cook over medium-high heat until cranberries burst, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours (sauce will thicken as it cools). (Can be prepared 4 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
Bonus idea: Cornbread Stuffing with Cherries
Regulate Stress with Tart Cherry Juice
Stress can get the best of us around the holiday season by affecting our mood and thus sleep quality. We now know that tart cherry juice is linked to dopamine production, which is a chemical is your brain that is associated with pleasure, reward, learning, motivation and motor control. A lack of this neurotransmitter may cause difficulty concentrating, loss of motor control, addiction, depression and cravings.
Insufficient sleep and too much stress can reduce your dopamine levels, but thankfully, some foods such as tart cherries can help naturally replenish your dopamine levels, boosting your mood and health.
One of the healthy nutrients that cherries contain is an amino acid called tyrosine, which your body needs in order to make enough dopamine.
Antioxidants also play an important role in this process. Dopamine is received by neuron receptors in your brain, but chemicals called free radicals can damage these neurons and thus interfere with dopamine use. The antioxidants found in tart cherries and other fruits and vegetables neutralize free radicals and allow your body to optimally use dopamine so that you can have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Small Business Saturday: Shop till you Drop…or Not!
Those hyped up sales are hard to resist, but this year, why not let go of the consumerism and participate in Small Business Saturday and shop close to home to support your local economy and community. The best part is, you don’t have to give up low prices - local stores will still have plenty of bargains to choose from.
The only things you’ll miss out on are the traffic and the crowds!
Learn more about the movement on a Facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday.