You think it’s just another mundane trip to the grocery store, until you spot them. The ruby-red orbs signaling that the holidays are right around the corner. The cranberries have arrived! They’re a sure bet for the Thanksgiving meal, but how else can you make use of these low calorie, fiber-rich, festive berries during their short time on store shelves? My answer is: breakfast.
November is the cranberry’s time to shine. November also means the wind is likely blustering outside, and you probably want to be snuggled up at home in your jammies eating something warm. That’s where Comforting Maple Pecan Overnight Oats with Cranberry Sauce comes in.
This recipe’s got a lot going for it:
– You can make it ahead and then enjoy it in the morning with very little effort.
– It’s like hot cereal, so it’s a comforting fall and winter breakfast, but it provides a little variety in the standard oatmeal routine.
– One unusual recipe ingredient packs a flavorful punch: balsamic vinegar.
– Wait. I was wrong. It’s got two unusual ingredients: balsamic vinegar and instant coffee. That’s weird, right?
– The flavors of fall are all represented: maple syrup, toasted pecans, and aromatic spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
– Getting in a dose of cranberries on a regular basis may offer a small benefit with regard to cancer prevention.
– Mixing cooked quinoa in with the overnight oats makes for a pleasing texture and boosts the protein content.
– Mixing quinoa and oats also means you get the benefit of not one but two whole grains in your breakfast bowl. A recent study found that replacing refined grains (like crisped rice cereal or creamy wheat hot cereal) with whole grains may lower our heart disease risk by positively affecting blood lipids, blood glucose, and inflammation.
I recently had a happy cranberry accident. Such is life during COVID with online grocery ordering, I thought I had chosen two 12-ounce bags of cranberries. You know, the regular size bags. When I got the groceries home and unpacked, my biceps strained in protest as I carefully lifted out two hefty 32-ounce bags of cranberries.
I had to scramble to figure out how to use 4 pounds of fresh berries! My fridge’s produce drawer had no idea what hit it. I ended up making my mother-in-law’s cranberry salad and candied cranberries. And then I still had 2 1/2 pounds left! Hence, the genesis of deciding to eat cranberries for breakfast.
Basically, you make a spiced batch of overnight oats, warm it up the next morning, and top it with all kinds of tart and tasty toppings to achieve crunchy chewy texture perfection.
So the next time you’re at the store and you notice that the neatly stacked bags of cranberries have arrived in the produce aisle, grab what you need for your holiday meals, and then grab one extra bag (Please, just one. A small one.) to enjoy this nutritious berry at breakfast.
Do you have a favorite unexpected way to use cranberries this time of year?