Beyond the Sauce: The Many Ways to Use Cranberries
Cranberries are a staple on the Thanksgiving table. Adding a bowl of the rich, ruby red sauce signals the beginning of the holiday season. Cranberries are a healthy addition to any meal, full of antioxidants, and known for being a superfood. Note that cranberries are tart, so add honey or a little sugar to offset the sourness. So, how can you add these berries into more than just the holiday meals? It's easy to do.
Leftover Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is one of the dishes that make the day. However, after the big meal, how can you use the leftover cranberry sauce? It's delicious in both sweet and savory dishes. Warm it up and serve over waffles or pancakes. Add to meatballs for a sweet and sour sauce by mixing with barbecue sauce. Serve with goat cheese or baked brie. Mix it with mayonnaise or Dijon mustard to slather on those leftover turkey sandwiches.
Baking with Cranberries
For a flavor twist, you can add dried cranberries in place of raisins in any recipe. Dried cranberries add a fresh touch to oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies. Use your traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe but swap out the semisweet chips for dark chocolate chips and add in a 1/2 cup dried cranberries for a nontraditional cookie. Mix 1/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries into pound cake or sweet muffin batter for something new.
Roasted Cranberries are not only an ideal accompaniment to turkey but also to chicken, pork, ham, and beef. To serve, start by tossing them with olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 6 minutes. Dust with sugar and roast for about another 6 minutes. Serve with the protein of your choice.
Chicken with Cranberries
You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this easy and healthy recipe. Just season 2 1/2 pounds of chicken with salt, ground black pepper, and thyme. Brush with a mixture of 4 tablespoons maple syrup mixed with an equal amount balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cranberries over the chicken. Roast in a 375F oven, brushing with the syrup mixture several times during cooking.
Sugared cranberries are delicious and beautiful. To make these sugar-dusted gems, mix 2 1/2 cups sugar and an equal part of water in a saucepan. Heat until sugar dissolves, but don't bring to a boil. Allow to cool and pour over the cranberries, and then let it sit for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Once the cranberries are set, roll them in 1 cup of sugar to coat. Allow them to set, and then add to charcuterie trays, dessert trays, or drinks. Drop a few in a glass and pour sparkling apple cider over the top for a special holiday mocktail.
Mix with Veggies
Cranberries mix well with a number of savory vegetable dishes. Mix 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries in with Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, and black pepper, and roast in a 425F oven. Top with 2 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 cup of feta cheese, and chopped walnuts. Add dried cranberries to sautéed green beans and almonds for a new take on green bean almandine. Top squash with cranberries and coat with butter and brown sugar before roasting until sweet and tender.
Cranberries are known for having healing properties related to the urinary tract. While cranberry juice is common, cranberries can be mixed into smoothies or raw juices. Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries to any fruit smoothie. Add 2 tablespoons honey to sweeten the tartness of the cranberries. Juice fresh cranberries mixed with pineapple or apples for a whole juice mixture. Add ginger and honey to add a depth of flavor.