Celebrating Cranberries

cranberriesThese sour red berries grow on a trailing shrub. You can buy them fresh in the Fall, or frozen at any time of year. Dried cranberries are a delicious addition to trail mixes. When buying fresh look for bright red shiny skins. Cranberries are a valuable source of iron, vitamin C and folic acid.

Cranberries are usually too sour to eat raw. First wash and remove any damaged berries. Then cook them with a little water and sugar, then puree them to make a sauce. Or you can add them to a recipe directly to add a contrasting flavor.


  • Harlequin Squash with Corn Bread Stuffing
  • Cranberry Corn Bread
  • Apple Cranberry Crisp

Harlequin Squash with Corn Bread Stuffing

Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as a side dish

This dish can be served as the centrepiece of your Thanksgiving meal, or served as a fancy side dish alongside a suitable meat-alternative product.

  • 1 Harlequin Squash (or any other attractive looking squash)
  • 2 cups corn bread, preferably stale, crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts (or pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup half-and-half soy creamer

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Place the squash face-down on a baking sheet with a little water.  Bake until tender – about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Spread crumbled corn bread on a greased baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, for 20-30 minutes until it’s toasted and a little crisp. Remove from oven.

In a large bowl, combine corn bread, cranberries, nuts or seeds and sage.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Mix the syrup and soy cream, then drizzle it over the stuffing mixture, stirring to lightly moisten everything.  Do not saturate it, just soften.  You may not need to use all the cream mixture.

Arrange the upturned squash in an ovenproof serving dish.  Fill the squash with the stuffing, and place remaining stuffing around the squash. Cover tightly with foil and bake until hot, 20-30 mins. Uncover and bake until the top is browned, another 10-15 mins.

Serve each person half or quarter of a squash piece, along with the stuffing. Fresh steamed green beans, mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy make this a delicious feast.


Cranberry Corn Bread

Makes 2 loaves

This bread is perfect for the holidays, when fresh cranberries are available. You can make it at other times of the year by substituting dried cranberries that have been soaked in warm water until soft.

  • 1 6-ounce can orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup, rice syrup, or similar liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries (1 12-ounce bag)
  • 1 vegetable oil spray

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pour orange juice concentrate into a measuring cup that holds 2 cups or more. Add lemon juice and enough water to make 1 1/2 cups. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. Add orange juice mixture and corn syrup. Stir to mix, then stir in walnuts, if using, and cranberries. Do not overmix. Spoon into two non-stick or vegetable oil sprayed loaf pans and bake for 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a rack.


Apple Cranberry Crisp

Makes 8 servings

This dessert is perfect for autumn, when cranberries are available and apples are fresh, but you can make it at other times of the year if you buy extra bags of cranberries and freeze them. Brown rice syrup is available at health food stores.

2 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
2/3 cup apple juice
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange apple slices in a 9″×9″ baking dish, then sprinkle with cranberries. In a bowl, mix Grape-Nuts, oats, and cinnamon, then stir in brown rice syrup. Spread evenly over apples. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix apple juice and cornstarch or arrowroot, then pour evenly over other ingredients.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until apples are tender.