Ok, I can’t believe I am admitting this at age 37, but I bought fresh cranberries for the first time in my life just over a month ago! Yes, I was walking through the grocery store shortly after Thanksgiving and the beautiful bags of bright, red berries just jumped out at me. I decided I must buy some. Truly, I had no idea what I was going to do with them but I know they are healthy and they sure look pretty! In my health food stores, we sell a lot pure cranberry concentrate and cranberry capsules because of their antioxidant properties. But hey, we have to eat so why not add some fresh cranberries to your diet also!
When I got home I looked through some cranberry recipes and did not like the ingredients I found in most of them. So what did I do? Make up my own cranberry recipe. Most recipes call for canned cranberries….UGH….we have to get away from the canned goods and back to REAL food!
Now fresh cranberries are tart-yes very tart. So when making recipes with them it is easy to load on the sugar and quickly make the recipe unhealthy. So be aware and use sweetener with caution. And while you are eating them be sure to remember they are high in antioxidants and high in vitamin C. Cranberries are super healthy! I am not sure why we don’t hear more about cranberry recipes.
1 12 oz. package of fresh cranberries (wash well)
1/2 cup local honey
Juice of one fresh orange
1 tbsp. juice from fresh lemon
1/4 tsp. Redmond’s Real Salt
Simmer honey, orange and lemon juice for three minutes in a saucepan. Then add cranberries. Simmer for 5 minutes while stirring. Add salt and simmer another 6 minutes. Serve warm or refrigerate in a glass bowl for serving later. Top with pecans or other nut of your choice, if you want.
One cranberry recipe was not enough so when I was at the grocery store again a week later I decided I needed to buy another bag of cranberrries. This time I was going to make Cranberry-Lemon Muffins (I modified another recipe I have for muffins to find a way to use cranberries.)
1 tbsp. juice from fresh lemon
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
6 tbsp. local honey
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup cranberries, washed well
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another bowl. Once each are mixed well, combine the two and stir well. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan (I greased my pan with coconut oil) or into lined muffin cups. You can top the muffins with fresh cranberry slices or pecans if you want. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
These muffins were delicious and I actually liked the taste and texture of them even better a couple days later. I shared some with friends but because I do not eat a lot of carbs on a daily basis I had some to freeze. I love having a homemade muffin like this in the freezer so mornings when I have to drive or run to an early morning meeting I can grab breakfast on the go. And when I grab these muffins loaded with cranberries I feel good about what I am putting in my body!
After making the Cranberry-Lemon Muffins, I had some cranberries left that I just could not let go to waste so I made a quick breakfast meal.
Quick, healthy breakfast in a bowl
1½ cups of almond milk
¼ cup chia seeds
1½ tsp. pure vanilla
¼ cup of fresh cranberries
In this recipe I used one packet of Stevia sweetener. You could also use honey or pure maple syrup.
Mix together in glass bowl with lid and refrigerate. You can make this easy recipe with any fruit of your choice. Feel free to get creative and add cinnamon and other spices.
I would love to hear some of your favorite fresh cranberry recipes with real food ingredients!