three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

Cranberries are in season!  Cranberries are in season!

I love these festive little orbs, and take advantage of them while they’re around because they only appear in markets from September through December.  They freeze well so you can extend their season a little longer and you’ll definitely want to, once you get a taste of these recipes.  There’s nothing quite like the fresh burst of sweet, tang, and citrus in the middle of winter and, with so many ways to enjoy them, you’ll be hooked!

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

My favorite uses for this nutritional powerhouse include:

1. Mulled Cranberry Cider (aka non-alcoholic Cranberry Hot Totty) – a soothing warm winter drink that not only takes off winter’s chill, but has medicinal qualities to help soothe colds and sore throats.

2. Fresh, No-Cook Cranberry Relish to eat plain, make into a sorbet, or use as colorful topping to wake up a bowl of warm oats.

3. Super Smoothie that is nourishing, filling and fiber packed.

• • • • • • • • • • •

1.  Mulled Cranberry Cider - recipe makes 4 servings

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1 small lemon -use the juice of 1/2 of lemon (approx. 1 tsp) , save other half of lemon for slices

1 tsp. sliced, fresh ginger

1 tsp. cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

4 cups water

4 cups apple juice

honey to sweeten

Directions: Place all ingredients except honey into a large saucepan.  Add a few slices of lemon.  You can use just apple juice for the liquid (doubling the amount) and omit the water altogether if you’d like an extra sweet drink.  Boil for approx. 10 min.  You’ll notice the cranberries split open during boiling which will help impart their flavor and lovely color to the liquid.  Put on a low simmer after boiling.

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

When the liquid is cooled to a temperature that’s not too hot to drink, stir in a little honey until desired sweetness is achieved.  FYI regarding honey: it is not to be served to children under the age of 1 year.  You can use other sweeteners such as agave, stevia, or even plain sugar.

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

Strain the liquid from the stewed fruits and spices.  Transfer to individual mugs, punch bowl or other serving bowl.   Float some fresh slices of lemon and a handful or two of fresh cranberries on the top.  It’s fantastically colorful and festive to serve at the holidays and tastes great warm or cooled!

In addition, sipping this drink in the winter can help soothe colds and sore throats.  The combination of cranberries, ginger, lemon, apple juice, honey and spices have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-nausea properties, can help cut mucous and chest congestion and boost immunity.  All that PLUS amazing flavor!

*TIP: If you make extra, you can store it in the empty apple juice container and refrigerate for a week to 10 days.  Reheat the juice as needed.

• • • • • • • • • • •

2. Cranberry Relish – a.k.a. Cranberry “Applesauce”

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

Can you believe that COLOR!?!  A batch of this never lasts long around my house.  I refer to it as “Cranberry Applesauce” because it has the same texture and consistency as applesauce but the color is totally out of the ordinary.   Big time Bonus: Kids go CRAZY for it.

What you’ll need:

7.5 ounces organic cranberries (basically one container or small bag)

1 organic orange – it’s important for it to be organic because you’ll be using the entire orange peel

6 ounces quality orange juice

1/3 to 1/2 cup honey (or agave, or sugar.  If you think you will serve it to a toddler or baby under 1 year of age, do not use honey as your sweetener)

Let’s begin!

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

Top Left: Place cranberries in a bowl of water.  The ones that sink are duds and should be discarded.  Sift through with fingers to make sure the floaters are all plump and firm.  Strain liquid and set cranberries aside.

Top Right: Clean orange well and cut off stem and blossom end.  Now cut orange into wedges.

Lower Left : Place cranberries and oranges in a high powered blender or food processor.

Lower Right:  Add orange juice and sweetener of choice (I use honey) into blender (or food processor) and blend on high.

That’s it!

It’s ready to eat immediately or can be refrigerated up to a week.  Eat it plain or serve over a bowl of oats to add a pop of color to a warm winter breakfast.

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

You can also put some of the sauce in a freezer safe container and once frozen, scoop out to eat as a sorbet.  Or pour into  cookie cutter shapes or candy molds and freeze.   Once the little shapes are frozen, put them in a freezer bag to keep for a special occasion and use them to add a little love to the breakfast table like this:

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

Or, add the small shapes to a cup of apple juice or sparkling cider as little sorbet ice cubes!

• • • • • • • • • • •

3.  Super Smoothie

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

Last but not least, blend  1/3 to 1/2 cup of cranberry “applesauce”” with a banana or two and a handful of spinach or kale.  Add water and blend.

