It’s very sour, and therefore hard to drink cranberry juice by itself.
What most Cranberry Juice Is
Most juices sold as “cranberry juice” contain apple and/or other fruit juice, and are sometimes mixed with sugar. There are some brands that advertise 100% pure juice, which at first glance makes the consumer think that they are getting a bottle of 100% pure cranberry juice, when in actual fact they are getting a blend of different juices with nothing else added, so technically the companies are not lying – it is all (pure) juice.
But they know what they’re doing.
It’s not the end of the world though as people usually learn the frustrating lesson which is ‘the importance of checking the label’ before buying anything. I say frustrating because most of us don’t have time to check every single label of everything that we buy, so we end up disappointed when we got home with whatever product we have ( which just adds unnecessary stress in our day), and vow to pay more attention next time.
COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS
Buying and consuming any type of juice that has added sugar in it is definitely not good for you. That can be safely said. It’s almost as bad, if not worse, than drinking pop or soda.
Drinking those juice blends that were described above, are much better alternatives because they don’t have any added sugar. However they are still far from ideal because the juices that are most often mixed in with the healthy cranberry juice are grape, apple and pear.
Those three juices tend to have a lot of sugar in them ( which are needed to combat the extremely sour, pure, cranberry juice) and so any benefit that you get from the portion of cranberry juice in this blend, is offset by the negative effects of all the extra sugar you’re drinking.
It’s not so much that one cancels the other out. You would still get the benefits of drinking the raw, pure cranberry juice ( vitamins minerals and antioxidants), but in addition to that you would suffer the negative consequences ( namely the insulin spike from the sugar) which would do more harm to your body than the cranberry juice would do good.
Unsweetened or No added Sugar
Pure cranberry juice is much too tart or sour to drink on its own, and adding sugar to it negates some of the health benefits.
So we need to figure out how to consume it without any of the negative consequences that come with making it more palatable.
The obvious answer is to mix it with other foods or substances that are benign or healthy – meaning foods with no sugar or anything that might be bad for you .
Here are some great ways to do just that after you’ve already purchased a bottle of pure, unsweetened cranberry juice (PCJ):
1- PCJ with sparkling water and add some Stevia (a sweetener)
– 1/4 cup PCJ
– 3/4 cup sparkling water
– 15 drops of liquid stevia
*** You can also use diet 7-Up or Sprite in place of the last two ingredients if you don’t mind artificial sweeteners (which I’m fine with but I understand not everybody is, hence the stevia instead). This way you save a lot of time and money, and are sure that the only other thing going into your body is carbonated water.
2- Dilute the PCJ in water. It’s not the best tasting drink but many people tolerate it, and even learn to enjoy it after a while. It’s the easiest and cheapest (and healthiest) way to go about drinking pure cranberry juice so far.
3- Cranberry Mojito. Yes it’s an alcoholic beverage so it’s only to be used once in a while, but the ingredients in the recipe below have no sugar in them. The only downside is the ounce of rum and the alcohol it contains (rum has no sugar). Or if you don’t drink very much then having 1 ounce of an alcoholic beverage every week or so might have no downside at all seeing as there is talk of small amounts of alcohol even being good for us.
– 1/2 lime, cut in quarters
– 5 mint leaves
– 1 tbsp of sugar-free sweetener
– 1 oz rum
– 2-1/2 oz pure cranberry juice (diet cranberry juice)
– 2 to 3 oz sparkling water
Instructions – toss the lime and the mint leaves to the bottom of a glass, add the sweetener and crush them all together. Fill the glass with ice and then add in all the liquids. Garnish the glass with another lime wedge and a mint leaf. Enjoy.
4- Pure cranberry juice and iced tea.
– 1/4 cup PCJ
– 1 cup of homemade iced tea (cooled and unsweetened)
– 1 cup full of ice and lemon slices
– Add sweetener to taste
5- Cranberry Juice Smoothie!
– 1/4 cup PCJ
– 1 cup of milk
– 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
– 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
– A a few ice cubes
Simply blend all ingredients and enjoy a fresh, cool smoothie. The milk is really the only ingredient that takes away from this drink being mostly pure cranberry juice. But in my book milk is pretty healthy. And if you’re someone who steers clear of dairy then I’d recommend a milk alternative without any (or very little) sugar in it.
In a Nutshell
Thousands of people have discovered the benefits of drinking pure cranberry juice but have been reluctant to make it part of their diet because for some odd reason they actually want to enjoy the food and drink they ingest.
Pure cranberry juice and the word “enjoy” don’t really go together.
So we’ve had to come up with some creative ways to enjoy this wonderful liquid without getting diabetes at the same time.
Hopefully you can use any one of the five recipes that are above, and/or come up with your own twists on them, so you can start savoring the benefits and pleasures that cranberry juice has to offer.
Hope this helps.