Although they’re known for their ability to prevent and calm UTIs, cranberries were used by Native Americans for their healthful nutrients and phytochemicals long before they hit the Thanksgiving dinner table. In fact, the tiny crimson beads improve oral health, reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, increase immunity, and are cited by the American Institute For Cancer Research as a food that fends off cancer. Plus, research has shown cranberries can potentially slow the progression of tumors.
We know you get your fill of ’em on Turkey Day—and we did include one sauce recipe—but these cranberry recipes are here to inspire you on the reg. Find your new favorite dish and then also see how many things you can check off on our list of 30 Kitchen Skills Everyone Should Know by 30.
CINNAMON ROASTED SWEET POTATOES AND CRANBERRIES
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 228 calories, 2.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 14 mg sodium, 48.1 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 4.1 g sugar, 2.3 g protein
A series of studies printed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adding a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon to a starchy meal (aka this one) can stabilize blood sugar. This is significant if you’re trying to drop a few sizes because when our insulin levels plummet, ghrelin (aka “the hunger hormone”) is released. Bonus: the orange spuds have sky-high levels of carotenoids, the nutrient responsible for your lingering summer glow.
Get the recipe from Litlle Bits Of.
NO BAKE CRANBERRY PISTACHIO ENERGY BITES
Nutrition (per 2 bite serving): 174 calories, 6 g fat (<1 g saturated), 55 mg sodium, 27.2 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 10.5 g sugar, 4.7 g protein
Before you go subbing in another nut because you’re lazy and don’t feel like unshelling the pistachios, consider this: Not only are pistachios the lowest-calorie nut out there, they also boast more potassium and vitamin K than any of their contenders. They’re worth the effort. And now that you’ve got your snack time down, check out these
50 Best Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss—Ranked.
Get the recipe from Grace And Good Eats.
CRANBERRY ORANGE SMOOTHIE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 129 calories, 1.4 g fat (0 g saturated), 57 mg sodium, 26.7 g carbs, 4.8 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 1.1 g protein
Aside from knocking out a day’s worth of vitamin C with one glass, this smoothie also helps rid your stomach of that ugly, protruding abdominal pouch. At 129 calories, we truly can’t think of a better way to start the day.
Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch.
CRANBERRY BLUEBERRY CRISP
Nutrition (per ½ cup serving): 241 calories, 11 g fat (6.5 g saturated), 76 mg sodium, 33.5 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 17.7 g sugar, 2.6 g protein
Apples might be in season, but that doesn’t mean they have to be the only fruit to sneak its way into your crisp. And when it comes to fighting winter weight gain, here’s how to lose belly fat: eat blueberries. Researchers discovered that after a 90-day trial, rats fed a blueberry-enriched diet showed significantly reduced abdominal fat than those that did not. And don’t sweat the fact that they’re not in season; new studies suggest that frozen blueberries actually have more antioxidant effects than their fresh counterparts.
Get the recipe from The Pretty Bee.
CRANBERRY PUMPKIN MUFFINS
Nutrition (per muffin, yields 8): 199 calories, 2.3 g fat (1.7 g saturated), 101 mg sodium, 38.6 g carbs, 2.6 g fiber, 10.8 g sugar, 5.2 g protein
Ugg boots, yoga pants, a top-knot, and a pumpkin muffin? Sounds nice, but you’ve gotta admit that it doesn’t get more basic than that. So, why not make things interesting with this recipe instead?
Get the recipe from Amy’s Healthy Baking.
CRANBERRY FROZEN YOGURT
Nutrition (per ½ cup serving ): 97 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 29 mg sodium, 17.1 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 13.8 g sugar, 2.4 g protein
We’ll let you in on a little secret: there are only five simple ingredients in this recipe and one of them is vodka. Even for the health conscious, that’s good news because studies indicate the hard alcohol can improve blood circulation, increase collateral vessel development (which improves the connection between the heart and lungs), and even boost your brain power. In fact, according to a study from Consciousness and Cognition, men who consumed cranberry and vodkas until their blood alcohol content reached 0.75 percent and then completed a verbal puzzle while watching a movie solved the puzzle 3.7 seconds faster than those who didn’t consume the alcoholic beverage. For the skinny on your favorite booze, check out these 23 Surprising, Healthy Benefits of Alcohol.
Get the recipe from Give Reipe.