*TIP: In case you like to add more nutrients to your smoothie – any smoothie that includes leafy greens is technically a “green smoothie”, whether or not it effects the color.  The best way to get kids (and grown ups) to eat their greens is in a smoothie like this, where the flavor and color of the greens won’t be detected.

Mulled Cranberry Cider

Mulled Cranberry Cider

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 small lemon -use the juice of 1/2 of lemon (approx. 1 tsp) , save other half of lemon for slices
  • 1 tsp. sliced, fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups apple juice
  • honey to sweeten

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except honey into a large saucepan.
  2. Add a few slices of lemon.
  3. You can use just apple juice for the liquid (doubling the amount) and omit the water altogether if you’d like an extra sweet drink.
  4. Boil for approx. 10 min.
  5. You’ll notice the cranberries split open during boiling which will help impart their flavor and lovely color to the liquid.
  6. Put on a low simmer after boiling.
  7. When the liquid is cooled to a temperature that’s not too hot to drink, stir in a little honey until desired sweetness is achieved. FYI regarding honey: it is not to be served to children under the age of 1 year. You can use other sweeteners such as agave, stevia, or even plain sugar.
  8. Strain the liquid from the stewed fruits and spices. Transfer to individual mugs, punch bowl or other serving bowl. Float some fresh slices of lemon and a handful or two of fresh cranberries on the top. It’s fantastically colorful and festive to serve at the holidays and tastes great warm or cooled!
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For the printable version of the cranberry relish recipe, CLICK HERE!

For health information on these super nutritional gems, Click HERE.

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

Cranberries….  Get ‘em while you can!

three delicious ways to cook with cranberries

14 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. November 23rd, 2012 at 3:59 pm
    Diann Mullani says:
    That cranberry relish dish and ALL the recipes are AWESOME!! Thanks Steph for posting them...going to try them all. :)
  2. November 23rd, 2012 at 4:54 pm
    Missy says:
    I LOVE cranberries. They are my favorite part of Thanksgiving...well ok one of my favorite. ;) These recipes look delish! I can't wait to try them - especially that hot drink. mmm.
    • November 24th, 2012 at 11:12 am
      Stephanie says:
      Yay - another cranberry lover :-)The hot drink is great all winter. Even if you're not feeling under the weather it's still a great immunity booster. Hope you like it!
  3. November 23rd, 2012 at 5:21 pm
    Shelley says:
    I need to hurry out and buy some cranberries!!!!
    • November 24th, 2012 at 11:14 am
      Stephanie says:
      Do it while you still can!
  4. November 24th, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    Shelly Moore says:
    I love cranberries as well and have 2 bags in fridge waiting...I really want to try the cider too. Looks comforting and I can feel guiltless indulging in it!
  5. November 25th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
    Barb says:
    Can't wait to try these recipes, especially the cranberry relish! We make smoothies pretty often at our house and never thought to use cranberries or the relish as an ingredient - we will have to try that out!
  6. November 26th, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    Susan says:
    Found a recipe using fresh cranberries, where you stick a toothpick into each cranberry, then dip them into melted caramel, let cool, then dip them into melted almond bark (I used candy melts), and then roll each one in toffee or nuts. The tangy pop of the cranberries mixed with the sweet of the caramel and almond bark was to die for!
    • November 29th, 2012 at 10:57 pm
      Stephanie says:
      That sounds amazing! So many layers and flavors that I'll definitely have to try. Thanks, Susan!
  7. December 4th, 2012 at 11:01 pm
    Julie says:
    Definitely trying these. All of them! :) I have one green smoothie drinker - the rest need it hidden. Hoping this will work! :)
    • February 2nd, 2013 at 11:47 pm
      Stephanie says:
      You won't have to hide anything with the cranberry relish - it's soooo delightful. Good luck with whatever you try!
  8. February 2nd, 2013 at 7:29 pm
    Julie says:
    Mmmmmm! Finally tried the cranberry relish (as we call it in my family - my father-in-law makes this every year, but we're pretty sure he uses sugar). It was delicious! (My daughter said - I really like this & Grandpa's but I like this a little better.) And so easy! You said to use good quality OJ so I just squeezed 2 extra oranges.
    • February 2nd, 2013 at 11:51 pm
      Stephanie says:
      Sometimes I just use fresh squeezed orange juice as well, whatever works! How great to get such a glowing review from you - and your daughter too :-) ... The cranberry relish is one of my all time favorite yummy treats and I get bummed out when the season changes and I can't find fresh cranberries in the markets any more!
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