Five low-sugar cranberry recipes

As the season of pumpkin winds to an end, cranberry season is just getting underway!

And if you like the tart, jewel-colored berries, there’s no reason to stop eating them after Thanksgiving.

Cranberries are a great source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber, among other vitamins. They’re grown mainly in the northern part of the U.S., like Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington State and Oregon, and are harvested in the fall.

Cranberries are known for their antibacterial properties — research has shown that it limits bacterial movement — but scientists are still trying to find the best way to harness these capabilities.

They are very tart — maybe more so than a lemon — so many recipes call for a truly massive amount of sugar to make them palatable. Using natural sweeteners or other fruit to cut the tartness is a better plan than pouring on the sugar. Here are five cranberry recipes that cut the sugar while showcasing the season’s bounty.

Eating Well’s Cranberry Coconut Bread Pudding: This recipe gets its sweetness from a small amount of candied ginger and a sprinkling of sweetened coconut. Looking for a way to impress your guests? Make individual bread puddings in little oven-safe dishes.

SkinnyTaste’s Cranberry Pear Sauce: You know you have to have cranberry sauce on the table– but many recipes are heavy on sugar, and the canned kind has 21 grams of sugar in a quarter of a cup! Here, ripe pears and agave provide the sweetness– and cuts it down to about 11 grams for the same amount.

New York Times’ Cranberry Borscht: New York Times food writer Florence Fabricant embraces the sourness of the cranberry in her recipe for Cranberry Borscht, a Russian beet soup typically served cold.

The First Mess’ Dirty Chai Pancakes with Vanilla Cranberry Compote: In case you were wondering, a dirty chai is a chai tea latte with a shot of espresso in it. So yes, these pancakes have coffee and chai flavors. If you can’t have pancakes without maple syrup, don’t worry– the compote is a combination of fresh cranberries, maple syrup and vanilla.

This recipe is definitely higher in sugar than the others, but it sounded so good we had to share it.

Joy the Baker’s Brown Butter Cranberry Almond Pancake Muffins: It’s a mouthful. The batter has a lot in common with pancake batter, and Joy recommends topping the muffins with maple syrup glaze after they come out of the oven.