This week we got our new apartment which means cleaning out the cupboards and packing up the kitchen. One of the first cupboards I decided to tidy up was my dried fruit and nut stash. I had a lot of open half bags of nuts and almost empty jars of dates and dried cranberries so I decided to use them up. This week’s ingredient is dried cranberries!
Dried cranberries are naturally fat-free and cholesterol-free and they are a good source of fiber. Cranberries are extremely tart. Most dried cranberries you will find will have added sugar to balance the tartness, but there are health food stores that carry sugar free. Dried cranberries also contain some sort of oil to prevent the cranberries from sticking together.
You can find dried cranberries with the nuts and other dried fruit in the grocery store. The best deals for dried cranberries that I have come across is at bulk barn or Costco. You can get a big bag for a decent price. Dried cranberries are also called “craisins” thanks to Ocean Spray.
I add dried cranberries to trail mix, protein bars, and salads. Because of the added sugar I try not to over do it on these bad boys but they add a great flavor to recipes.
Cranberry Rice Salad
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp earth balance spread
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup frozen edamame
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3-4 tbsp balsamic salad dressing (or dressing of your choice)
1) Add rice, water, earth balance, and salt to a medium pot. Heat on high until it starts to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Heat for 20 minutes, stir every 5-7 minutes to ensure it does not burn or boil over.
2) Add edamame to a microwave safe bowl. Cover with water. Heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Drain.
3) Once rice is cooked, add cooked edamame, dried cranberries, and salad dressing. If you don’t have balsamic salad dressing, use Italian or olive oil mixed with lemon juice.
4) Season with salt and pepper.
You can eat the salad right away, but I HIGHLY suggest putting it in a container and chilling it in the fridge for a few hours. It makes a great lunch served cold.
Orange Cranberry Muffins
I found the recipe for these delicious orange cranberry muffins on Post Punk Kitchen. I didn’t change too much from the original recipe so I will let you follow the link to find it. I used peach apple sauce instead of the full amount of oil and dried cranberries instead of fresh. They turned out great! Sweet and citrusy and so good with a little earth balance. Instead of just adding one type of nut I added 1 cup of my mixed nuts (cleaning out the cupboard remember).
The perfect healthy muffin :). You can also use whole wheat flour or GF flour. I’m sure these would also be great with lemon juice instead of orange. You’d have to up the sugar content though because with 1 cup of juice.. those babies would be tart!
Almond Cranberry Power Balls
- 3/4 cup raw almonds
- 3/4 cup raw cashew pieces
- 5 dates, pitted
- 4 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp agave nectar
1) Add almonds and cashews to a food processor. Process for about 1 minute.
2) Add dates, almond butter, and cranberries and process for 30 seconds. Add agave nectar and process for 10 seconds.
3) Roll into balls (about 1 tbsp) and place in container with lid. Keep in the freezer.