Cranberries Aren’t Just for Sauce and Garland!
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It’s not a secret that berries are really good for us, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are all packed with fiber, antioxidants and many other super nutrients. Often overlooked until Holiday season are cranberries, nope they aren’t just for cranberry sauce and garland!!
Cranberries are actually ranked the highest when it comes to antioxidant content, and are also lower in sugar, thus the tart taste.
Cranberries are many times prescribed for urinary tract infections, their strong antioxidants reduce the ability for bacteria to stick to the walls of the urinary track. One cup of cranberries contain about 5.3 grams of fiber, making it especially great for overall digestion.
If you feel the sniffles coming on, you might reach for a glass of orange juice, but cranberries are equally as loaded up on vitamin C, and maybe even a little more. So, grab a glass of juice!!
Here are some great ways to incorporate cranberries into your weekly menu, Holiday or not!!
Quick and Easy Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Apple
For the Salad
- ½ cup pecans
- 8 ounces kale, most types will work
- 4 to 5 medium radishes
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 medium apple
- 2 ounces feta cheese, softened
For the Dressing
3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons local honey
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spread the pecans on a baking tray. Toast them lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes, tossing them once or twice to make sure they bake evenly. Remove the tray from the oven and set them aside to cool.
- Pull the kale leaves off from the tough stems and discard the stems. Chop the kale into small bite-sized pieces. Transfer the kale to a big salad bowl. Sprinkle a small pinch of kosher salt over the kale and knead into the kale, leaves will become darker and more fragrant.
- Thinly slice the radishes. Add them to the bowl.
- Coarsely chop the pecans and cranberries and add them to the bowl. Chop the apple into small bite-sized pieces and add them to the bowl as well. Crumble the feta over the top.
- In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss until the salad is evenly coated with dressing. Serve immediately, or for even more flavor, let the salad marinate in the dressing for 10 to 20 minutes.
Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Cranberries
(We shared this recipe and samples at the LC Farmers Market on Super Saturday and it was a crowd favorite)
- ¾ cup roasted, shelled pistachios, (3 ounces), coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup dried cherries, or dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 24 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided
- Line the bottom and sides of a jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with foil. (Take care to avoid wrinkles.) Toss pistachios with cherries (or cranberries) in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture in half; stir orange zest into 1 portion.
- Melt 18 ounces chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. (Alternatively, microwave on low in 30-second bursts.) Stir often with a rubber spatula so it melts evenly.
- Remove the top pan and wipe dry (or remove the bowl from the microwave). Stir in the remaining 6 ounces chocolate, in 2 additions, until thoroughly melted and smooth.
- Add the pistachio mixture containing the orange zest to the chocolate; stir to mix well. Working quickly, scrape the chocolate onto the prepared pan, spreading it to an even ¼-inch thickness with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining pistachio mixture on top; gently press it into the chocolate with your fingertips. Refrigerate, uncovered, just until set, about 20 minutes.
- Invert the pan onto a large cutting board. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the chocolate lengthwise with 6 parallel lines. Break bark along the score lines. Break the strips of bark into 2- to 3-inch chunks.
- The bark will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Yields 48 servings.
Cranberry Salsa with Cream Cheese Spread
- 12 ounce fresh cranberries
- 6 green onions
- 1 large handful, about a half a bunch, stems removed
- 1 jalapeno, seeded
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- Crackers of your choice for serving
- Pulse cranberries, green onions, jalapeno, and cilantro in a food processor until desired constancy, it is best a little chunky.
- Place cranberry mixture into a bowl and add sugar and cumin. Stir until well combined.
- Chill for at least one hour or longer, before serving.
- If serving with cream cheese, evenly spread cream cheese on the bottom of an 8 x 8 serving dish or a decorative serving dish. Spread the salsa on the cream cheese. This makes a great Holiday appetizer.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries
- 1 ½ pound Brussels sprouts, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons local honey
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the brown ends off of the Brussels sprouts and remove any discolored leaves. Cut the sprouts in half if they are large ones. If they are pretty small you can use them whole.
- In a large bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and honey. Add the Brussels sprouts to the bowl and toss until they are well coated. Pour them on a large baking sheet and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Stir around on pan occasionally, so they will brown evenly.
- Put the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl and add the dried cranberries. Stir and serve.