When most people think of a Thanksgiving feast, they think of thick slices of turkey accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes, stuffing, and a heaping serving of cranberry sauce. While cranberry sauce always add the perfect hint of sweetness to our Thanksgiving dinners (not to mention on the sandwich the day after, too), a cranberry’s potential doesn’t have to stop at the sauce.
Cranberries are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and powerful anti-oxidants, outperforming nearly every other fruit and vegetable in antioxidant capacity except for blueberries, especially when they’re eaten whole and fresh. What’s more, the special structure of the proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries has been linked to health benefits, such as the ability to prevent urinary tract infections, stomach ulcers, and potentially even cancer.
With cranberries being a super fruit unlike any other, why not make them the star of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve gathered 15 different ways to incorporate the nutritional powerhouse into five, key categories, including twists on the classic sauce recipes, salads, drinks, side dishes, appetizers, and desserts.
For a sample Thanksgiving dinner that highlights the wonders of the cranberry, try starting off with a Cranberry-Feta Salad and a round of Cranberry Pie Cocktails for your guests. For the main course, serve a side of Spicy & Spiked Cranberry Sauce to give your guests a kick of spice. For the grand finale, a Cranberry Cheesecake is the perfect ending to a great meal.
And even after the family has gone home and the turkey has been put away, there’s ways to put those leftover cranberries to use, too. Store surplus cranberries in tightly-sealed plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to two months, and if you’ve already transformed your cranberries into a sauce, check out these ways to transform your leftover cranberry sauce into a new, exciting recipe that redefines the meaning of “leftovers.”