No more are cranberries just something you see as a gelatinous side dish on your Thanksgiving table…cranberry products, including fresh/frozen cranberries, cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries and cranberry sauce contain proanthocyanidins (PACs). These flavonoids are unique to cranberries and have a different structure than PACs found in other foods.
Cranberries are naturally low in sugar and high in acidity. In fact, fresh cranberries have similar sugar content to lemons; therefore they are usually sweetened to be palatable.
Research has shown the cranberry may improve blood cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress. Between fresh, frozen, dried, juice and sauce, you can experience the health benefits of cranberries all year long! The seasons won’t stop YOU from enjoying delicious cranberries year-round.
7 Ways to Dish up your Delish Cranberries this holiday season:
- Sprinkle dried cranberries over green salads to add unique flavor and texture.
- Add dried cranberries to hot oatmeal.
- Incorporate dried cranberries into whole grain sides such as quinoa, bulgur, pasta and brown rice.
- Got left over cranberry sauce? Spread on veggie, chicken or turkey sandwiches and wraps.
- Make your own barbecue sauce with cranberry sauce as a tart and tangy main ingredient.
- Whisk cranberry juice with herbs, spices and olive oil for a tangy salad dressing.
- Mix cranberry juice with unflavored seltzer for a refreshing spritzer.
Cranberry & Cilantro Quinoa Salad
Yield: 8 servings
- 2 cups water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup minced carrots
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 3 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
- 3 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Pinch ground red pepper
- In a small sauce pan, bring water and pinch of salt to a boil over high heat; stir in quinoa, reduce heat and bring to a low simmer. Cover pot and cook until all liquid is absorbed (about 13 minutes).
- Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To the bowl of quinoa, stir in cranberries, carrots, red and yellow peppers, red onion and cilantro until mixed.
- In a small bowl, mix together lime juice, oil, salt and ground red pepper and pour over quinoa-cranberry mixture; toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Does not have to be served cold.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 150, Calories from Fat 30, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 3.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 115mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Sugars 11g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 40%, Vitamin C 45%, Calcium 2%, Iron 6%