November’s Superfood: The Cranberry

November’s Superfood: The Cranberry

It’s November and we are fully into Fall, which means cranberries are in season. These rich, vibrant berries are so much more than the Thanksgiving sauce and breakfast juice we often associate them with. Rather, the cranberry is a great addition to salads, desserts, and trail mix. And for your holiday table, try the recipe below for quinoa with cranberries, peas, and walnuts for a unique spin on a rice pilaf-type dish.

Cranberries Are a Superfood

Nutritional Powerhouse:

Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of fiber.  Cranberries are rich in phenols, a type of antioxidant that is thought to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease (cranberries have been shown in research studies to lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, and raise HDL, the good cholesterol), cancer, and stroke.  Cranberries have also been shown to help treat urinary tract infections by their ability to acidify the urine.

How to Pick Them:

Look for cranberries that are shiny and not shriveled. A brown or a deep red color signals freshness. A good, fresh berry should be hard and bounce if dropped on a hard surface.  Dried cranberries also are great for a snack but usually have added sugar, so watch how much you eat at one time.  If you drink the juice, look for 100% cranberry juice (very different from cranberry juice cocktail which is only 25% juice).

Easy Storage and Preparation:

They'll keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Sort and rinse cranberries with Honest’s Fruit + Veggie Wash and cold water before using.

Best Uses:

Cranberries are unpleasantly tart on their own, but they're excellent for flavoring a sauce, adding to stuffing, or mixing in cakes and breads.

Recipe: Quinoa with Cranberries, Peas, and Walnuts (Serves 4)


  • 2 cups organic quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 2 gloved garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup peas
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • salt and ground pepper


1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Make sure to rinse the quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove saponins (which can make it bitter).  Use vegetable broth to cook quinoa if desired, for additional flavor.

2. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil.  Add diced onions and cook until they start to caramelize (get brown, not burned).  Add garlic and cook another 1 minute.  Add peas and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes.

3. When quinoa is cooked, let it cool for approximately 10 minutes.  Fold in peas, onions, and cranberries.  Top with walnuts and serve. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

~ Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD 

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.