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Friday, October 28, 2016

The Secrets to make the Best Cranberry Walnut Salad

One of our favorite recipes during the holidays is this Cranberry Walnut Salad.  It's easy and versatile and it can be served as a side dish or on your dessert table.   

Cranberry Walnut Salad

For years we only used fresh cranberries as decorations, either stringing them for the tree or pilling them in a beautiful bowl.   They have a gorgeous color and add a very festive cheer around the house during the holidays, but I think I missed an opportunity during all those years to add these berries to our menu since these berries are very nutritious.    I have read they have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits and are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. 

Cranberry Walnut Salad

When I was growing up the only way I ever ate any kind of cranberries was in that canned cranberry sauce around Thanksgiving.  You know, that jellied stuff that your mom would cut out both ends of the cranberry sauce can and slide the entire contents out, then slice it to accompany your Thanksgiving turkey?   I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, I still love that stuff and our favorite way to serve it is on our chicken or turkey sandwiches.  

But in the last few years, we have expanded our horizons and we begin cooking with cranberries either in Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping or in Homemade Cranberry Sauce and we have even tried dehydrating them.  It still amazes me that when cranberries are cooked or dehydrated the little berries totally change from bitter to sweet and delicious, you know one of the mysteries of nature.  But as in most fruits or veggies, some of the nutrients are lost in the cooking process so it's a trade-off. 
Raw cranberries can be chopped and sparingly added in a variety of dishes such as in a spinach salad, in a chicken salad or topped over yogurt where the tart taste accents the dish but not overwhelms it.  
But since raw cranberries are so bitter, the best option is to add some sweetness to them such as sugar or by mixing them with sweeter fruits.  This way the health benefits are not reduced and they are more pleasing to the palate.   

This Cranberry Salad with Pineapples and Marshmallows is made with fresh cranberries which adds just the right touch to an otherwise too sweet fruit salad.  And by mixing them with sugar and left standing overnight, it mitigates the bitter of the cranberries but leaves the health benefits.  I think its the Mary Poppins theory we knew as children, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down".   But the real reason I make this salad is that it is delicious with just the right clash of bitter and sweet flavor plus it's just gorgeous.   

It's so sad that I only make it during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays but that's the only time I can find fresh cranberries in my local market.  I do have cravings for it all year long and it's always been a hit here on the Ranch and of course, we think it's the best way to eat fresh cranberries.  
(Don't forget to scroll to the bottom for other cranberry recipes) 

Cranberry Walnut Salad

  • 1 package of Fresh Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 15.5 oz can of crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 package of miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts (can also use pecans)
  • 1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream, whipped
1. Coarsely chop cranberries in a food processor
2. Place chopped cranberries, sugar and marshmallows in a covered storage container and mix well, cover and let set in fridge overnight
3. Remove from fridge and add the pineapple, and pecans and fold in the whipped cream
4. Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
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  1. That looks good Evelyn,, can't get any better when it has whip cream and marshmallows! YUMMM! Un beso amiga, stay pretty!

  2. What a neat holiday dish! :)

    Again, thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  3. These are my favorite kind of salads. Would love for you to come and share at my link party

  4. I love pineapples so this looks really good!
    Hope we can stay in touch!

     xoxo -B ♡ MsBerryStylish 

  5. Mmmm...I've never seen this before, and it looks so tasty!
    I hope you'll link up with us at Meet & Greet this week.

  6. This looks so good. Pineapple and cranberries sound like a great match! My kiddos would love this one.

  7. I love this salad, especially with the cranberries! Pinning!

  8. O-o-h....I have to try this one. It looks really tasty. I have been wanting to try a recipe with fresh cranberries. It is kind of like a fruit salad. Pinning. I hope to see you at Inspiration in Progress this week Evelyn! Have a great day.

  9. This WILL be on my table Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I love these ambrosia type salads! Thanks for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday.

  11. Looks delicious! thanks for sharing it at Weekend Posts Show Off Blog Party.

  12. We are going to just love this salad, it reminds me of my Mother. Thanks so much for sharing your great recipe with Full Plate Thursday and enjoy your Thanksgiving week!
    Come Back Soon
    Miz Helen

  13. You know southerners love their salads. And I don't mean the green leafy kind! This would be gobbled up in minutes around here. I can see why it's your favorite.
    Thank you for linking!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday's Adorned Link Party. Have a great Thanksgiving.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

  15. Yum, Yum! I think I'll try and make this tomorrow night for Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing it on Friday Follow along Party @

  16. I am always looking for something different for Thanksgiving! This looks great! Minnesota Farm Living

  17. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Miz Helen

  18. I just had something VERY similar at our school Thanksgiving potluck and I LOVED IT! I can't wait to try this Evelyn; thanks for sharing! :)


Thank you so much for your sweet comments:)))