One of my favorite dishes growing up was an apple cranberry casserole. It would show up on our buffet at Thanksgiving and Christmas and rarely anytime in between. I came to view this dish as a rare and special treat often sneaking back for more during the meal as I knew it would all be gone if I didn’t help myself while it was still there for the taking.
While I refer to this dish as a “casserole,” some friends have suggested it should be called a “dessert”. While it does have sugar and some butter (rich in fat soluble vitamins) to offset this it is full of vitamins, minerals and health promoting anti-oxidants.
Let’s dive into this casserole and see what is so good for us in there.
First, it is full of cranberries (fresh or frozen is fine) which rank one of the highest in health promoting antioxidants (blueberries are right there with them). Anti-oxidants help optimize health by combating free radicals that damage cell structures. In addition, cranberries are high in Vitamin C, fiber and phytonutrients, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
It is important to note that cranberry juice does not provide the full phytonutrient or fiber benefit, so you are much better having the real thing (which is almost always the case).
Secondly, apples carry their nutritional weight right along with cranberries as their phytonutrients properties help regulate blood sugar and their fat-soluble fiber called pectin help increase satiety and provide cardiovascular benefits.
Finally, in this delicious dish, there is oatmeal and pecans. Oats are an excellent source of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, thiamine, iron, beta-glucan (helps regulate blood sugar) and antioxidants. Pecans are an excellent sourse of Vit E (anti-oxidant), rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, B complex vitamins and rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
Now that you know how good this “dish” is for you, I want you to try it. Tell me if you love it as much as I do!
From the Race Smart Kitchen
Cranberry – Apple Casserole
3 c sliced apples (I cut peel off)
2 c. raw cranberries (I use the whole bag)
1 c. raw Oatmeal (not instant)- I use a tad more
½ c chopped pecans
½ c brown sugar (I use less)
1/3 c plain all purpose flour
1 stick butter (salted)
¾ cup sugar (you can use less)
Directions: Spread apples and cranberries evenly in casserole dish (13” x 9”). Sprinkle sugar over mixture. Toppings: mix oatmeal, pecans, brown sugar, flour and melted butter. Spread over fruit mixture. Bake uncovered for one hour at 350 degrees.