When it comes to a Thanksgiving dinner that features a turkey, there is one thing that almost always makes it to the table. Cranberry sauce.

Either jellied or whole, Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that cranberries are most remembered and appreciated. But there is more to do with cranberries than just making a condiment out of it.

This year, give the cranberry the respect it deserves. That’s right, make something else with cranberries!

You can find cranberries easily right now as fresh cranberries, and year-long as frozen cranberries, dried cranberries and canned cranberries.

Healthy Reasons to Eat Cranberries

In addition to being tasty, cranberries also offer a number of health perks. They are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber and the phytonutrients offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer health benefits. Cranberries have been linked to lower risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain cancers, improved immune function, and lowering high blood pressure.

Cranberries and Nutrition – Carbs, Calories and Fiber

A half cup serving of whole cranberries has only 25 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrate and about 3 grams of fiber. Fresh cranberries always make the list as one of the healthiest foods you can eat. So, are fresh cranberries diabetic-friendly? Yes – fresh cranberries are safe for people with diabetes to eat.

Contrast fresh cranberries with the canned, jellied cranberry sauce many people will be serving during the holidays. A half cup of canned cranberry sauce provides about 200 calories, 55 grams of carbohydrate (along with 50 grams of sugars) and only 1.5 grams of dietary fiber. Just one (1/2-inch) slice from a can (1/8 of a can) provides 22 grams of carbohydrate, along with 22 grams of sugars, and dietary fiber is 1/2 a gram.

Meanwhile, 1/4 cup of unsweetened, dried cranberries provide 30 calories, 8 grams of carbohydrate, 10 grams of sugars, 3 grams of dietary fiber. If you opt for sweetened, dried cranberries instead, 1/4 cup will provide about 92 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrate, 20 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Quite the difference.

Cranberry Recipes for the Holidays That Guests Will Love

The following recipes feature cranberries and include appetizers, main dishes, desserts, cookies, baked goodies – and even a kicked up version of cranberry sauce that pairs cranberry with apple.

Any one of these recipes is sure to be a treat for your family and guests this holiday season – so don’t be surprised when you get requests for a recipe!

Meatballs with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

Meatballs with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce Recipe Photo - Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef Brisket
  • 1/4 pound ground beef Ribeye Steak Boneless
  • 1/4 pound Ground Beef (95% lean)
  • 1 cup seasoned stuffing mix
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cranberry Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2-1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Combine Brisket, Ribeye, Ground Beef, stuffing mix, egg, water, garlic, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into twenty-four 1-1/2-inch meatballs. Place on rack in broiler pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in 400F oven 13 to 15 minutes until 160F.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare Cranberry Barbecue Sauce. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until tender, but not brown. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until cranberries burst and mixture has reduced to thick consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Transfer mixture to blender container. Cover, allowing steam to escape. Process until smooth. Season with salt, as desired.
  3. Serve meatballs with barbecue sauce.

Recipe Yield: Yield: 24 mini meatballs, 1 per serving.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 66
Fat: 1 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Fiber: 0.7 grams
Sodium: 108 milligrams
Cholesterol: 19 milligrams
Protein: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 8 grams

Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups

Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

This recipe takes about 20 minutes to prepare, plus 1 hour to chill. Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa from the ALDI Test Kitchen.

Yields: 16 ceviche cups. 1 ceviche cup per serving.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons iodized salt, divided
  • 16 ounces medium raw shrimp, thawed
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 16 ounces tortilla chips
  • 2 limes cut into wedges

Directions

  1. Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately plunge cooked shrimp into ice water bath. Peel shrimp and place in flat dish.
  3. In food processor, combine cranberries, red onion, parsley and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped.
  4. Add cranberry mixture to shrimp.
  5. Add lemon juice, lime juice, remaining salt, crushed red pepper and oregano. Stir to combine ingredients thoroughly.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. To assemble, spoon ceviche, about 4 to 5 shrimp each, into small clear cups or glasses. Garnish with tortilla chips and lime wedges.
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Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories 103
Total Fat 1.4g
Saturated Fat 0.3g
Cholesterol 60mg
Sodium 231mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5g
Dietary Fiber 2.3g
Total Sugars 0.8g
Protein 8.2g

