What would Thanksgiving be without cranberries and corn? (Actually, I remember one Thanksgiving at a relative’s house when the only option for me was peas and perhaps some sweet potato dish, but maybe not even that, despite there being a long, full table of food…. It wasn’t my favorite Thanksgiving.)
Cranberries are a good source of antioxidants, vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, and vitamin K; are anti-inflammatory; help prevent numerous types of cancer; help prevent urinary tract infections; provide good cardiovascular support; and may help prevent stomach ulcers.
Corn is a great source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus, beta-cryptoxanthin, manganese, and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Folate is very helpful in preventing heart attacks and perhaps also colon cancer. People who consume foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin also have a lower risk of developing lung cancer. Thiamin or vitamin B1 “is an integral participant in enzymatic reactions central to energy production and is also critical for brain cell/cognitive function” and thus helps prevent senility and Alzheimer’s disease. Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 helps support the adrenal glands, which get overworked when we are under stress (and who isn’t these days). A lot of good reasons to include corn in your Thanksgiving dinner.
8 or more servings
This relish adds vivid color to fall harvest meals, and is a nice change of pace from jellied cranberry sauces for holiday meals.
- 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
- 4 sweet cooking apples (such as Cortland), peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup natural granulated sugar or Sucanat
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of allspice or nutmeg
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
Combine all the ingredients except the raisins in a large saucepan. Stir together; bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered until the cranberries have burst and the apples are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Stir in the raisins and allow to cool, uncovered. Transfer to a serving container and serve at room temperature.
If your only experience with cranberries has been in sweet, jelled sauces, this spicy chutney will provide a welcome change of pace for your grown-up palate!
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 cup peeled, diced apple
- 1 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 to 4 tablespoons agave nectar or organic maple syrup, to taste
Place all the ingredients except the agave nectar in a deep saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat with the lid slightly ajar for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
Add agave nectar to taste and simmer uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes until thick. Let the chutney cool to room temperature, then store in a sterilized jar, tightly covered but not sealed. Refrigerate until needed. Before serving, bring to room temperature.
8 to 10
Adapted from The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet
This slightly sweet slaw is easy enough for everyday meals, yet plenty festive for holiday meals. It’s always a hit, and adds little to your workload.
- 6 cups thinly shredded white cabbage (use pre-shredded coleslaw if you’d like)
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Combine all the ingredients in a serving bowl and mix until well combined. Serve at once or cover and refrigerate until needed.
VARIATION: Use 3 cups each red and green cabbage for a more festive look.
Photo Credit: cranberries by jillmotts via flickr (CC license)