This is a good basic cranberry bread, filled with chopped fresh cranberries and pecans. It’s good when it’s still warm from the oven, either on its own or spread with butter, cream cheese or jam—or you can cool it completely and serve it the same ways. I like the taste of the mildly tart cranberries in this, and I love the way it rises into a nicely-shaped loaf!Continue reading
I was never much of a fan of cranberry sauce as a kid, but I like it now, especially if it’s homemade. When I reviewed the book In Winter’s Kitchen by Beth Dooley a few years ago, I found a recipe for cranberry sauce which I decided I had to try, since I’ve never made homemade cranberry sauce.Continue reading
If you’re like me, you have some extra cranberry sauce from Christmas that you’re wondering what to do with. Well, here’s an easy recipe for a cranberry cream cheese spread that goes great on bagels. It makes a nice breakfast during and after the holidays! And I’ll also tell you how to make a bagel sandwich with this spread– a sandwich that also uses leftover turkey…just the thing for a quick, easy lunch! My inspiration for this cream cheese spread came from a recipe over at My Kitchen Addiction. I used a little more cranberry sauce and added a few more ingredients–fresh chopped cranberries and finely chopped pecans– to give the spread a little more color and texture. It’s really good on bagels, especially toasted bagels! I used whole wheat bagels, but use whatever bagels you like best. The recipe makes a little more than 1 cup of spread.
CRANBERRY–PECAN CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
- 1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tablespoons cranberry sauce (I used Ocean Spray® Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cranberries (or if you want a sweeter taste, chop up dried cranberries)
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped pecans
In a small bowl, combine softened cream cheese, cranberry sauce and honey, blending well. Add in cinnamon and ginger and blend well, then stir in the chopped cranberries and pecans. Serve immediately on toasted bagels or bread…or muffins, too. If not using right away, store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to a week.
I also made a yummy-tasting sandwich with this spread and here’s the recipe for that, too…
- Cranberry-Pecan Cream Cheese Spread (see recipe above)
- A bagel of your choice, toasted or untoasted
- 1 Tablespoon cranberry sauce
- Lettuce leaves or fresh baby spinach leaves (I used lettuce leaves from an organic packaged mix)
Slice bagel in half (unless it’s pre-sliced) and spread both sides of bagel with desired amount of cream cheese (toast bagel first if desired). Put as little or as much cream cheese on as you want. On one bagel slice, place 4-5 thin slices of turkey on top of cream cheese (you can use less slices if turkey is sliced thicker). Spread the Tablespoon of cranberry sauce on top of the turkey slices. On the other bagel slice, place desired amount of lettuce over the cream cheese. Place this bagel slice over the turkey bagel slice and voila…you have just created a yummy holiday sandwich!
I’ve been eating way too many sweets these past few weeks! So I just had to have something healthy for breakfast a few days ago. You know, to sort of balance things out. 😉 The weather had warmed up to an unseasonably balmy 50 degrees, so I thought a smoothie sounded good. I wanted to make one with cranberries, since this is cranberry season, so I came up with this healthy little recipe. It’s a thick, creamy smoothie that also has frozen raspberries, yogurt, honey and a banana in it to help make it nice and thick. It’s not super-sweet, just sweet enough. Drinking this honey-sweetened smoothie helped me from overdoing it on sweets later in the day. Now today was a different story. I probably should have made this smoothie for breakfast again!
This recipe makes 1 large serving (12 to 14 ounces) or 2 smaller servings.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk or soymilk
- 1/2 cup plain, vanilla, or raspberry yogurt (I like to use plain Greek yogurt)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes 1 large or 2 small servings. If you want to make this smoothie extra healthy, sprinkle in some flax seed–about 1/2 Tablespoon–before blending mixture. You won’t even be able to taste it, and you’ll get some extra fiber!
I had a few extra bags of cranberries that I didn’t get around to using over the holidays, so I put them in the freezer. Then last week I came across a recipe on the Ocean Spray® website and decided this would be a great way to use some of those cranberries!
I love banana bread and cranberry bread, so I was pretty sure I would like this Cranberry Banana Bread recipe. It’s a really good, moist quick bread. I just changed the recipe very slightly and added a glaze on top, sprinkled with pecans (you can also use walnuts). The glaze gives the bread a little extra sweetness, but it’s also good without the glaze, too.
So if you happen to have extra cranberries in your freezer, you need to try this out! Or you can buy frozen cranberries. You could even try it with dried cranberries–I haven’t tried it that way myself yet, but I’m sure it would be just as good. This recipe makes one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2″ loaf or one 9 x 5″ loaf. I doubled the recipe and made one of each size. The 8 1/2″ loaf comes out a little taller and narrower–it also needs to bake a few minutes longer than the 9″ loaf. Either size works well, so use the loaf pan size you like best.
CRANBERRY BANANA BREAD (adapted from Ocean Spray®)
Makes 1 loaf (or double the recipe for two loaves like I did)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium)
- 1/2 teaspoon banana extract (optional, if you want a stronger banana flavor)
- 1/4 cup milk or half and half
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2″ or 9 x 5″ loaf pan. Cream sugar and butter together in a medium mixing bowl until well blended. Add banana, banana extract (optional), milk, and eggs, mixing well. Add flour and baking powder, mixing just until moist. Stir in nuts and cranberries. Spread batter evenly in loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. Let loaf cool a few minutes in the pan and then remove from pan and cool completely. Makes 1 loaf.
If you’d like to add a glaze, here’s what you need…
SIMPLE CREAMY GLAZE (double the recipe for two loaves)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons half and half
- 1/3 teaspoon banana extract (optional, if you want a banana flavor in the glaze)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (for sprinkling over the glaze)
Mix powdered sugar and half and half together, blending well. Add banana extract, if desired. This will make a thicker, creamy glaze. Spoon glaze over the top of your cooled loaf, then sprinkle with nuts. Let glaze set and serve.
You’ll probably have a little glaze left over, but it’s better to have too much than not enough, right? 🙂 Save the rest of the glaze for something else, like muffins. You could thin it out with a little more half and half or milk and probably have enough to glaze a dozen muffins. Happy baking!