Nothing screams the holidays more than your dad’s famous turkey, your mom’s homemade mashed potatoes, and your grandma’s beautiful, rich cranberry sauce along with the turkey hands your siblings’ made in class hanging in the doorway. Cranberries, one of our personal favorite holiday fruits, get a bad rap for being sour and bitter. Yet, its tangy flavors are wonderfully complemented with some sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon for a mouthwatering sauce, while its vibrant color brings a nice pop of color for tasty dishes and festive trinkets around the home. Cranberries in all forms can be both delicious and decorative.
1. Fresh cranberries
An easy and popular way to use fresh cranberries are in sauces or jams by boiling it down with sugar and various spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. One way to recycle that sauce is by mixing in some softened butter to make a lovely, pale pink-purple cranberry-infused butter. You can serve it right away or wait for it to chill. Fresh cranberries can also be used as a centerpiece by filling up a clear vase or Mason jar with flowers of your choice.
2. Frozen cranberries
Keep these in your freezer for a festive little twist to any treat. You can make little cranberry ice chips by freezing cranberries in water or revive frozen cranberries in a simple sugar syrup, refrigerate, and coat again with finely powdered sugar for a snowy touch to any dessert. Another way to carry on the holiday theme, is by adding some cranberries, blueberries, rosemary, citrus, and water in a container, place some cans as a votive holder, and freeze overnight.
3. Dried cranberries
If you can’t get your hands on fresh cranberries this holiday season, dried cranberries are still a great addition to any dessert. Dip some pretzel sticks in dark chocolate, then coat it with some dried cranberries and crushed nuts. You can even freeze some Greek yogurt with dried cranberries and nuts on top for a frozen delight or add into your pastries. Dried cranberries (and fresh!) can also be used to make Christmas ornaments. Simply grab a wire and mold it into your desired shape and skewer the cranberries until the wire is no longer visible. Then twist the open ends together and attach a ribbon.
Stephanie Lin is a sophomore at Cal State University, Long Beach pursuing a degree in Dietetics along with an intended minor in Chinese and Food Science. After graduation, Stephanie hopes to become a registered dietitian and certified yoga instructor spreading positive vibes everywhere she goes.