Raw Cranberry & Yogurt Compote

Tis the season to con my crew into eating cranberries. Every year our pre-Thanksgiving tradition is what I like to call the great, not even close, conversion. You see I LOVE cranberries. I went to the Ocean Spray factory as a kid and being the fatty I am was I was in heaven. (free samples! score!) Every year around Thanksgiving I remember all of the times I was able to visit Plimouth plantation and how special it was to me. I truly value the meaning and history of the holiday, and my kids will too even if I have to force feed them the knowledge. (and cranberries?) Visiting the plantation was truly fun every single time. It never got less amusing for me because I have a strange affinity for the pilgrims and native New England. For me Thanksgiving is about gratitude, family and cranberries. The cranberry, and the pumpkin are about as naturally American as it comes, they are truly indigenous to the region. 

This compote is one of the many recipes I made this year for the great conversion. Well hey, lets not kid ourselves here, it wasn’t a conversion … It was an excuse for me to eat a whole bag of cranberries by myself. The good news is that cranberries are extremely nutritious and pretty low in calories. Consuming whole cranberries is said to help protect our cardiovascular systems, and they are rich with phytonutrients. Cranberries are rich with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, vibrantly delicious! This raw compote is a mixture of homemade raw cream vanilla yogurt, cranberries and sugar. You can make it sweet, or you could even make a horseradish cranberry relish using sour cream or unsweetened yogurt. Cranberries are very versatile, the options are endless. Although vanilla scented cranberries wouldn’t be stellar on a turkey sandwich there are plenty of opportunities for this dish to be put into many treats. (My boys loved it in smoothies!)

Raw Cranberry & Yogurt Compote
I store my cranberries in the freezer at all times. I have two small boys that adore squishing blueberries and cranberries. If they are in the fridge I will find little popped messes, so naturally I stash them in the freezer. If you are using plain yogurt or regular vanilla yogurt you will want to add 2 teaspoons of honey, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla for plain yogurt. Add as much or little as you would like but the taste of honey and vanilla should be present. 

1, 12 ounce bag fresh (or previously frozen) cranberries
1/2- 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vanilla & honey yogurt
pinch of salt

In a food processor chop cranberries until they are coarsely ground. I tossed mine in directly from the freezer. For more of a relish-like texture use fresh, never frozen cranberries. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, yogurt, vanilla and honey if desired and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The following day add additional sugar and yogurt if necessary. 
Cranberry, Mango & Cardamom Smoothies
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