Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving without cranberries. But there is so much more to them than just being part of a Thanksgiving side. They’re sour-tasting nutritional powerhouses that are truly diverse, and can be used in various ways.
It’s thought that cranberries were served at the first Thanksgiving dinner, and we know that Native Americans used cranberries medicinally for relieving symptoms of indigestion as well as a variety of other ailments. Cranberries contain vitamins A, C, B complex, and folic acid. They also contain minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. As a functional food, cranberries have been recognized in more modern times as being useful for a variety of kidney and bladder disorders. But it seems to be the taste that has us all hooked.
Most cranberries in the United States are grown in the northeast and are available in the fall and early winter. Choose cranberries that are deep colored and firm. This will ensure that they are full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Here are a few quick non-traditional ways to add cranberries to your Thanksgiving this year.
1 pound of cranberries
3 seedless oranges
Fairway honey to taste
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Coarsely chop cranberries and oranges using a food processor (don’t process the ingredients too much, or you’ll end up with a spread).
- Transfer from processor to a bowl, and stir in chopped walnuts for added texture, then serve.
Cranberry-Nut Goat Cheese Logs
11 oz goat cheese
1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 cup natural sliced almonds
- Place the goat cheese in a food processor work bowl. Pulse several times until cheese is crumbled.
- Add chopped dried cranberry to crumbled goat cheese. Pulse for 5 seconds or until cheese mixture starts to form a ball.
- Remove cheese mixture from work bowl and separate into two balls.
- Form each cheese ball into a log shape approximately 2 x 4 inches each (makes two logs).
- Then toast almonds by spreading them out in one thin layer on a cookie sheet, and place in a 400-degree oven. Lightly brown them.
- Remove from oven, and let cool.
- Place half of the almonds onto a piece of wax paper.
- Next, roll one goat cheese log over almonds, covering the entire surface of the log, gently pressing to assure the almonds stick.
- Repeat with the remaining second log and almonds.
- Wrap the logs individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
- Slice into discs, and serve on a sliced baguette rounds.
TELL US: What’s your favorite way to use cranberries?