Cranberries are definitely something you want to eat more of.

They are one of those “superfoods” that contain so many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that it would be a nutritional crime to just wait for Thanksgiving to eat them – and especially in canned “cranberry sauce.”

Of course, that jellied side dish is what cranberries mean to many people. But canned cranberry sauce,” unless it’s organic, typically contains high fructose corn syrup. So here we have an amazing health food served in a form that’s been deliberately adulterated with a distinctly unhealthy ingredient.

But there are a variety of ways to get the most that “real” cranberries have to offer (and which will call for a bag of whole berries):

  • Add some chopped berries to your pancake or waffle batter (cranberries are best chopped using a food processor).
  • Throw a few whole berries into a fruit smoothie. Yes, there’re tart – very tart. But if you’re making a smoothie with honey or a sweet fruit, it balances out the tart taste.
  • Add some chopped cranberries to your turkey stuffing.
  • Any cookie recipe will be even more delicious with some chopped cranberries in it. Just note that the chopped berries will contain a lot of moisture, so you may need to reduce any liquids in the recipe.
  • Mix some chopped cranberries into a fish marinade, and include them when you cook the fish. The tart flavor – like lemon juice – compliments every fish dish I’ve used them in.
  • A sprinkle of chopped cranberries goes really well as a salad topping.
  • Add a few of the berries to oatmeal as it’s cooking. If you use instant oatmeal, just add a tablespoon of chopped ones.
  • Make your own raw relish. Put a bag of whole cranberries and a peeled orange (if it’s an organic orange, you can include the rind – just make sure it’s washed well.) into a food processor and mix till the berries are chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add around a ½ cup of sugar. Mix well and chill for at least an hour.
  • Add some chopped cranberries to a baked apple recipe.
  • And last but not least, make your own cranberry sauce. You’ll find a recipe on bags of whole berries. If using all that sugar isn’t for you, stevia makes an excellent sweetener for cranberries, since their tartness diminishes its licorice-like aftertaste. Cook over low heat till the berries pop. And if your sauce looks too “saucy” don’t worry. It will thicken as it cools.

Also, any recipe with walnuts seems to be especially compatible with cranberries. And when you use these wonderful berries in their whole form, you’ll be getting the maximum amount of their healthy compounds.

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