31 Days of Cranberries

by in 30 Days, December 12, 2011
perfect cranberry sauce
Perfect Cranberry Sauce from Food Network Magazine (photo courtesy of Food Network Magazine)

Enjoy this ruby-colored fruit dried or fresh, sweet or savory — you can even get a little crafty with cranberries! Here are 31 ways to love these holiday treats.

1. It’s prime time for cranberries: they’re in season from October through December.

2. Homemade Cranberry Orange Vodka makes a great homemade gift.

3. Dried cranberries are a classic ingredient in homemade trail mix.

4. This recipe for cranberry sauce lives up to its name.

5. Want something more adventurous than a basic cranberry sauce? Try our make-your-own cranberry sauce tips.

6. Turn leftover cranberry sauce into a brunch favorite – Cranberry Honey Butter.

7.  Don’t forget about frozen cranberries; they’re just as nutritious as fresh.

8.  Make a batch of chutney for spooning over chicken and pork dishes – make extra for sandwiches the next day.

9.  Dried cranberries give a sweet and sour punch to green veggies in this broccoli recipe.

10. Note the conversion for recipes – a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries will give you about 3 1/3 cups.

11. Toss dried cranberries, sliced almonds and chopped scallions with cooked quinoa or whole wheat couscous.

12. Try fresh cranberries in this fiery gravy for holiday meal.

13. Cranberries are overflowing with phytochemicals called anthocyanins.

14. Make this seasonal salsa to serve with cheese and crackers.

15. Dried cranberries are sour so they often come sweetened. Check labels to choose a brand with a moderate amount of added sugar.

16. Mix up a festive but non-alcoholic “mocktail” with cranberry juice as a kid-friendly alternative to soda.

17. Place fresh cranberries in the bottom of a hurricane lantern, then nestle in a pillar candle – instant holiday décor!

18. Combine with sweet apricots for a sweet-tart jelly.

19. Measure portions: One cup of fresh cranberries has 45 calories but one cup of dried has 370!

20. Use unsweetened cranberry juice in this brunch-friendly sipper – it has only 80 calories per serving.

21. Enjoy dried cranberries on top of a spinach salad.

22. Cozy up with a warm mug of spiced Hot Cranberry Juice.

23. Freeze fresh cranberries in ice cubes to use in drinks at your next holiday shindig.

24. Use dried cranberries and cherries along with your favorite nuts in dark chocolate bark.

25. A sure-fired crowd pleaser = Cranberry and Spiced Rum Punch.

26. Don’t forget about fiber – each cup of fresh cranberries has 20% of the daily recommend amount.

27. Make turnovers with flaky and low calorie phyllo dough.

28. Find out why our own Robin Miller is crazy for these tart berries.

29. Add fresh or frozen (and thawed) cranberries to your favorite muffin recipe.

30. Make this dipping sauce and serve with chicken, turkey or pork.

31. Float some cranberries in glass of champagne to ring in the New Year.

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Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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