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Education, Food

Berry Grateful: Cranberry Recipes Straight from Cranberry Country

November is when cranberries crank up their superstar power and bask in the seasonal spotlight. Of course, it’s easy to add ruby-red splendor to your Thanksgiving feast. But there are oh-so-many reasons to enjoy these tart berries year-round. Cranberries are high in antioxidants, packed with fiber and Vitamin C and come in at only 46 calories per cup. We chat with Isaac Zarecki, Public Education and Communications program manager for the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association. He shares recipes—and fun facts—to help you enjoy cranberries during the holidays and beyond.

Did you know, for example, that Wisconsin has been the nation’s leading cranberry producer for 25 years, and that Wisconsin has produced a little more than 5.5 million barrels of cranberries—or 275,000 tons? 

“The importance of the cranberry industry is certainly well known throughout the state, and we love sharing this super-fruit with the rest of the nation.”

Zarecki suggests bringing these recipes to your holiday tables—and everywhere else.

CRANBERRY CHAMPAGNE PUNCH

What you’ll need:

  • 1/5 bottle champagne, chilled
  • 2 28 oz. bottles ginger ale, chilled
  • 4 cups orange juice, chilled
  • 1 32 oz. bottle cranberry juice cocktail, chilled

Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl with an ice ring. Serve at once in punch cups.

GRILLED SALMON WITH CRANBERRY MUSTARD BUTTER

What you’ll need:

For the cranberry mustard butter:

  • 5 oz. dried cranberries 
  • 1/4 cup softened butter 
  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard 
  • 1 tsp. orange zest 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

For the salmon:

  • 2 salmon steaks or filets 
  • a few drops of oil 
  • salt and pepper 
  • mint and lemon for garnishing

Serves 4

Mix butter with mustard and orange zest. Season with salt and pepper. Chop cranberries and stir them in. Chill the butter.

Brush salmon with oil. Grill each side on a hot grill for about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the salmon with the cranberry mustard butter and garnish with mint and orange.

CRANBERRY OAT BRAN MUFFINS

What you’ll need:

  • 1-1/2 cups flour 
  • 1/2 cup oat bran 
  • 3/4 tsp. salt 
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 3 tsp. baking powder 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries 
  • 1 cup chopped nuts 
  • 1 tsp. grated orange peel 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, oat bran, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside. Beat together eggs, vegetable oil, and milk; add to dry ingredients. Add cranberries, nuts and orange peel. Stir all together; batter may be lumpy. Pour into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

And because no holiday table is complete without it, try this:

WHOLE CRANBERRY SAUCE

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cup cranberries 
  • 3/4 cup water 
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar 

Simmer cranberries and water together. While simmering, mash with a potato masher. Add sugar; simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Put into a container and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups of sauce.

Not enough? Here are some bonus recipes:

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