Cranberries -- not just a Thanksgiving side dish anymore

Wisconsin State Farmer

Nestled in the heart of central Wisconsin, Wood County is the No. 1 cranberry-growing county in the nation.  This central Wisconsin county will host the 2018 Farm Technology Days and provide visitors a sampling of the cranberry industry with exhibits, experiencing a makeshift cranberry bed and bog and a cranberry themed menu.

Members of the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association invite you to add cranberries to your menus all year long.

The little red berry is Wisconsin’s official state fruit—and the state’s No. 1 fruit crop in both size and economic value. 

The state official state fruit is not only the state's No. fruit crop in both size and economic value, this versatile berry is more than just a side dish at the Thanksgiving table. The Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association invites you to add cranberries to your menus all year long with the following recipes from their webpage Not only do they taste great, they're good for you too. 

Cranberry Lemonade

Make the most of summer with a sweet and tart drink!

1 qt. Cranberry juice Chilled

6 oz can Frozen lemonade concentrate Undiluted 

6 oz can Frozen limeade concentrate Undiluted

1/4 cup Sugar

4 cups Club soda Chilled

Combine cranberry juice, lemonade, limeade and sugar; stir to dissolve sugar. Stir in club soda. Serve in tall glasses with ice cubes. Makes 10 servings.

Triple berry chicken salad

Fresh berries and juicy chicken make this salad entree-worthy.


2 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves Cut into thin strips

3 Tbsp Cranberry juice concentrate

1/8 tsp Ground black pepper


4 cups Leaf lettuce Torn into pieces

1 cup Fresh snow or sugar snap peas Strings removed and cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup Dried cranberries

2/3 cup Fresh blueberries

2/3 cup Fresh raspberries

1/2 cup Sliced almonds

1/2 cup Poppy seed dressing

To prepare the chicken, place chicken in a medium bowl. Pour cranberry concentrate over meat; sprinkle with pepper. Toss to coat. Heat a greased skillet over medium heat; add chicken and cook until chicken is done and the liquid starts to thicken and evaporate. Set aside.

Arrange lettuce on two salad plates; top with peas. Divide the chicken onto the plates; sprinkle the berries and nuts on top. Drizzle each salad with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Serve immediately.

Cranberry Applesauce

A delicious applesauce side dish with a cranberry twist.

4 large Cooking apples Peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

3/4 cup Sugar

1 cup Water

1/4 teaspoon Ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon

Put all ingredients into a 4 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat, covered, until the cranberries pop and the apples are soft (15-20 minutes). Place in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve warm or chilled.

Cilantro Cranberry Salsa with blue and white corn tortilla chips.

Cranberry Salsa

A sweet and tangy salsa with a kick.

1 cup Water

1 cup Sugar

1 (12 oz) pkg Cranberries

2-3 Fresh jalapenos Remove seeds to enjoy taste without the spice!

1 Tbsp Fresh cilantro

1/2 tsp Cumin

2-3 Green onions Sliced

1 Tbsp Fresh lime juice

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add cranberries. Return to boil;boil gently for 10 minutes without stirring. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool slightly. Add remaining ingredients and mix lightly. Refrigerate. Flavor improves if allowed to sit so flavors blend. Serve at room temperature.

Cranberry Marinated BBQ Spare Ribs and Cranberry Dip

Cranberry Marinated BBQ Spare Ribs with Cranberry Dip

Cranberry-infused ribs with cranberry, onion mango dip will be the hit of the party.

For the Ribs:

4 1/2 lbs. spare ribs

4 oz. BBQ sauce

1 Tbsp. honey

4 Tbsp. cranberry juice

For the Dip:

1 green onion

1/2 mango

4.5 oz. tomato ketchup

2-3 tsp. chili paste

1.5 oz. dried cranberries

salt to taste

Rinse ribs and pat dry. Mix BBQ sauce with honey and cranberry juice. Rub the sauce onto the spareribs, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 3/4 hours.

For the dip, rinse and clean spring onion and cut very finely. Peel mango and cut the flesh from the core. Puree the pulp, mix with ketchup and chili paste. Stir in green onions and dried cranberries. Season with salt. Refrigerate until ribs are ready to serve.

Pre-heat gas grill to 325 to 350 degrees or start charcoal grill. Place ribs on indirect heat if possible for 2 to 3 hours. You'll know they're done when the meat has shrunk back from the bone about a 1/4 of an inch and the meat is tender enough to tear apart with your fingers (Don't forget to let the test piece cool a bit so you don't burn your fingertips.)

Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee USA.

Ann’s sweetened dried-cranberry muffins

Ann’s sweetened dried-cranberry muffins

Tasty and traditional cranberry muffins.

4 Eggs

2 cups Sugar

2 cups Milk

2-3 cups Sweetened-dried cranberries

1 cup Vegetable oil

4 cups Stirred flour

4-1/2 tsp Baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whip eggs, oil and milk until liquids are frothy. Stir together flour, baking powder and sugar; stir gently into liquid mixture. Add all sweetened-dried cranberries at once. Stir gently but do not over mix.

Spray two 12-cup muffin tins with vegetable coating, covering very well. Heap batter to top of cups. Bake 30 minutes or until muffins are light brown and a toothpick comes out just moist. Makes 18-24 muffins.

Cranberry Pecan Cream Cheese Bars

Sweet and creamy cream cheese bars with a cranberry-pecan crust.

1 cup Butter Softened

1 cup Firmly packed brown sugar

2 cups All-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups Quick oats

1 cup Chopped pecans

1-1/2 cups Sweetened dried cranberries

1 pkg Cream cheese Softened

1 can Sweetened, condensed milk

preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a  x 13 pan. Beat butter and sugar. Gradually beat in flour and oats. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Reserve 2 cups of mixture. Press remaining mix into pan and bake for 15 minutes. In a small bowl beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Pour over hot crust and sprinkle remaining mixture over top. Bake 25 - 30 minutes. Cool completely on metal rack and then cut into bars.

Note: may drizzle melted chocolate or powder sugar drizzle to decorate.

Wild Berry Cobbler

A fruity cobbler with cranberries, pineapple and blueberries.

1-1/2 cups Fresh or frozen cranberries

3 cups Pineapple chunks Cut in half

1 cup Frozen blue berries

1 cup Brown sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

2 cups Baking mix

1/2 cup Milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cranberries, pineapple, blue berries, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Place in a 3 quart souffle or casserole dish. Combine baking mix and milk in a small mixing bowl. Drop spoonfuls o dough on top of the fruit. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake for 45 minutes or until dough is golden brown.

Cranberry Popsicles

Cranberry Popsicles

1.5 oz. dried cranberries

1/4 cup cranberry juice

5 oz. fresh (or frozen) strawberries

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

4 popsicle molds

Boil cranberries, cranberry juice, strawberries, sugar, and vanilla extract.

Puree and fill popsicle molds. Freeze for 5 hours. Makes 4 servings.

Tip: Alternatively, ice cream can also be frozen in plastic cups. Use a plastic spoon as a stick. Strawberries can be replaced by raspberries.

Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee USA.