This is a guest post from Roxanna Kassam Kara.
Thanksgiving is such a beautiful holiday – a time of gratitude and respect for the bounty of the harvest. So why do so many of us sit down to green bean casseroles made with condensed soup and canned cranberry sauce? It’s time to ditch the canned stuff!
As Fooducate pointed out last year, canned cranberry sauce is full of added sugars and sweeteners like HFCS, not to mention the BPA risk from the can lining. But cranberries themselves have a stellar nutritional reputation, packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants and offering anti-inflammatory benefits. So how can you enjoy those cranberries in a healthier way?
Make your own and stick to a serving
Spike cranberries with sweeter fruits like pear and apple to provide some natural sugar. Nutritionist Julie Daniluk’s great recipe for a raw cranberry sauce is almost as easy as buying it!
Ditch the sauce altogether and use cranberries in new ways
Make a cranberry fruit salad, tossing the cranberries with chopped apples, pears, pomegranate and walnuts.
Or if fruit salad isn’t your thing, try a chunky cranberry salsa to serve as an appetizer before the big dinner. This Martha Stewart recipe uses avocado to smooth out the sharp tartness of the cranberries.
A final note: Stick to fresh cranberries when possible. Dried cranberries often have added sugars and contain a lot less Vitamin C than their fresh counterparts (Fresh cranberries have13mg of Vitamin C (15-18% of your daily value), compared to 0.2mg in dried cranberries.)
Roxanna Kassam Kara is a former processed food marketer who runs WholesomeHedonist.com, a site that debunks marketing myths and helps consumers navigate the supermarket. She is a freelance writer, a marketing and communications professional and a passionate food advocate.