As soon as the fresh cranberries hit the stores, I stock my fridge and freezer. I can tell you’re thinking, “But what the heck do you do with all of those cranberries?”
In my world, there’s no such thing as “too much cranberry sauce”. If you have ever tasted homemade cranberry sauce, you know what I mean.
What?! You haven’t had homemade cranberry sauce? Stop everything you’re doing and scratch that canned cranberry sauce off of your Thanksgiving shopping list. The homemade kind takes about 15 minutes to make and tastes 15,000 times better than the canned stuff. This one and this one are two of my favorite recipes.
But once the holidays have passed and you’ve served cranberry sauce every which way you can possibly imagine…well, then what? That’s where those kamikazes and quick breads come in. And those lead to corn muffins. Going through winter without several batches of corn muffins somehow seems wrong.
It seems that the proper sweetness of corn muffins and cornbread can be a fairly polarizing topic, so let me get this out there right now. These are NOT really sweet. In fact, there’s a hint of tartness from the fresh cranberries. If you prefer something a little sweeter, drizzle a little honey or agave nectar over the muffin after splitting it in half. It’s a “personalize your sweetness” kind of thing.
A Helping of Healthy
Every fresh fruit and vegetable out there seems to have a long list of health benefits, and fresh cranberries are no exception.
- You’ve probably heard that cranberries can help decrease the risk or urinary tract infections, but do you know the reason for that? I know that I didn’t until I came across this article from Runner’s World. It seems that cranberries are packed with certain photochecmicals, known as proanthocyanidins (PACs). These PACs stop bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract, which greatly reduces the risk of urinary tract infections. That’s a little Cliff Clavin fact to wow your friends with.
- Cranberries are a good source of Vitamin C, fiber and Vitamin E.
- Cranberries have anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the risk of inflammation in blood vessel linings (that means a healthier cardiovascular system) and in the colon and large intestine (leading to a healthier digestive system.)
- Cranberries help to prevent the risk of cancer, particularly prostate, liver, breast, ovarian and colon cancers.
All of these are fantastic reasons to work more cranberries in our diets!
Other recipes with fresh cranberries:
Cookin’ Canuck’s 3-Ingredient Brie & Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers
Cookin’ Canuck’s Crockpot Apple & Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Crystallized Ginger
Little Broken’s Asparagus with Cranberry Honey Vinaigrette
This Gal Cooks’ Cranberry Pumpkin Pancakes
Krafted Koch’s Crockpot Cranberry Pecan Stuffing
Healthy Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Muffins
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk well-shaken
- 1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup fresh cranberries chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the 1 cup cornmeal, whole wheat flour, sugar, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, yogurt and oil.
- Stir the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture just until combined.
- In a small bowl, toss the berries with 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Stir the cranberries into the muffin batter.
- Using a ¼ cup measure, divide the batter evenly between the muffin tins.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean, about 12 minutes.
- Cool the muffins in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve or store in an airtight container.