They flood supermarkets at this time of year for one reason: cranberry sauce. But fresh cranberries can be so much more than a Thanksgiving side. Packed with fiber and vitamin C, they're delicious when baked into a cake or roasted for a tart new twist on green salad. Grab an extra bog—er, bag—the next time you're out.
Thanksgiving Salad: Kale With Roasted Cranberries and Sweet Potatoes
They add a pop of red color and a bit of tartness to your salad, just like pomegranate seeds do. In this recipe, cranberries are coated in a bit of maple syrup to balance out their sour bite. And, this is genius: the maple syrup caramelizes around the berries during roasting, sealing their juices inside so they remain plump—and so the juice doesn’t stain the sweet potatoes bright red. You can make most components of the salad ahead of time, including roasting the cranberries and sweet potatoes, chopping the kale, and whisking together the dressing (it’ll keep for one day in advance). Get the recipe:Kale With Roasted Cranberries and Sweet Potatoes
| Credit: Greg DuPree

Pick Me!

Even though most cranberries are sold prepackaged, look for bags with plump, dark red berries. (Avoid berries that are soft or shriveled.) The darker the berries, the juicier they are. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. And because their season is short (October through December), stock up and freeze some for up to 1 year.

Tiny But Mighty

Cranberries, like blueberries, are packed with nutrients. One biggie: The flavonoid anthocyanin (which gives the berries their red color) helps protect against inflammation. See—our Cranberry Ricotta Cake (sort of) counts as health food!

Recipes by Julia Levy