Cranberry Salsa

Cranberries … they are usually only associated with holidays.  Sad really, because they are slightly divine.  Especially raw and not adulterated with all sorts of unknown sugars and processing that you find in a can of cranberry sauce.  ::giggle::

Here are some fun cranberry facts:

  • The cranberry is one of only a handful of major fruits native to North America.
  • Native Americans used cranberries to make a survival cake known as pemmican. They also used the fruit in poultices and dyes.
  • American recipes containing cranberries date from the early 18th Century.
  • During World War II, American troops required about one million pounds of dehydrated cranberries a year.
  • The hearty cranberry vine thrives in conditions that would not support most other crops: acid soil, few nutrients and low temperatures, even in summer.
  • Contrary to popular belief (or what commercials might tell us, ha!), cranberries do not grow in water. They are grown on sandy bogs or marshes. Because cranberries float, some bogs are flooded when the fruit is ready for harvesting.
  • Americans consume some 400 million pounds of cranberries each year.
  • Seven of 10 cranberries sold in the world today come from Ocean Spray, a grower cooperative started in 1930.
  • Cranberries can prevent cardiovascular disease, as they contain dietary fiber, flavonoids, and polyphenolics, which have potential benefits for overall heart health.
  • The single biggest customer for U.S. cranberries is the rest of the world — and it’s a market that is growing. Over a ten year period, export volumes have grown from 12 percent to 30 percent. Almost a third of the cranberry crop this year will make its way south to Mexico and overseas to places like Europe, Russia, China, and South Korea.
  • Cranberries are rarely eaten raw. They are most often consumed as juice, sauce or dried fruit.

Ok, we are going to do something about that last one … here is a recipe that uses this amazing fruit raw, as a salsa … and as such is very versatile.  You can eat them with all sorts of hearty raw veggies, or, if you are taking it to a gathering, throw some pita chips in a bowl and this stuff will disappear fast.

Don’t knock it till you try it!  Yum!

NOTE:  This recipe can be found as part of an entire menu plan for holidays in my eBook:  Guilt Free Holiday

Cranberry Salsa
12 servings

30 minutes prep
4 hours and 30 minutes start to finish

12 oz bag cranberries; rinsed, drained and sorted
3 tablespoons thin sliced green onions
3 small finely chopped jalapeño peppers
1/4 cup sweetener (adjust to desired sweetness)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 ounce package of cream cheese

Pulse and chop sorted cranberries in food processor until finely chopped, not mushy.

Mix with onions, peppers, sweetener, cilantro, ginger, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow flavors to develop.

On a serving plate place room temperature cream cheese and cover with salsa.

Garnish with green onions and cilantro sprigs. Serve with variety of veggies (or crackers for P4 or non-hCGers).

Entire Recipe:

1181 Calories
83g Fat (62% calories from fat)
23g Protein
94g Carbohydrate; 19g Dietary Fiber
255mg Cholesterol; 814mg Sodium; 1416mg Potassium

Per Serving:

98 Calories
7g Fat (62% calories from fat)
2g Protein
8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber
21mg Cholesterol; 68mg Sodium; 118mg Potassium

Serving Idea:  The picture shows added veggies, you could also throw some chips in a bowl on the side for your non-dieting friends.

Note: Caution … this is addicting. ::giggle::  Please note that the calorie and nutrition information does not include the veggies on the tray.

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