Rather than this post being a single recipe, it will be a generalized guide to healthy dishes with cranberries to use during the holiday season.

Wisconsin produces half of the world supply of cranberries, and 60% of the supply for the United States. This is a local food of which we should be proud! We know of over two dozen antioxidant phytonutrients in cranberries. In addition, cranberry phytonutrients raise the overall antioxidant capacity in our bloodstream and to help reduce risk of oxidative stress. Put in a simpler way: cranberries reduce promoters of aging and inflammation, the basis of all disease, because of all the healthy food chemicals they contain.

Although cranberries are rich in antioxidants have a slew of health benefits… for whatever reason they are often coated with sugar, making it almost a sum zero as far as all the health benefits. An easy fix for this is just pairing them with oranges, which are sweet and pair perfectly to take the edge off their sour bite, or other sweeter fruits. Excited to try this recipe!: Cranberry Fruit Salad

You can also make an easy Cranberry Relish to use as a side- add equal parts cranberries, raspberries, apples.

This is a YouTube video by Chef AJ and Dr. Fuhrman showing how to make a sugar free cranberry relish in a cooking show style format: Sugar Free Raw Cranberry Relish.

One trick I often use to make a healthier version of ice cream is to make a sorbet with banana as the base. Dr. Fuhrman popularized this way of creating healthy dessert on his website/in his books and calls it “Nice Cream.” The banana adds sweet creaminess, and then you can add whatever other ingredients you want- roasted pecans and vanilla, peanut butter and cocoa, etc. You can create a chocolate cranberry Nice Cream using the following recipe:

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk (or regular milk if you don’t have a milk sensitivity and that’s what you’ve got around); 2 regular dates or 1 medjool date, pitted; 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or pure vanilla bean powder; 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries; 2 large ripe bananas, frozen (Freeze ripe bananas at least 8 hours in advance. Peel bananas and seal in a plastic bag before freezing).

Directions: Add non-dairy milk, dates, cocoa powder, cranberries and vanilla to a high-powered blender or food processor and start to blend. Drop frozen banana pieces in slowly. Add additional non-dairy milk if needed to reach desired consistency.

You can also add cranberries to cookie recipes, oatmeal, anything to which you would add other berries.

The possibilities are endless.

And really… which of these looks better…

Cheers to a healthy holiday season this year!