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NOURISH

Make cranberries the star of your dinner

Cranberries, often an after-thought of your Thanksgiving dinner, deserve a starring role on your table this year.  This low-cost, low-sugar super fruit is a wonderful source of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber.

A native berry, cranberries are rich in antioxidants, which are important disease-fighting compounds. Their exceptional antioxidant profile comes in just behind blueberries as the ultimate powerhouse. They are also loaded with vitamin C and fiber, and contain just 45 calories per cup. 

While the jury is still out on whether cranberry juice can prevent urinary tract infections, cranberries have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties which can improve heart and liver health and reduce stomach ulcers. The berry's mix of antioxidants and phytochemicals can also fight cancer cell growth and improve your immune system. 

You'll get the most nutritional benefit by choosing fresh berries. The good news: cranberries are available year round, and are in season from September through December. They can last in your refrigerator for up to two months.

Be careful of portion sizes with dried or canned cranberries and cranberry juices, which can contain added sugars.

To expand your use of this nutrient-packed fruit:

  • add chopped, fresh cranberries to sweeter fruits like apples, pears or oranges to balance the fruit's natural tartness
  • sprinkle a handful of cranberries over your favorite hot cereal
  • add to your favorite grain dishes (rice, quinoa, couscous) and quick breads and muffins.  
  • add cranberries and 1-2 lime slices to sparkling mineral water for a refreshing, hydrating spritzer.

Give this super healthy cranberry salad the starring role at your dinner table. 

Cranberry Salad     

Ingredients

1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup light mayonnaise

Directions

In a large bowl, toss cranberries and sugar together. Set aside. Place the chopped apple in a medium bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add the apples, celery, walnuts and mayonnaise to the cranberry mixture. Toss to combine. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least two hours. Serve chilled.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition information

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