Cranberry-Orange Muffins

Cranberry-Orange Muffins Recipe Photo - Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, 1 Gram of Fiber, Granulated
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add Splenda Granulated Sweetener, 1 Gram of Fiber and orange zest beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat.
  4. Stir in vanilla yogurt. Gradually stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan, cool on wire rack.

Recipe Yield: Serves: 6

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 200
Fat: 9 grams
Saturated Fat: 5 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sodium: 220 milligrams
Cholesterol: 55 milligrams
Protein: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 28 grams
Sugars: 3 grams

Cranberry Walnut Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Muffins Recipe Photo - Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 8 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Mix Splenda Granulated Sweetener, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and orange zest together in a small mixing bowl. Add to flour mixture. Mix gently to combine. Add walnuts and cranberries and stir until just blended.
  4. Spoon batter into eight muffin cups. Bake in preheated 375 degrees F oven 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes:

These muffins are perfectly tart, sweet, and delicious – especially right out of the oven.
Recipe Yield: Yield: 8 ServingsServing Size: 1 muffin

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 210
Fat: 10 grams
Saturated Fat: 4.5 grams
Fiber: 1 grams
Sodium: 320 milligrams
Cholesterol: 70 milligrams
Protein: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 24 grams
Sugars: 5 grams

Cranberry-Almond Tarts

Cranberry-Almond Tarts Recipe Photo - Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 (15 ounce) container refrigerated pie crusts
  • 3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) carton non-dairy whipped topping
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slices

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Unroll pastry and roll to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; using a 2- inch square cookie cutter, cut out 24 squares, re-rolling pastry, if necessary. Place squares in ungreased miniature muffin pans. Place in freezer.
  3. Combine Splenda Granulated Sweetener and water in a saucepan, stirring until blended. Stir in cranberries. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly 2 minutes or until berries pop. Pour through a wire-mesh sieve, set over a bowl. Return liquid to saucepan; reserving berries. Bring liquid to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Pour sauce over cranberries, tossing to coat. Stir in almonds and almond extract. Spoon mixture into pastry shells.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is set. Carefully remove tarts from muffin tins; cool on a wire rack.

Notes:

Cranberries and almond nestled in a flaky pastry make a sweet ending for a holiday party.
Recipe Yield: Servings Per Recipe: 24Serving Size: 1 square tart

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 100
Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 2.5 grams
Fiber: 1 grams
Sodium: 55 milligrams
Protein: 1 grams
Carbohydrates: 9 grams
Sugars: 3 grams

Warm Apple and Cranberry Sauce

Warm Apple and Cranberry Sauce Recipe Photo - Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil (15 mL)
  • 4 large Fuji apples, about 2 lb (1 kg), cored, quartered lengthwise and cut into half-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup water (60 mL)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (15 mL)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (2 mL)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (1 mL)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries (60 mL)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional) (.5 mL)
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Directions

  1. In large, heavy saucepan, heat canola oil and add apples. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until apples are lightly caramelized. Add water and lemon juice to pan, cook and stir briefly to deglaze pan.
  2. Carefully transfer apples to bowl of food processor and pulse just a few times to chunky consistency. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and cranberries. Serve warm.

