Cranberries are an important part of the holiday season. They are often used in holiday dishes and offer many health benefits. As well as their health benefits, cranberries add bright red color and tart taste to holiday dishes.
Cranberries contain resveratrol which may help protect against oxidative damage to our hearts and support healthy blood pressure. This super fruit also contains disease-fighting compounds which may help prevent urinary tract infections, stomach ulcers and gum disease. Cranberries also have high amounts of flavonoids which may help promote circulation and maintain heart health.
One cup of fresh cranberries has five grams of fiber and is a good source of vitamin C. Cranberries can be enjoyed in a variety of forms such as juice, fresh, frozen or dried.
Simple ways to include cranberries in your holiday:
• Add to baked goods such as breads or muffins
• Blend with salads or holiday appetizers
• Pair fresh or dried cranberries with several varieties of meat and poultry
• Eat dried cranberries as a healthy on-the-go snack
• Include in your favorite stuffing recipe
Serves 12 (1 muffin each)
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
• 3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 1 large egg
• 3 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, divided
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 11/2 cups white whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup cornmeal, preferably medium or fine stone-ground
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 11/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed), coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, yogurt, oil, egg, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Fold in the yogurt mixture until almost blended. Fold in cranberries. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Sprinkle over the muffins.
Bake until muffins are golden brown and spring back lightly to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then on a wire rack at least 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition facts per serving: 187 calories; 7g fat (1g sat, 4g mono); 18mg cholesterol; 29g carbohydrate; 10g added sugars; 4g protein; 3g fiber; 255mg sodium; 96mg potassium.
Amanda Stecker is a registered dietitian with Clinton’s Hy-Vee Store. For more information, call her at 243-6162. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.