Cranberries are well known for their health benefits, yet most people eat them only a few times a year. It’s not too surprising since they’re not the sweetest fruit.
I can say I’ve never snacked on a handful of cranberries myself. Actually, I think I can count on one hand, the different things I have eaten cranberries in. Mostly cranberry bread, cranberry sauce, and juiced with other fruits & veggies. That’s going to change now though, after finding these wonderful recipes.
Why should you eat cranberries?
The brilliant red color of cranberries signifies that they contain proanthocyanidins or (PAs). These PAs are from the polyphenol groups more commonly known as antioxidants. While they look great in your holiday dishes, what they can do for your body is even greater!
Most women know the benefits of cranberries for protection against urinary tract infections (UTI). Their proanthocyanidins actually help keep the bad bacteria that can lead to UTIs from adhering to your urinary tract lining.
From Immune Health Science and numerous studies, here’s what you’ll learn about PAs:
- They remove harmful free oxygen radicals from cells
- Their antioxidant power is 20x higher than vitamin C and 50x higher than vitamin E
- Promote youthful skin, cell health, elasticity, and flexibility
- Protect from UV rays
- Improve joint flexibility
- Provide cardiovascular support
- Support immune health
- Anti-cancer properties
- Promotes balance of gut bacteria in digestive tract
Tart or not, isn’t that enough to make you want to eat a whole bucket of cranberries? And you thought they were just good for UTIs!
That’s enough science for now, this is, after all, a Recipe Roundup! Let’s get into the really good stuff – the cranberry recipes!
Clean Eating Holiday Butternut Cranberry Bake
This first recipe is from The Gracious Pantry and what’s nice about it is, it’s not loaded with sugar. A quarter cup of maple syrup is all it needs. Check out Tiffany’s recipe for ingredients and instructions.
The other thing that’s nice about this recipe is it doesn’t make too much. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just sometimes you don’t want to have to deal with leftovers. This makes four servings and could be easily doubled.
Why eat squash? Butternut squash is high in vitamin C, fiber, it’s high in anti-oxidants, B-vitamins, carotenoids, and good news for diabetics, it helps support blood sugar regulation! Read more on why you should eat more winter squash in this article from Organic Authority.
You can also switch the butternut squash for pumpkin, too, which is nice. Just pop this in the oven and savor the wonderful aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves!
Wouldn’t this look tasty on your table?
Cranberry Potato Gratin Recipe
Do you ever get bored with the same old potato recipes? I do. This recipe not only sounds delicious it looks fabulous, too. It’s a great way to break up the potato doldrums.
This recipe from AverageBetty.com, may take a little more time to make, but since I’m busy managing a business every day, I find time in the kitchen to be therapeutic. Watch Sara’s video, she’s funny!
Make sure you use organic potatoes and butter to keep it healthy and avoid toxins. And don’t be scared off by all the milk, butter, and the Asiago cheese, either. These are good fats and a recipe like this in moderation isn’t going to hurt you!
The recipe also calls for panko (“pain-ko”) bread crumbs -not to be confused with your standard bread crumbs. Check out this fun video from Huffington Post on how panko bread crumbs are made. You could try making this with gluten free flour and bread crumbs, for a gluten free version.
Wild Rice Casserole with Cranberries with Cranberries and Goat Cheese
Remember the potato doldrums? If you’re sick of potatoes, try this amazing wild rice casserole recipe from Organic Gardening. It would look so inviting on any holiday table or anytime you want to jazz up a meal.
Once you’ve made the rice this recipe goes together in 10 minutes! My changes for this recipe would simply be to make sure your rice is organic and go ahead and use full fat sour cream if you want. There’s been a lot about some of the not-so-appetizing chemicals in rice (think arsenic), but I found this article The Dirt on Rice…Literally, to be helpful in sorting out the info and how to remove some of that “dirt.”
This recipe call for dried cranberries, leeks and goat cheese, not always something you may have on hand, so add some to your grocery list for your next trip to the store.
You’re bound to impress friends and family with this recipe!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Onions, Bacon and Cranberries
Are you one of those people who hates Brussels sprouts? It’s probably because they were simply steamed or boiled and mushy? Something tells me you’re going to love this recipe from Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Sarah’s savory dish is easy and, oven-roasting retains more nutrient value.
Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable – they come from the cabbage family.
According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, Brussels sprouts provide cancer protection because of their four specific glucosinolates. That’s just nutrition-speak for cancer protective substances. they’re high in vitamin K, C and folate and there are nearly 100 studies in PubMed on Brussels sprouts!
This recipe is another that doesn’t require a lot of time, it can be made the day ahead. It also calls for dried cranberries so you can use the remaining cranberries from your wild rice casserole and whip this up for an impressive vegetable dish.
It serves four, so if you need to feed more, you’ll want to double the recipe.
Celebrations Quinoa Salad with Pecans and Cranberries
This recipe was shared by Anne of FannetasticFood.com.
You can serve it as a side dish or an entree. If you’re vegetarian or entertaining someone who is, this is a festive dish to serve – especially for the holidays. Love the addition of pecans and fresh parsley and chives.
If you’re not familiar with quinoa, it’s a healthy food to add to your diet.
Quinoa is high in protein and very nutrient dense. It’s high in phytonutrients, which makes it anti-inflammatory. The World’s Healthiest Foods says it contains “heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated fat (in the form of oleic acid).”
Quinoa is also high in manganes, phosphorus and magnesium, and even better, it’s low on the glycemic index.
Choose an organic broth/stock in this recipe to keep it clear of all the pesticides found in non-organic veggies.
Cranberry Waldorf Salad
Who doesn’t love a Waldorf Salad?
This new twist on an old favorite, is brought to us by Melissa of The Clothes Make the Girl.
Melissa took a not-so-healthy version of this salad and turned it into something the most ardent whole-foodie would love!
She eliminated the mini marshmallows, and replaced the sugar and Cool-Whip® with healthy coconut milk and dried apricots. Good thinking Melissa!
You need to do some prep-work the day before for this recipe, but it appears to be well worth it!
You’ll need fresh cranberries, but they’re in abundance soon, if not already in your area. Remember to get organic apples and grapes, whenever possible.
Bring back an old seasonal favorite for Thanksgiving, with this healthy Cranberry Waldorf Salad!
Chicken Burger with Orange Cranberry Mayonnaise
The first thing I thought when I saw this Orange Cranberry Mayonnaise recipe, was think “Wouldn’t this taste great on a turkey sandwich after Thanksgiving?”
Holiday leftovers just got a makeover!
This recipe hails from Cafe Tecumseh and it’s great variation on a burger – especially if you’re limiting red meats in your diet.
Chef Jayson’s creation is made with ground chicken, sage, ginger and a tasty salad garnish, the burger itself looks phenomenal, but it was the orange cranberry mayo that really caught my attention.
Dried cranberries, garlic, mayonnaise, and orange juice, with a little honey, salt & pepper, are tossed in a food processor (or Vitamix), for a delicious condiment for your chicken burger or turkey leftovers!
There’s even a suggestion for a cider beer to pair with this delicious burger. Doesn’t that sound good?
Now that we’ve wet your appetite with some delicious cranberry recipes, do you have any you’d like to share with us? Please post in the comments below.
If you enjoyed these recipes, come back every Friday for our healthy recipe roundup!