Live to at least 131 with Tecwyn's amazing super food liqueur recipes! Everyday during his adult life he would have a small glass of one of his liqueurs which is probably the secret to his longevity and general 'good looks'. Is Tecwyn a superfood super hero? Has he discovered the secret to immortality itself?
Four superfood superberry liqueurs are made and tested by our resident expert panel of tasters. Blueberry, Cranberry, Goji berry and Hawthorn berry (Haw) battle it out in the contest to find the ultimate tasty and healthy liqueur.
|Hazards:||..........||Diatomaceous earth dust harmful|
Step 1: Superfood Health Benefits
Here's a quick rundown of the health benefits of the best berries to use. Please check with your health practitioner for possible side effects. Alcohol consumption must be moderate.
Blueberries (Cyanococcus): Extremely high in antioxidants, cardiovascular benefits, blood sugar benefits, eye health, anti-cancer benefits, improvement of memory and other cognitive functions.
Cranberries (Vaccinium Macrocarpon): Protection against urinary tract infections (UTIs), possible protection against stomach ulcers, cardiovascular benefits, anti-cancer benefits, anti-inflammatory.
Goji Berries (Lycium): Used in Chinese medicine with claims for the 'fountain of youth'. They are thought to increase live expectancy and sexual performance. Packed with protein and nutrients.
Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.): Anti-oxidant. Research is sparse.
Sour Cherries: (Prunus cerasus): Possible benefits for sleep problems, also possibly anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.
Sloes (Prunus Spinosa): Anti-oxidant. Research is sparse.
Haw Berries (Crateagus Oxycanthus): Valve prolapse, angina, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, myocarditis, arteriosclerosis. Hawthorn can normalise blood pressure by regulating heart action; extended use can lower blood pressure. Good for heart muscle weakened by age. Can help strengthen blood vessels, reduce palpitations, help prevnt vascular insufficiency, blood clots (embolism, phlebitis). Dilates coronary vessels to restore the heart muscle wall. Lowers cholesterol. Good for nervous conditions like insomnia. Aids digestion. Relieves abdominal distention and diarrhea, food stagnation, abdominal tumors and is good for dropsy.
Alcohol: Lower risk of cardiovascular disease, longer live expectancy, improved libido, prevent the common cold, less chance of dementia, lower risk of gallstones, lower risk of diabetes 2.
Step 2: Equipment and Ingredients
Do not add sugar - it's not needed!
Step 3: Process the Berries
If you are using fresh Haw or Sloe berries, make sue that they have gone through a 'Freeze Thaw Cycle' - you can do this artificially by putting them in the freezer, removing them to thaw out and then putting them back in the freezer again. This is really important so do not miss out this step!
Weigh out the berries that you want to use. I made a little paper 'boat' out of A4 paper with some staples at the corners which was quite handy. Empty the berries into a 1 litre mason jar and add the vodka or your homemade alcohol. Leave this to stand for 24 hours and then transfer to a food processor and whizz up for about 20 seconds for the dried berries but only 5 seconds for the fresh ones or you will start to grind up the seeds. Transfer this back to the 1 litre jar and steep for another 24 hours.
Now strain the liquid through the fine mesh bag into the 3 litre mason jar and squeeze out any liquid remaining in the pulp at the end. The liquid collected is now ready for filtering.
If you want to make your own alcohol check this out: CLICKY LINKY
Step 4: Filtering the Berry Infusion
Add 200g of diatamous earth to the water filter, wearing a dust mask, and then top up the jug with the cloudy berry liquid. It will slowly drip through the white earth coming out bright and clear. If you process more than about 2 litres you might have to give the earth a quick stir as a film of gunk gets stuck on the top surface.
The first time I processed the haw berries the liquid turned partially to jelly, which was very interesting! I reduced the berry to alcohol ratio and this seemed to work ok. Keep it in a warm place though.
