Chunky Cranberry Spread
Questions or Comments? Email Alice Henneman, MS, RD
(16 servings, 1 tablespoon each)
(Source: Adapted from Chunky Cranberry Spread, American Institute for Cancer Research at www.aicr.org)
- 1 8-oz. package low-fat cream cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries (See Alice's tip 1)
- 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds or other nut (See Alice's tip 2)
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, preferably fresh (See Alice's tip 3)
- Place cream cheese in a medium bowl and allow to soften at room temperature. Mash and work with a fork until texture is light enough to combine easily with other ingredients. (See Alice's tip 4)
- Gradually add just enough milk so cheese becomes soft and easy to spread.
- Mix in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days ahead. Flavors will blend and mellow if this recipe is made ahead of time and allowed to refrigerate at least a few hours before serving. Spread on slices of a whole-grain bread.
Nutritional Information: Makes about 1 1/2 cups, or 1 tablespoon per average slice of bread. Per serving: 36 calories, 2g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 3 g. carbohydrate, 1 g. protein, less than 1 g. dietary fiber, 29 mg. sodium.
- Other chopped, dried berries--such as blueberries--or combinations of berries may be substituted for the cranberries in this recipe.
- When purchasing "blanched" almonds, this means almonds that have the skin removed. For added fiber, substitute almonds with their skins.
- To make orange zest for this recipe, first thoroughly wash the outside of the orange under running tap water and dry with a paper towel. Be careful to just remove the orange portion and leave the more bitter white pith behind. Measure the zest lightly into the measuring spoon; do not pack. For grated zest, a rasplike zester, such as a Microplane® zester, yields a fluffier zest than does the small holes of a regular grater.
- Avoid letting cream cheese sit at room temperature over 2 hours TOTAL time. This includes during food preparation and while you're serving the food. To quickly soften 8 oz. of cream cheese, transfer it to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 10 to 15 seconds.