Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Cranberries

Thanksgiving is upon us, which means that it’s time to start dreaming about all of the tantalizing food that will be a part of your holiday feast.  More than likely, your meal will include at least one variety of cranberry sauce, which could be a good or bad thing.  On their own, cranberries are a good source of fiber and are rich in antioxidant polyphenols, which can help keep your immune system strong as flu season approaches.  When they’re combined with loads of sugar and preservatives to make the cans of cranberry sauce that are most often found on Thanksgiving tables, however, cranberries transition from a health food to just another ingredient in a sugar-laden side dish.  Cranberry sauce doesn’t have to be unhealthy if you prepare it yourself and watch the sugar content.  The recipe below is just as tasty as the cranberry sauce you may be used to – and it’s something for which you can feel good about reaching for seconds.

Fruit and Nut Cranberry Sauce

1 bag (12 ounces) whole, fresh cranberries
⅓ cup sugar
1 orange, juiced, plus ½ tsp zest
½ cup roasted pistachios, chopped
1 firm pear, cored and chopped
¼ tsp ground cumin


1.  In a medium saucepan, cook the cranberries, sugar, and orange juice over medium until the cranberries burst (about 10 minutes).  Let cool.
2.  Stir in the zest, nuts, and cumin.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Recipe adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray.  November 2013. 


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