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Seasonal Spotlight on Cranberries + 7 Cranberry Recipes to Try

The minute fresh cranberries hit the grocery store shelves, the holidays have been declared in full swing. Just their color alone is a trademark of these festive few months. Fresh cranberries are overwhelmingly tart which can almost be too much to bear. When mixed with other flavors, it’s a welcome addition to balance out the sweet of the season!

Chances are, you’ve probably bought a bag of fresh cranberries for a recipe and not used them all, only to find them sitting in your refrigerator or freezer months later.

Because fresh cranberries have a sharp bite to them, they are rarely eaten raw. Instead, most prefer to experience the cranberry flavor through juice or dried fruit (which often have added sugars).

Fresh cranberries deserve more attention in the kitchen, simply because of their incredible nutritional benefits. They are:

  • A great source of fiber, which helps boost digestive health. Although take note – the only way to reap the benefits of the fiber is to enjoy the whole fruit. Fiber is extracted during the production of cranberry juice.
  • High in vitamin C – the vitamin of the season as it aids in a healthy immune system.
  • Full of antioxidants which have both anti-microbial and anti- inflammatory effects in the body.

7 Cranberry Recipes to Try

Just when you thought fresh cranberries are really only used in Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, think again! Here are seven other ways to enjoy fresh cranberries this season.

Cranberry Apple Crisp with an Almond Crumble – soon to be your signature dessert of the season! Made with a few healthy swaps for a treat that you can feel good during the holidays.

One Pan Cranberry Balsamic Chicken – In this recipe, the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar when cooked down compliments the tartness of the fresh cranberries. This savory dish is gorgeous enough to be featured on your Christmas menu and deceptively easy to prepare.

Cranberry Pistachio Oatmeal Cookies – A holiday twist on the classic oatmeal raisin cookie, this recipe features dried cranberries. For the most nutritious choice, look for dried cranberries that have no sugar added by inspecting the ingredient list. Nowadays, these are easily found online if you can’t find them in your local grocery store.

Cranberry Maple Lentil Loaf – Looking for a vegetarian-friendly main dish for your holiday menu? Look no further! This festive lentil loaf is just as savory as it is sweet and would please even the meat eaters in your family.

Gluten-Free Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins – These muffins are so good, you’ll want to gift them to all of your friends this year. Just don’t forget to make a batch for yourself!

Naturally Sweetened Orange Cranberry Chutney – are you a cranberry sauce or chutney fan? This recipe includes chopped fruit, giving it a slightly chunky texture making it a delicious snack as is or topping for yogurt and oatmeal.

Festive Holiday Sangria – Not only do fresh cranberries look pretty once cooked, but they also make for a delicious garnish. This is a great way to use up the last bit of cranberries you might have on hand.

Happy Holidays!


Carly Paige, health coach and cooking instructor, believes that healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Her mission is to show you simple swaps in and out of the kitchen to elevate your everyday that will transform your health. Carly is the author of Simply Swapped Everyday, a healthy guide and cookbook with over 75 plant-powered recipes and founder of FitLiving Eats – a place where she shares nutritious recipes and how-to guides.

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