Since it’s cranberry season and the little fruits are loaded with antioxidants, we wanted to share a few ideas of how to enjoy them…other than getting out your can opener. Cranberries are very tart on their own — our daughter Ella tried one around Thanksgiving and made the cutest, scrunched up face — your best bet is to incorporate cranberries into other foods.
Here are three ways to enjoy the nutrient dense, super healthy berry into your diet:
• Add a handful to a smoothie. Mix 1/4 cup whole cranberries, 1 cup unsweetened coconut almond milk, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 scoop whey protein powder and a splash of your favorite juice (Welch’s 100% purple grape juice works well). Blend until smooth and you reach desired consistency.
•Try a Cranberry SOYJOY bar. These bars include whole fruit and are one of our must-haves for when we take long drives. With 140 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, SOYJOY is a great snack on the go snack. While heating them isn’t an option the car, when at home, unwrap them and put them in the microwave for 10 seconds for a really great treat.
•Add dried cranberries to a bowl of oats. Now the key here is to read the label to find the ones sweetened without sugar; some brands sweeten with apple juice, which is a better option. Fresh is always best, but it’s a little tougher on the palate with cranberries.
There you have it. A few options to incorporate this great for your berry into your diet, outside of just the gelatinized sauce in a can.
-Chris and Kara Mohr, mohrresults.com
Related from FITNESS: Top 10 Healthy Foods with Antioxidants
Already thinking about your holiday dinner parties, at least the menu part? Here’s a fun idea–use nuts for a healthy, tasty twist. That’s what Alex Guaranschelli, Food Network host of Alex’s Day Off and executive chef of Butter and The Darby in NYC suggests. She’s teaming up with Fisher Nuts to show how nuts can add that little something you’ve been missing to your holiday recipes this year. “I hate when people say nuts have so many calories,” she says during a meeting in her super trendy restaurant Butter. “They give you the sensation of being full, and that’s what is important. I eat a handful and feel satisfied. With other foods I could eat 1,000 calories worth and still feel hungry.” To figure out which nuts work best with certain dishes, follow Guaranschelli’s guidelines:
- Try pecans with veggies that are meaty in texture, like beets, mushrooms, fennel or sautéed onions.
- For walnuts, go with one of two extremes. Use them with light and lean veggies (like the asparagus recipe below) or with a super heavy dish, like steak with lemon.
- If you’re choosing almonds, use them on berries or keep the skin on them and add them to your mashed potatoes (they’ll mimic the skin on potatoes!).
And a word to the wise for all party planners: “Write out your holiday menu and then cross half of it off,” Guaranschelli says. “Wasn’t it Coco Chanel who told us to look in the mirror and remove one thing before going out? The same goes with cooking. Give yourself a break and add more later if you need to. Also, pick one thing to make from scratch and be proud of. Cooking should be about enjoying the process, and you can’t do that if you are overworked. It’s perfectly fine to buy something store bought every once in awhile!”
Read on for two holiday recipes to try.