I've searched the internet for the tastiest easy cranberry salad recipes for Thanksgiving for you, which you're going to love them! All of these fresh cranberry salad recipes make for the perfect delicious side dish for the holiday table. This is a collection of savory salads using fresh, seasonal vegetables. I love adding dried cranberries to salads when you want that pop of sweetness, or fresh cranberries to add a sour touch.
What Are Cranberries?
Cranberries are small red berries and are related to blueberries, bilberries and huckleberries. There are around 5 species of cranberry in total that come from Northern America, Canada, Chile, Northern Europe and Britain. Cranberries are used in lots of different ways, including:
- traditional cranberry sauce
- dried cranberries
- fresh whole cranberries
- frozen cranberries
Cranberries naturally have a very tart and sour taste. Because of this they are often sweetened with sugar to balance out the tartness of the cranberries. I recommend that you buy dried cranberries that have been sweetened with fruit juice instead of refined sugar. And when buying cranberry juice just be mindful of checking the nutrition information and try to opt for a juice with minimal added sugars. Check your local health food store or bulk foods stores for these ingredients.
Cranberries are a popular food for the holiday season, particularly Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner. They are used in cranberry dessert salads including cranberry jello salad and cranberry fluff. However this post focuses on healthy salads using fresh ingredients.
Health Benefits of Cranberries
Cranberries are a highly nutritious food containing beneficial plant compounds. Some of these plant compounds are well known particularly for helping to treat Urinary Tract Infections. Some of the health-promoting plant compounds found in cranberries include:
- Quercetin (an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound)
- Ursolic acid (has strong anti-inflammatory effects)
- A-type proanthocyadins (the compound which helps to relieve urinary tract infections).
Cranberries are also a great source of the following nutrients:
- Insoluble and soluble dietary fiber - important for digestive health.
- Vitamin C - vitamin C is an incredible antioxidant and is necessary for healthy skin, muscles and bone and is very important for a well functioning immune system.
- Manganese - important for metabolism, growth and the antioxidant system in the body.
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
The short answer is yes. Fresh cranberries are a highly nutritious food and are an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin C, Quercetin and A-type proanthocyadins (the compound which helps to treat urinary tract infections). Because of the tart taste, many foods containing cranberries also contain a high amount of sugar, which isn't good for you. Try to find cranberry products with minimal added sugars.
According to Monash University, cranberries are low FODMAP cranberries are low FODMAP if eating 50 grams and under. Dried cranberries are low FODMAP if eating 15 grams and under and cranberry juice is low FODMAP is eating 30 grams and under.
Cranberries are acidic, however once digested fresh cranberries are alkaline. Dried cranberries are acidic once digested.
Fresh cranberries are keto as they are lower in sugar per 100 grams than a lot of other fruits. Though, dried cranberries are higher in sugar and are not keto.
Cranberries are found in cranberry bogs in Northern Eastern America. Other countries they are found in include Canada, Northern Europe and Britain.
Easy Cranberry Salad Recipes for Thanksgiving
Below are some of my favorite cranberry salad recipes from across the web. They are fresh and vibrant, using simple ingredients. Cranberry salads are the perfect side dish for a holiday meal and are the perfect complement to your Thanksgiving turkey and homemade cranberry sauce. I love serving these salads on a beautiful serving dish in the centre of the table for the whole family to enjoy. For other Thanksgiving recipes you might also like to try my Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad, Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad or my Roasted Butternut Squash Salad.
Recipe & Image: Barley and Sage