I can’t believe I’m saying this… but the holidays are upon us. Where did this year go? I’m craving everything cozy and seasonal right now, especially spices, hearty dishes, and cranberries. I combined all of these delicious things in one dish – Holiday Cranberry Ginger Oatmeal. You’re welcome.
Speaking of the holidays… I’ve never been one of those people who put up their Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. I think it’s valuable to enjoy the moment you’re in before moving on to the next one. Usually, I fully enjoy Thanksgiving before playing those Christmas tunes. Maybe it was the recent cold weather, maybe I was missing home… whatever it was, something made me break down this year and get Christmasey early.
Chris and I bought our first Christmas tree together (aww…) and we ended up having the best time picking out ornaments and stockings. We also made pumpkin bread and a big batch of holiday cranberry ginger oatmeal. I’d say it was a good week.
Here’s What I Know About Cranberries
My cranberry experience is limited, at best. I grew up with cranberries in the form of juice or canned jelly. I decided to buy some fresh cranberries from the store the other day, and I learned a few things. (If you’ve never worked with fresh cranberries before, this will be surprising. If you have, you’re probably gonna think to yourself, well duh… Bear with me for a sec.)
- Whole cranberries are hollow and white inside. (Why did I think they would be just like blueberries?)
- There are so many things you can do with cranberries. Sauces, smoothies, spreads… the list goes on. (My dietitian friends and I participated in a recipe contest on Instagram featuring cranberries if you want some inspiration! Just search #letsberealmeals.)
- Cranberries can be purchased dried, canned, fresh, OR frozen. Fresh cranberries will get mushy if they’re not used in about 3 weeks. Frozen cranberries, however, can be used for at least 10-12 months.
Why Not Just Use Dried Cranberries?
I often see dried cranberries as an oatmeal topping. I’ll say it… they’re not my favorite. Maybe it’s the gummy texture, maybe it’s the fact that they remind me of raisins (yuck), but I think we can do better. Most dried cranberries you find in the store also contain added sugar and juice concentrates. Using fresh or frozen cranberries allows you to control the amount of sweetness that goes into your dish. I added a bit of brown sugar to this recipe balance the tartness of the cranberries, but you could absolutely use another sweetener or… none at all!
Holiday Cranberry Ginger Oatmeal Flavors
When I was little, I used to make “mocktails” out of cranberry juice and ginger ale. As an adult, my tastes have changed a little bit, but I’ve remembered how well ginger and cranberry flavors paired together. The tartness of cranberries paired with the slight spiciness of ginger brings to mind classic holiday flavors, which makes this a great dish for the fall and winter months.
This is a fairly easy recipe. All it takes is a bit of simmering and mixing. When simmering cranberries, you’ll know they’re ready when they “pop.” What the heck does that mean? You’ll start to notice that a little seam forms on the berries, which will open up as they cook. (It reminds me of someone splitting their pants… how’s that for imagery?) When the oats are first added to the simmering cranberry mixture, it will look like there’s way too much liquid, but don’t worry, the oats will soak all of it up as they cook.
I usually add toppings to my oatmeal to make this dish into a well-rounded breakfast. This recipe contains a healthy amount of carbs and fiber, but I always recommend adding some protein at breakfast as well. (Extra credit if you add some healthy fats too.) Typically, I add a scoop of protein powder, chia seeds, and flaxseeds before I pour in almond milk. Then, I stir everything together until the mixture is well-combined and free of lumps. To top it off, I add some nuts like almonds.
Want to see my little hands do a demo this of this recipe? Here you go.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post I developed for Cape Cod Select. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Cranberry Ginger OatmealPrint Recipe
- 1 cup frozen cranberries (I used Cape Cod Select)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or sweetener of choice (optional)
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- (optional toppings: sliced almonds, protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, orange slices)
Combine cranberries, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, and 3 cups of water in a saucepan.
Simmer over medium heat until cranberries "pop."
Add oats to the simmering cranberry mixture, stir, and continue simmering until the liquid is absorbed (about 5 minutes).
Serve warm with your favorite oatmeal toppings!
Calories (without toppings): 190, Fat: 3.4g, Carbs: 36.3g, Fiber: 6.2g, Sugars: 5.4g, Protein: 5.3g