CRANBERRY TUNA SALAD ON APPLE SLICES
Nutrition (per ½ cup serving, approximately 2 apple slices ): 126 calories, 4 g fat (<1 g saturated), 28 mg sodium, 9.2 g carbs, 1.6 g fiber, 6.8 g sugar, 13 g protein
You’ve probably never thought to put tuna salad on top of apple slices. But if there is ever a reason to ditch the bread, it’s here. One Penn State University study found that snacking on the forbidden fruit before a meal can reduce overall calorie consumption by 15 percent, and we’re willing to argue consuming it with the meal works just as well.
Get the recipe from The Wholesome Dish.
HEALTHY BREAKFAST COOKIES
Nutrition (per cookie, yields 12 ): 157 calories, 5.5 g fat (2.9 g saturated), 112 mg sodium, 23.6 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 7.8 g sugar, 3.7 g protein
Breakfast and cookies? Yeah, we know—you’re waiting for the catch, but there isn’t one. Researchers from Tel Aviv University found that eating dessert with breakfast can help dieters lose more weight. Nix your sugar cravings in a controlled manner early and you’ll have all day to work off the damage. The key word here is “with,” though, because this cookie needs some protein to get you to lunch. Check out these 23 Best Protein Shake Recipes for a perfect pairing.
Get the recipe from Show Me The Yummy.
POMEGRANATE CRANBERRY BRUSCHETTA
Nutrition (per 2 slice serving): 255 calories, 15.7 g fat (5.5 g saturated), 198 mg sodium, 25.2 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 11.8 g sugar, 3.1 g protein (calculated with ½ cup sugar)
This fruity spin on bruschetta is literally perfect. Not that the original needed a makeover, but we’re smitten. Whether you’re hosting dinner guests, need date night inspiration, or have a holiday party to attend, this app is where it’s at.
Get the recipe from Tabler Party Of Two.
KALE SALAD WITH WARM CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 310 calories, 27 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 149 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 3.6 g fiber, 8.4 g sugar, 2.8 g protein
Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense greens, packing in B vitamins, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and much more! Don’t love the bitter taste, but want to get in on the nutritional benefits? This recipe dresses kale in a warm cranberry vinaigrette that softens its taste without softening its nutrients.
Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
RAW CRANBERRY CHEESECAKE CAKELETS
Nutrition (per slice, yields 12): 239 calories, 18.2 g fat (10.5 g saturated), 57 mg sodium, 17.4 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 10.7 g sugar, 2.7 g protein
Many dairy-free recipes are made with raw cashews, which is actually pretty ingenious because the nuts are packed with similar nutrients and then some. They contain ample amounts of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and are made up of over 80 percent unsaturated fats, similar to those found in olive oil. Their health benefits should not be overlooked, “such as helping your body relieve various conditions like constipation, insomnia, headaches and muscle cramps, as well as regulating the immune system and supporting brain function,” says Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN of Middleberg Nutrition.
Get the recipe from Uncinventional Baker.
CRANBERRY ALMOND PROTEIN BARS
Nutrition (per bar, yields 8): 164 calories, 11.9 g fat (1 g saturated), 1 mg sodium, 11.4 g carbs, 3.3 g fiber, 5.7 g sugar, 5.1 g protein
Protein bars remain one of the most convenient, effortless ways to get some on-the-go fuel. The problem is their nutritional profiles’ and ingredient lists’ usually read more like a candy bar. While these do not meet the 20 grams of protein per meal goal that experts recommend, they are a great way to get you through rush hour traffic and to the gym. Plus, they’re made with only real ingredients, there’s no baking, and you can make them in bulk and freeze them for later.
Get the recipe from Gimmie Some Oven.
ROASTED CRANBERRY AND GOAT CHEESE FLATBREADS
Nutrition (per slice, yields 8): 207 calories, 5.5 g fat (3.6 g saturated), 209 mg sodium, 13.8 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 6.1 g sugar, 5.3 g protein
When it comes to the world of cheese, goat cheese is lower in both calories and fat than cow varieties (hence the 5.5 grams listed above). It’s also gentler on the digestive track. So, if you’re a cheese lover but end up with a case of tummy troubles after you indulge, give this recipe a try.
Get the recipe from Healthy Seasonal Recipes.
