Sunday, March 24, 2019

Cranberry Juice

So a couple of weeks ago I awoke with the symptoms of a bladder infection.  I opened a quart of my home canned cranberry juice and sipped on it all day.  The next morning the symptoms had disappeared and have not returned.

I have used cranberry juice on other occasions for the same purpose, but used store bought juice, which took several days to work.  I suspect what the makers of cranberry juice advertise as 100% juice, isn't.

A couple of years ago Duane brought me 75 lbs. of fresh cranberries from the Farmer's Market.  There is a vendor there who has the most beautiful cranberries I have ever seen.  I have never found a bad berry and each and every one is a gorgeous dark red color.  They make the cranberries from the store look like poor seconds.

The berries come in 25 lb. boxes.  I had used most of one box but circumstances prevented me from preserving the rest, so I bagged them up and froze them.  Last year I needed the freezer space, so I thawed out the berries, filled canning jars with them, adding water to cover and canned them, thinking I could use them up at a later date.  The later date has arrived.

After drinking one quart of cranberry juice, I saw I had only three quarts left.  It was time to make more, so yesterday I hauled all 29 quart jars of canned cranberries to the kitchen.  I dumped 5 quarts at a time into the stock pot, added an equal amount of water and brought it to a simmer.  I let it simmer for 10 minutes and then ran it through a colander, letting the juice drip into another pot and saving the cooked berries.

Once that was done, I mashed up the cooked berries, added water to maybe an inch over the berry pulp and brought that to a simmer.  Then I drained all of that, extracting more juice.  Again I saved the pulp and will dehydrate it tomorrow.  Have no idea what to use powdered cranberries for, but I can't stand wasting them.

This morning I dumped 7 quarts of juice at a time into a stock pot, added 2 1/2 cups of sugar and heated the juice until the sugar was dissolved and the juice was fairly hot.  Then it went into quart jars and was canned in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  I now have 35 quarts of lovely, ruby red cranberry juice, plus a couple of quarts in the fridge just to drink.

This whole thing was an experiment.  I had only before made juice using fresh cranberries, but it turned out well.

And now, you guessed it.  Time for a little nap.  :)


  1. Vicki, I hope you had a wonderful nap. Even though it was a lot of work, you will enjoy having the preserved juice and powder. What a treat! Cranberry juice can do wonders for bladder/urinary tract infections. I will try to remember to purchase cranberries in bulk next time cranberries are available. Great medicinal prep to have on hand!

    I had company for several days, but since they departed I have been busy planning my garden, starting some seeds indoors, and gathering my garden tools. It will be several weeks before I will be in the garden as it is still covered with a foot of snow...getting the itch to play in the dirt.

    In the meantime, I will be baking bread, canning up some boneless pork ribs and dehydrating frozen chopped green peppers that I need to get out of my freezer. Lots to do, but so rewarding when I get something put up for the food stores.

    Hope you have cured your bladder infection and that you have a great week ahead. CW

    1. CW...I have had the best luck getting cranberries at the St. Paul Farmer's
      Market. I get them mostly for the juice. When first felt the bladder infection symptoms, I was sure a doctor's visit was next. But the cranberry juice cleared it right up and it hasn't come back. Plus I really like the taste of the homemade juice. Don't know what to do with the powder, except that when one of my cats had a urinary tract infection, my vet told me to get some cranberry powder and sprinkle it on her food. Worked like a charm! It's just now I no longer have cats.

      I really miss having a garden. But I get to hear about others gardens, so it is ok. Even so, I still buy a few packets of seeds each year - just in case. I only have one window that gets enough sunlight to grow anything, but I may plant a pot of basil this year just to see how it does.

      It does make us feel good to see all those filled jars on shelves, doesn't it. Kind of like our own security blanket. My, but you are busy!! I need to get busy and can some more chili - one of my favorites to can. That won't happen for a couple of weeks. I'm still drowning in flannel and want to finish that first.

      My week is already wonderful because I can look outside and see not one single flake of snow!! And I can open windows and listen to the birds arguing in the tree outside. Hope you aren't knee deep in mud. The MN River just a block away is high, but we are on a hill so it won't bother us. Duane went for a walk to look at the river and said the archery range along the banks is about 8 feet under water. Guess with all the snow we had, nobody should be surprised.

      Wishing you a good week, too.

  2. My wife has a history of badder issues. We have had Dr swear by the juice, and others say it doesn't matter. We all know the bottled or canned juice has so much preservatives in them it weakens the natural abilities of the cranberries. Which I love to eat. You cant have turkey without it.

    1. Rob...All I can say for sure is cranberry juice works for me. The bottled stuff from the store takes longer, but my home canned juice cleared up the problem overnight. I don't know what is in the bottled juice, but mine has cranberries, water and sugar - nothing else. That's probably why it worked much better than store bought. It is time consuming and work intensive to make it, but well worth the time and trouble. And it tastes good. :)

  3. I've heard "medical professionals" berate the use of cranberry juice for UTI, either saying "it's a myth," or "There's no scientific evidence it works." Tell that to my wife, for whom cranberry juice has worked every time...

    ...I wish I had your half your knowledge and energy...

    1. Pete...I'm afraid I am one of those people who are skeptical of much of the medical profession. This comes from having parents who believed doctors to be gods and never questioned anything, even when the treatment made things worse. I question everything. Which is why I will keep my homemade cranberry juice on hand and laugh in the face of any doctor who tells me it doesn't work.

      Much of my 'knowledge' is in the form of, "Gee...I wonder if this would work." Sometimes it works and sometimes, not so much. But it all is worth a try. As far as energy goes, these days it is more a matter of pushing myself to accomplish what needs to be done. And most of that is with the 'prepare for the worst' mindset. It will take me a day or two to recover from being on my feet so much of the past two days, but for me, it is worth every ache and pain to know that this part of my medicinal preparedness is covered.

  4. watch that sugar not good for bladder innfection

    1. deb...The original recipe called for more sugar, so I cut it back to where it tasted good but was not overly sweet.