A while back, I was contacted by The Cranberry Institute to help spread the word on cranberries and not only their deliciousness, but their many health benefits too.
I will admit that when I think of cranberries I think of Thanksgiving. That’s one of the few times that I actually eat whole cranberries throughout the year. Besides that, I will buy dried cranberries and add them to salads or trail mixes. But there are other ways to use cranberries!
Ways to use cranberries:
- Sprinkle dried cranberries on cereal or yogurt
- Add cranberry sauce and make a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce (recipe below!)
- Add dried cranberries to muffins and bread mixes
- Combine cranberry sauce with cheese for a sweet and salty quesadilla
- Blend frozen cranberries into smoothies
- Cranberries contain flavonoids which prevent bacteria from sticking to the cell walls—example: they prevent E. coli from sticking to the walls in the bladder which is associated with bladder infections
- They can help to improve heart health
- They may improve blood cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress
- Can help boost the immune system
For more information on cranberry health research: http://www.cranberryinstitute.org/health_research/Healthresearch_HR.html
Cranberries are tart as we are all well-aware, and that is because they are so low in sugar. They have similar sugar content to a lemon! Pucker up. Adding sugar to the cranberries makes them more palatable (just be aware of your sugar intake always)!
So how about a fun cranberry-inspired recipe for your Wednesday courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee?!
Cranberry BBQ Chicken!
Cranberry BBQ Sauce
- 1 Tbsp. oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 cup minced onions (white or yellow)
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. dark molasses
- 1/4-1/2 cup water if needed (I didn’t need any)
- In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat; add onions and sauté 2 minutes. Mix in garlic, mustard, chili powder, and continue cooking 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 more minute.
- Add cranberry sauce, vinegar, and molasses and bring to a simmer, whisking often until mixture becomes smooth. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens. Add water to mixture if needed if it gets too thick. Remove from heat and serve on top of chicken!
Their recipe recommended mixing the BBQ sauce with shredded chicken, putting it onto a sandwich and topping it with coleslaw. I thought that sounded great, but what I decided to do was place the BBQ sauce on top of baked chicken breast that I seasoned with onion powder, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. I also melted monterey jack on top of the chicken.
Such a fun and different kind of BBQ sauce. Give it a shot for yourself!
Do you enjoy cranberries? How do you use them?