CRANBERRY APPLE PECAN WILD RICE PILAF
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 333 calories, 18.8 g fat (4.8 g saturated), 85 mg sodium, 38.1 g carb, 4.3 g fiber, 10.6 g sugar, 5 g protein
Aside from the plethora of autumn flavors in this pilaf, we have to highlight one in particular. Wild rice is a native American grain that has nearly double the fiber and protein and fewer calories than brown varieties, making it a killer weight loss staple. According to a Penn State University study, researchers found individuals on a calorie-restricted diet who ate whole grains, like those found in wild rice, lost significantly more visceral fat than a group who consumed the equivalent number of calories from refined carbohydrates.
Get the recipe from Carl’s Bad Cravings.
TURKEY CRANBERRY QUESADILLAS
Nutrition (per quesadilla, yields 2): 273 calories, 15.7 g fat (9.1 g saturated), 128 mg sodium, 13.4 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1.1 g sugar, 18.9 g protein
Every once and awhile, our taste buds beg us for something savory. Our dopamine receptors light up at just the thought of a lightly browned quesadilla oozing with cheese. We know it’s indulgent, but we can’t resist our urges sometimes. File this one under “skinny indulgences” because it will hit the spot—without the belly bulge aftermath.
Get the recipe from Little On The Prarie.
APPLE PECAN ROSEMARY GREEK YOGURT CHICKEN SALAD
Nutrition (per ½ cup serving): 184 calories, 10.3 g fat (1.9 g saturated), 85 mg sodium, 6.1 g carb, 1.5 g fiber, 3.7 g sugar, 16.4 g protein
Greek yogurt can take the place of many saturated fat ingredients like cream cheese, oil, butter, sour cream, buttermilk—and like in this recipe, mayo. For a great low-carb meal option, fill lettuce boats with this deliciously refreshing chicken salad.
Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.
TURKEY CRANBERRY BRIE EGG ROLLS
Nutrition (per egg roll, yields 10): 147 calories, 2.6 g fat (1.2 g saturated), 242 mg sodium, 21.4 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2.1 g sugar, 8.4 g protein
These egg rolls are like the Blake Lively of bite-sized foods—effortlessly flawless whether they’re on the red carpet or running errands. They can be classy AF or just be a fun twist on your favorite Asian bite. And with a whopping 8.4 grams of protein per roll, they’ll fill you up without filling you out.
Get the recipe from Recipes Runner.
3-INGREDIENT PALEO CRANBERRY SAUCE
Nutrition (per ¼ cup serving): 78 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 1 mg sodium, 19 g carb, 1.3 g fiber, 16.7 g sugar, 0 g protein
With Turkey Day just around the corner, this Paleo cranberry sauce couldn’t be more timely. According to research from the Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat at Thanksgiving dinner. Try switching it up with some wholesome recipes (like this one), practice portion control, and take a walk after dinner to scorch some cals!
Get the recipe from Cook Eat Paleo.
HEALTHY NO BAKE WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY COOKIES
Nutrition (per cookie, yields 10 ): 175 calories, 8.1 g fat (1 g saturated), 6 mg sodium, 18.5 g carbs, 1.9 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 6.9 g protein (calculated with Truvia baking blend)
What’s better than cookies that don’t require an oven? Cookies with 6.9 grams of satiating, muscle-building protein. These don’t say breakfast, but with just 3 grams of sugar and less than 200 calories, they fit the bill. Just be sure to follow the guidelines spelled out in the recipe.
Get the recipe from The Big Man’s World.
CHOCOLATE COVERED ALMOND OVERNIGHT OATS
Nutrition (per 10 oz serving, yields 2 ): 183 calories, 3.7 g fat (1 g saturated), 52 mg sodium, 29.9 g carb, 4.4 g fiber, 3.4 g sugar, 7.1 g protein
Here at ETNT, we are obsessed with overnight oats. For starters, like most of our readers, we don’t have time to cook an elaborate breakfast. We rise before the sun and are out the door and on our way to the office or gym in a blurred rush. The only routine this awesome oats recipe requires from us is to combine the ingredients, mix, and screw on a cap the night before. Oats aid in weight loss because they’re raw and full of resistant starch; this kind of carb resists digestion, keeping you fuller for longer and even boosting metabolic activity. Plus, they’re delicious—and while the recipes are endless, this one is a heart-stealer. Give this one a try and then discover 25 Ways to Lose Weight with Oatmeal!
Get the recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron.