It’s impossible for me to throw food away.
I don’t say this to brag or as a point of pride, but by way of apology. If anything, it’s more of a character flaw than anything else. My stubborn belief that anything can be made delicious with the right treatment drives many of my most questionable creations, as I tell myself, “someone likes this stuff; I must simply be doing it wrong!” Granted, I don’t think that ketchup cookies are necessarily right but it certainly did transform a condiment I’m not fond of into a genuinely tasty dessert.
That’s where cranberry sauce comes in. Whether it’s spicy or citrus-y, raw or slow-cooked, I don’t want it on my Thanksgiving table. Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t think it fits with the other flavors. It’s either too sweet or too tart and nothing in between. Don’t even get me started on those jellied monstrosities, clearly imprinted with the rings of the tin can from which they emerged.
Regardless, I always find myself making a batch and thus, having leftovers to be disposed of. By “dispose,” I mean “repurposed,” of course. While I would typically think of cakes or muffins, I’m craving something cooler, quicker, and easier this year.
Enter: The Cranberry Cosmopolitan Smoothie
Inspired by the cocktail of the same name, otherwise known as “cosmo” for short, it works especially well for my usual approach simmering cranberries in orange juice to make the classic sauce. Add in a touch of lime and you have the full compliment of flavors. The original drink gets its punch from a shot of vodka and triple sec, but it’s easy to omit these for a healthy, non-alcoholic option. In fact, this blend is probably a good antidote to such a rich meal.
Tips and Tricks
If you’re not the sort to save everything or end up with excess cranberry sauce, I’ve got you covered. Substitutions are a snap!
- Cranberry sauce: Use plain fresh or frozen cranberries, and consider adding a touch of agave or maple syrup to taste, since they’ll be much more astringent, especially raw.
- Bananas: Some people can’t stand bananas in smoothies which is perfectly fine! For you lovely folx, might I suggest using frozen peeled and sliced pears instead? They’ll have a similar sweetness, creamy texture when blended, and more mild flavor.
- Orange juice: If you want to keep the party going straight through to the new year, don’t let me dissuade you. Go ahead and replace 1/4 cup of the orange juice with triple sec.
Cheers, to Thanksgiving leftovers, and being thankful that nothing goes to waste!