Notes:

Nothing beats cooking with apples and cranberries for the holidays and this homemade sauce combines the two fruits for a show-stopping side dish.
Recipe Yield: Yield: 2-2/3 cups (650 mL); 8 servings. Serving size: 1/3 cup (75 mL).
Source: Cheryl Forberg, R.D.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 40
Fat: 1 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 9 grams

Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Salad Recipe Photo - Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Equal Spoonful or Granulated*
  • 1 four-serving size cranberry or cherry sugar-free gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 can (7-1/4 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Bring cranberries and water to a boil. Remove from heat when cranberries have popped open. Stir in Equal. Set aside to cool.
  2. Dissolve gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. Add cranberry sauce; mix thoroughly. Add celery, pineapple with juice and walnuts. Pour into a mold or bowl. Refrigerate several hours or overnight until firm.

Notes:

A great salad for the holidays, combining fresh or frozen cranberries, pineapple and chopped nuts in a sugar-free gelatin base. Plus, it has 58% fewer calories than the traditional recipe.
Recipe Yield: Serves: 8

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 82
Fat: 5 grams
Sodium: 32 milligrams
Protein: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 9 grams

Diabetic Exchanges

1/2 fruit, 1 fat

Cranberry-Onion Pork Roast

Cranberry-Onion Pork Roast Recipe Photo - Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 pound boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 16-oz can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 (1-oz) package dried onion soup mix

Directions

  1. Season roast with salt and pepper; place over indirect heat on grill; stir together cranberry sauce and onion soup mix and heat, covered, in microwave until hot (about one minute).
  2. Baste roast with cranberry mixture every 10 minutes until roast is done about 40 minutes (20 minutes per pound);until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a 3-minute rest time.
  3. Remove roast from heat; let rest about 10 minutes before slicing to serve.
  4. Heat any leftover basting mixture to boiling, stir and boil for 5-10 minutes and serve alongside roast.

Recipe Yield: Yield: 4-6 servings

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 242
Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Sodium: 380 milligrams
Cholesterol: 65 milligrams
Protein: 25 grams
Carbohydrates: 24 grams

Orange Cranberry Cookies

Orange Cranberry Cookies Recipe Photo - Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Recipes

Ingredients

Content Continues Below ⤵

  • 1/4 cup stick butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1/3 cup Equal Spoonful or Granulated*
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts*May substitute 8 packets Equal sweetener

Directions

  1. Beat butter in a medium bowl. Beat in egg and orange juice concentrate.
  2. Mix combined flour, oats, Equal, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and orange peel into creamed mixture until blended. Stir in dried cranberries and chopped walnuts.
  3. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 375° F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely on wire rack.
  4. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Notes:

Two favorite Fall flavors – cranberry and orange – combined in an easy to make drop cookie.
Recipe Yield: Yield: 24 cookies

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 65
Fat: 4 grams
Sodium: 17 milligrams
Cholesterol: 14 milligrams
Protein: 1 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams

Diabetic Exchanges

1/2 starch, 1/2 fat

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Cranberry Apple Crisp Recipe Photo - Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Recipes

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 3 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen thawed cranberries
  • 1 cup Equal Spoonful*Topping:
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup stick butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup Equal Spoonful*** Substitute 24 packets Equal sweetener** Substitute 12 packets Equal sweetener

Directions

  1. For Filling, combine apples, cranberries and 1 cup Equal in an ungreased 10-inch pie plate.
  2. For Topping, combine flour, pecans, melted butter and 1/2 cup Equal. Mix until well blended. Sprinkle flour mixture over apples and cranberries in pie plate.
  3. Bake in preheated 350F oven 55 to 60 minutes or until fruit is tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Yield: Yield: 8 servings

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 145
Fat: 8 grams
Sodium: 67 milligrams
Protein: 1 grams
Carbohydrates: 18 grams

Diabetic Exchanges

1 fruit, 1-1/2 fat

Interested in more recipes? Try reading these: Meatball Appetizer Recipes that are Low-Carb and Diabetic-Friendly, Diabetic Desserts – 10 Dessert Recipes Your Guests Will Love and 20 Delicious, Diabetic-Friendly Party Appetizers. Or check out our Diabetic Thanksgiving Recipes and Christmas Recipes areas.