Step 5: Labels
Step 6: Tasting Video and Conclusion
The Cranberry liqueur was by far the favourite in the video tasting session, but in a subsequent session, the Haw berry was probably even more popular, particularly when the amazing health benefits of Haws are considered. Personally, I believe that fresh wild berries such as Haws and Sloes will have much greater health benefits than the other cultivated varieties tested - and they taste better too! I did get hold of some dried unsweetened sour cherries from Albania which produced an 'ok' liqueur and some dried bilberries from Uzbekistan which strangely seemed to have very little flavour ........... But I wonder what fresh strawberry liqueur would taste like? ....... Roll on Summer!
Step 7: References
Adams LS, Phung S, Yee N et al. Blueberry Phytochemicals Inhibit Growth and Metastatic Potential of MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells Through Modulation of the Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase Pathway. Cancer Res. 2010 May 1; 70(9): 3594-3605. Published online 2010 April 13. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3565. 2010.
Ahmet I, Spangler E, Shukitt-Hale B et al. Blueberry-Enriched Diet Protects Rat Heart from Ischemic Damage. PLoS ONE. 2009; 4(6): e5954. Published online 2009 June 18. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005954. 2009.
Basu A, Du M, Leyva MJ et al. Blueberries Decrease Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Obese Men and Women with Metabolic Syndrome. The Journal of Nutrition. Bethesda: Sep 2010. Vol. 140, Iss. 9; p. 1582-1587. 2010.
Basu A, Rhone M and Lyons TJ. Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health. Nutr Rev. 2010 Mar;68(3):168-77. Review. 2010.
DeFuria J, Bennett G, Strissel KJ et al. Dietary . Dietary Blueberry Attenuates Whole-Body Insulin Resistance in High Fat-Fed Mice by Reducing Adipocyte Death and Its Inflammatory Sequelae. J Nutr. 2009 August; 139(8): 1510-1516. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.105155. 2009.
Grace MH, Ribnicky DM, Kuhn P et al. Hypoglycemic activity of a novel Anthocyanin-rich formulation from Lowbush Blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium. Phytomedicine. 2009 May; 16(5): 406-415. 2009
Hurst RD, Wells RW, Hurst SM et al. Blueberry fruit polyphenolics suppress oxidative stress-induced skeletal muscle cell damage in vitro. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Mar;54(3):353-63. 2010.
Jenkins DJA, Ssrichaikul K, Kendall CWC et al. The relation of low glycaemic index fruit consumption to glycaemic control and risk factors for coronary heart disease in type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia. 2011 February; 54(2): 271-279. 2011.
Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA et al. Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 April 14; 58(7): 3996-4000. 2010.
Lohachoompol V, Srzednicki G, and Craske J. The Change of Total Anthocyanins in Blueberries and Their Antioxidant Effect After Drying and Freezing. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2004 December 1; 2004(5): 248-252. 2004.
Mannal P, McDonald D and McFadden D. Pterostilbene and tamoxifen show an additive effect against breast cancer in vitro. Am J Surg. 2010 Nov;200(5):577-80. 2010.
Mizuno CS and Rimando AM. Blueberries and Metabolic Syndrome. Silpakorn University Science and Technology Journal Year: 2009 Vol: 3 Issue: 2 Pages/record No.: 7-17. 2009.
Paul S, DeCastro AJ, Lee HJ et al. Dietary intake of pterostilbene, a constituent of blueberries, inhibits the beta-catenin/p65 downstream signaling pathway and colon carcinogenesis in rats. Carcinogenesis. 2010 Jul;31(7):1272-8. Epub 2010 Jan 8. 2010.
Paul S, Rimando AM, Lee HJ et al. Anti-inflammatory action of pterostilbene is mediated through the p38 MAPK pathway in colon cancer cells. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2009 July; 2(7): 650-657. Published online 2009 June 23. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0224. 2009.
Sablani SS, Andrews PK, Davies NM et al. Effect of thermal treatments on phytochemicals in conventionally and organically grown berries. J Sci Food Agric. 2010 Apr 15;90(5):769-78. 2010.
Scibisz I and Mitek M. The changes of antioxidant properties in highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) during freezing and long-term frozen storage. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum : Technologia Alimentaria Year: 2007 Vol: 6 Issue: 4 Pages/record No.: 75-81. 2007.
Simmen FA, Frank JA, Wu X et al. Lack of efficacy of blueberry in nutritional prevention of azoxymethane-initiated cancers of rat small intestine and colon. BMC Gastroenterol. 2009; 9: 67. Published online 2009 September 16. doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-9-67. 2009.
Still AJ, Cash KC, Johnson WD et al. Bioactives in Blueberries Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Obese, Insulin-Resistant Men and Women. The Journal of Nutrition. Bethesda: Oct 2010. Vol. 140, Iss. 10; p. 1764-1768. 2010.
Stoner GD, Want LS, Seguin C et al. Multiple Berry Types Prevent N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-Induced Esophageal Cancer in Rats. Pharm Res. 2010 June; 27(6): 1138-1145. 2010.
Vuong T, Matar C, Ramassamy C et al. Biotransformed blueberry juice protects neurons from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway alterations. Br J Nutr. 2010 Sep;104(5):656-63. Epub 2010 May 12. 2010.
Wang SY, Chen CT, Sciarappa W et al. Fruit quality, antioxidant capacity, and flavonoid content of organically and conventionally grown blueberries. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jul 23;56(14):5788-94. Epub 2008 Jul 1. 2008.
Wu X, Kang J, Xie C et al. Dietary Blueberries Attenuate Atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice by Upregulating Antioxidant Enzyme Expression. J. Nutr. September 1, 2010 vol. 140 no. 9 1628-1632. 2010.
Beverly K, Basu A and Lucas EA. Anti-inflammatory effects of cranberry juice in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells. FASEB J. 2008 22:890.8 [Meeting Abstract] . 2008
Burger O, Weiss E, Sharon N, et al. Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori adhesion to human gastric mucus by a high-molecular-weight constituent of cranberry juice. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2002;42(3 Suppl):279-84. 2002. 2002.
Côté J, Caillet S, Doyon G et al. Bioactive compounds in cranberries and their biological properties. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Aug;50(7):666-79. 2010.
Cheng H, Lin T, Yang C, et al. In vitro HSV-2 activity and mechanism of action of proanthocyanidin A-1 from Vaccinium vitgis-idaea. J Sci Food Agric 2004 Oct;85(1):10-15. 2004. 2004.
Cho E, Seddon JM, Rosner B, et al. Prospective study of intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and carotenoids and risk of age-related maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;122(6):883-92. 2004. PMID:15197064. 2004.
Déziel BA, Patel K, Neto C et al. Proanthocyanidins from the American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity in human prostate cancer cells via alterations in multi. J Cell Biochem. 2010 Oct 15;111(3):742-54. 2010.
Ferguson PJ, Kurowska E, Freeman DJ, Chambers AF, Koropatnick DJ. A flavonoid fraction from cranberry extract inhibits proliferation of human tumor cell lines. J Nutr. 2004 Jun;134(6):1529-35. 2004. PMID:15173424.
Gettman MT, Ogan K, Brinkley LJ et al. Effect of cranberry juice consumption on urinary stone risk factors. J Urol. 2005 Aug;174(2):590-4. 2005.
Guay DR. Cranberry and urinary tract infections. Drugs. 2009;69(7):775-807. 2009.
Jepson R, Mihaljevic L, Craig J. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;1:CD001321. 2004.
Khoo C, Hullar MAJ, Li F et al. Effect of cranberry juice intake on human gut microbial community and urinary metabolites in a randomized, placebo-controlled intervention. FASEB J. 2010 24:720.3 [Meeting Abstract] . 2010.
Kim E, Sy-Cordero A, Graf TN et al. Isolation and Identification of Intestinal CYP3A Inhibitors from Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) Using Human Intestinal Microsomes. Planta Med. 2010 Aug 17. [Epub ahead of print]. 2010.
Koo H, Nino de Guzman P, Schobel BD, et al. Influence of cranberry juice on glucan-mediated processes involved in Streptococcus mutans biofilm development. Caries Res. 2006;40(1):20-7. 2006.
Kota BP, Huang TH, Roufogalis BD. An overview on biological mechanisms of PPARs. Pharmacol Res. 2005 Feb;51(2):85-94. 2005. PMID:15629253.
Kruse-Elliott K., Reed J. Cranberry juice modulates atherosclerotic vascular dysfunction. Paper presented at the 35th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences in San Diego, CA, April 3, 2005. 2005.
Li M, Andrew MA, Wang J et al. Effects of Cranberry Juice on Pharmacokinetics of '-Lactam Antibiotics following Oral Administration. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., Jul 2009; 53: 2725 - 2732. 2009.
Lipson SM, Sethi L, Cohen P, et al. Antiviral effects on bacteriophages and rotavirus by cranberry juice. Phytomedicine. 2007 Jan;14(1):23-30. 2007.
Liu Y, Black MA, Caron L, et al. Role of cranberry juice on molecular-scale surface characteristics and adhesion behavior of Escherichia coli. Biotechnol Bioeng. 2006 Feb 5;93(2):297-305. 2006.
MacDougall C, Gottschall-Pass K, Neto C et al. Dietary Whole Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) Modulates Plasma Lipid and Cytokine Profiles, and Prevents Liver Toxicity in Response to Cholesterol-Feeding in the JCR-LA-cp Corpulent Rat Model. FASEB J. 2008 22:702.6 [Meeting Abstract] . 2008.
MacLean MA, Matchett MD, Amoroso J et al. Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) flavonoids inhibit matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in human prostate cancer cells. FASEB J, Apr 2007; 21: A1000. 2007.
Milbury PE, Vita JA and Blumberg JB. Anthocyanins are bioavailable in humans following an acute dose of cranberry juice. J Nutr. 2010 Jun;140(6):1099-104. Epub 2010 Apr 7. 2010.
Muller CE, Khoo C and Percival SS. Cranberry polyphenols down-regulate the toll-like receptor 4 pathway and NF-B activation, while still enhancing tumor necrosis factor secretion. FASEB J, Apr 2010; 24: 332.2. 2010.
Nantz MP, Rowe CA, Muller CE et al. Cranberry phytochemicals modify human immune function and appear to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. FASEB J, Apr 2010; 24: 326.6. 2010.
Neveu V, Perez-Jiménez J, Vos F et al. Phenol-Explorer: an online comprehensive database on polyphenol contents in foods. (2010). Database, doi: 10.1093/database/bap024 (Version 1.5.2, available at http://www.phenol-explorer.eu). 2010.
Ngo N, Brantley SJ, Carrizosa DR et al. The warfarin-cranberry juice interaction revisited: A systematic in vitro-in vivo evaluation. J Exp Pharmacol. 2010 Jul;2010(2):83-91. 2010.
Pappas E and Schaich KM. Phytochemicals of cranberries and cranberry products: characterization, potential health effects, and processing stability. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Oct;49(9):741-81. 2009.
Reed J. Cranberry flavonoids, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2002;42(3 Suppl):301-16. 2002.
Reid G. The role of cranberry and probiotics in intestinal and urogenital tract health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2002;42(3 Suppl):293-300. 2002.
Rimando A. Pterostilbene as a new natural product agonist for the peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor alpha isoform. Paper presented at the 228th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 23, 2004. 2004.
Ruel G, Pomerleau S, Couture P, et al. Favourable impact of low-calorie cranberry juice consumption on plasma HDL-cholesterol concentrations in men. Br J Nutr. 2006 Aug;96(2):357-64. 2006.
Ruel G, Pomerleau S, Couture P, et al. Low-calorie cranberry juice supplementation reduces plasma oxidized LDL and cell adhesion molecule concentrations in men. Br J Nutr. 2007 Aug 29:1-8. [Epub ahead of print] . 2007.
Shaughnessy K, Sweeney M and Neto C. Investigation of the effects of cranberry fractions on atherosclerosis in mice. FASEB J. 2007 21:847.26 [Meeting Abstract] . 2007.
Shmuely H, Yahav J, Samra Z, Chodick G, Koren R, Niv Y, Ofek I. Effect of cranberry juice on eradication of Helicobacter pylori in patients treated with antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):746-51. 2007. PMID:17487928.
Sun J, Hai Liu R. Cranberry phytochemical extracts induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 2005 Dec 22; [Epub ahead of print]. 2005. PMID:16377076.
Tempera G, Corsello S, Genovese C et al. Inhibitory activity of cranberry extract on the bacterial adhesiveness in the urine of women: an ex-vivo study. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2010 Apr-Jun;23(2):611-8. 2010.
Trivedi A. Role of cranberry juice in preventing recurrent urinary tract infections in the pediatric population. Asian J Pharm 2009;3:161. 2009.
Vidlar A, Vostalova J, Ulrichova J et al. The effectiveness of dried cranberries ( Vaccinium macrocarpon) in men with lower urinary tract symptoms. Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct;104(8):1181-9. Epub 2010 Aug 31. 2010.
Vinson JA. Cranberry juice increases plasma antioxidant and HDL cholesterol levels. Research presented at the 225th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, March 24, 2003. 2003.
Yu Z. Effect of Light on Anthocyanin Levels in Submerged, Harvested Cranberry Fruit. Singh Bal Ram Journal: Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology Year: 2004 Vol: 2004 Issue: 5 Pages/record No.: 259-263. 2004.
Zhang L, Ma J, Pan K et al. Efficacy of cranberry juice on Helicobacter pylori infection: a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. Helicobacter. 2005;10:139-45. 2005.
Goldberg IJ, Mosca L, Piano MR, Fisher EA. AHA Science Advisory: Wine and your heart: a science advisory for healthcare professionals from the Nutrition Committee, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, and Council on Cardiovascular Nursing of the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2001; 103:472–5.
Koppes LL, Dekker JM, Hendriks HF, Bouter LM, Heine RJ. Moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta–analysis of prospective observational studies. Diabetes Care. 2005; 28:719–25.
Solomon CG, Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, et al. Moderate alcohol consumption and risk of coronary heart disease among women with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Circulation. 2000; 102:494–99.
Mukamal KJ, Maclure M, Muller JE, Sherwood JB, Mittleman MA. Prior alcohol consumption and mortality following acute myocardial infarction. JAMA. 2001; 285:1965–70.
Mukamal KJ, Chung H, Jenny NS, et al. Alcohol consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006; 54:30–7.
Booyse FM, Pan W, Grenett HE, et al. Mechanism by which alcohol and wine polyphenols affect coronary heart disease risk. Ann Epidemiol. 2007; 17:S24–31.
Camargo CA, Jr., Stampfer MJ, Glynn RJ, et al. Prospective study of moderate alcohol consumption and risk of peripheral arterial disease in US male physicians. Circulation. 1997; 95:577–80.
Grodstein F, Colditz GA, Hunter DJ, Manson JE, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ. A prospective study of symptomatic gallstones in women: relation with oral contraceptives and other risk factors. Obstet Gynecol. 1994; 84:207–14.
Leitzmann MF, Giovannucci EL, Stampfer MJ, et al. Prospective study of alcohol consumption patterns in relation to symptomatic gallstone disease in men. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1999; 23:835–41.
Conigrave KM, Hu BF, Camargo CA, Jr., Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Rimm EB. A prospective study of drinking patterns in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes among men. Diabetes
Djousse L, Biggs ML, Mukamal KJ, Siscovick DS. Alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes among older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study. Obesity. (Silver Spring) 2007; 15:1758–65.
Mukamal KJ, Conigrave KM, Mittleman MA, et al. Roles of drinking pattern and type of alcohol consumed in coronary heart disease in men. N Engl J Med. 2003; 348:109–18.
Tolstrup J, Jensen MK, Tjonneland A, Overvad K, Mukamal KJ, Gronbaek M. Prospective study of alcohol drinking patterns and coronary heart disease in women and men. BMJ. 2006; 332:1244–48
World Cancer Research Fund, American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. Washington, D.C.: AICR, 2007.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine- Prunus spinosa fresh fruit juice: antioxidant activity in cell-free and cellular systems
Lovro Žiberna,corresponding author Mojca Lunder, Špela Može, Andreja Vanzo, and Gorazd Drevenšek (2009). "Cardioprotective effects of bilberry extract on ischemia-reperfusion-induced injury in isolated rat heart" 9 (Suppl 2). PMC 2778928.
First Prize in the
Participated in the
On a Budget Contest
Participated in the
Let's Party! Challenge
Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest