Friday, December 14, 2012

Cranberries ~ Holiday Eco-Sips & Granola Tarts

How many of you have leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving taking up room in your freezer? I know we did! We 1-1/2 cups of frozen organic cranberries (I know that doesn't seem like a lot but, every square inch in our freezer counts, and it IS FULL haha) leftover from making cranberry sauce and a cranberry-apple pie from Thanksgiving to be exact, and I was determined to incorporate them into December recipes because:

(A) December and cranberries just make sense to me,
(B) I needed to make room in our freezer...and I just wanted to make something fun with cranberries,
(C) I love the color of cranberries and they make any dish/drink look gorgeous (see below), and
(D) I really wanted to make festive eco-sips for a potential Christmas Cocktail hour!

So for those of you also looking for a way to use your leftover cranberries, I think you'll like what this post has in store, especially because I made sure not to waste any of the cranberries. You'll see what I mean below.

Part 1 ~ Making Cranberry Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a common ingredient in a lot of cocktails, but make a cranberry simple syrup and you have a glorified simple syrup that adds a little bit of sweetness and tart and a lot a bit of color!  As I mentioned above, I have 1-1/2 cups of frozen organic cranberries, perfect for making a decent amount of simple syrup for holiday cocktails.  Here is what I did:

  • 1-1/2 cup organic cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a low simmer until the cranberries start to fall apart (about 15 minutes).
  3. Strain cranberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Once you've strained the cranberry mixture, let the strainer sit over the bowl and cool for about an hour to make sure you get all the delicious juice!
  4. After the cranberry syrup has cooled, store it in a mason jar.
What about the leftover cranberry skins and solids? Keep them! I put mine in a glass food storage container and used them in a granola tart recipe at the end of this post.

Part 2 ~ Holiday Eco-Sips with Cranberry Simple Syrup


No, I didn't make a spelling mistake! This is a cranberry twist to the classic Screw Driver, and because it's the holidays, I thought the name Scrooge-Driver fit :).  The recipe below makes one beverage.

  • 1 ounce organic vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry simple syrup (or more to taste)
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Fresh cranberries for garnish.
  1. Fill a glass with ice. Add vodka and cranberry simple syrup.
  2. Top with orange juice. (About 6 ounces or more depending on your tastes)
  3. Garnish with fresh cranberries.
Cran-"Merry" Mojito

Of course, another set of play-on-words I couldn't help but use!  When I think of winter, Mojitos are not the first thing that comes to mind, but when you add cranberries, I think it changes everything.  From a cool summer cocktail to a refreshing winter drink!  The recipe below makes one Mojito.


  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice (from an organic lime)
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 2 ounces cranberry simple syrup
  • soda water
  • fresh cranberries for garnish
  1. Put mint leaves and lime juice into a glass. Mash the mint leaves with a wooden spoon.
  2. Fill each glass with ice and add rum and syrup.
  3. Top glass with soda water and add fresh cranberries for garnish.

Part 3 ~ Granola Tarts with Cranberry Centers

Not sure what to call the cranberry leftover filling, so if you have a good name, let me know!  The recipe below is amazing (just the right amount of sweet and tart) and perfect for breakfast or dessert!

  • leftover cranberry solids from simple syrup
  • 2 cups old-fashioned organic rolled oats
  • 6 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons Kelapo organic coconut oil (or whatever brand you like to use)
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine everything but the cranberry solids in a large bowl.  Spread the mixture evenly on a baking dish (or tart pan, whatever you like to use to make granola).
  3. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  4. Allow granola to cool.  Here I tried lifting the granola in even squares but it broke...which is fine! Because I was able to mold the granola and make my cranberry tarts.
  5. Place one layer (or spoonful as shown in the picture) of granola in a glass storage container. Spread a cranberry solids over granola. Top with a second layer of granola and store in the fridge.
  6. Top with organic greek yogurt and enjoy!
Happy Holidays!

~ Hannah

blog comments powered by Disqus