by Tamar Chamlian
5 Easy Ways to Useto Make Dishes Healthier and Add Pizzazz
It’s autumn, a season when the color of much of nature goes red by default — vineyards, trees, Japanese oaks, Virginia creeper. Houseware and kitchen accessories — and even Starbucks — magically sells everything in red, even the paper cups. Except for cranberries, which are naturally red, and we have plenty of good reasons to eat them in abundance during the two months they are available, not just for their color, but for their taste and health benefits.
Here are five easy ways to incorporate cranberries into pretty much any dish you’re whipping up.
- Cranberries are generally a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. For these two essential dietary reasons, it makes them a healthy, easy snack alternative while watching TV, replacing the popcorn, chips, or fries.
- Not only are cranberries flavorful, they are a great addition to a plain spinach and almond salad, for example. They give a burst of taste to every bite of your salad. Or if you are inclined to making your sandwiches a bit more flavor-intense, you can add dried cranberry bits or cranberry compote (here’s a recipe) and use it like you would mayonnaise or mustard.
- Cranberry compote goes particularly well with soft French cheeses.
- Cranberries are, of course, essential for a modern Thanksgiving meal, even though the Pilgrims didn’t eat them. While your guests are waiting to wolf down the turkey and stuffing, give them a healthy apéritif by serving cranberry dip crostini for them to munch on. Cranberry dip can also be a substituted for other common dips that you would normally serve with carrots or cucumber.
- Now that we have moved from the appetizer to dinner, it is time for dessert. Do not complicate your life. Simply add cranberries to your apple pie to give that extra zest to the taste, a perfect balance between the sweet and the sour.
Cranberry dip is super easy to make and is a contrast of flavors that blend beautifully together.
Use one bag of fresh cranberries, 1 jalapeño pepper, some dried cumin, lime juice and cilantro, 2 to 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, one stalk of green onions, finely chopped, and some salt to taste.
- What, no pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce at the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving in 1621?
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