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EATING well

Leftover cranberry sauce finds new life in oat and flax pancakes

Cranberry finds life after the holidays, in pancakes.

Associated Press

Cranberry finds life after the holidays, in pancakes.

In their natural form, cranberries are quite healthy, full of vitamin C and fiber and packing just 4 grams of sugar per cup. In fact, they only become nutritionally worrying when they get doused with sugar.

My answer is to make your own cranberry sauce this holiday. It's incredibly easy and it allows you to cut the sugar content in half.

Instead of heading down the canned food aisle, pop over to the produce section and pick up a bag of fresh cranberries. Follow the recipe on the bag, but cut the suggested amount of sugar in half.

For extra flavor and natural sweetness, I sometimes add orange zest or segments, as well as a vanilla bean. But frankly, it almost doesn't matter what I do to the cranberry sauce, as its presence on my table is merely symbolic. (My French husband never developed a taste for it, and my kids aren't fans, either.)

The result? I always have leftover cranberry sauce.

Perhaps my kids' favorite way to rework cranberry sauce is in pancakes. I mix cranberry sauce with oats and flax seeds. I use my leftover homemade cranberry sauce in this recipe, but it works just fine with the canned stuff, even the jellied variety (complete with can-shaped grooves on the sides).

Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."

CRANBERRY SAUCE, OAT AND FLAX PANCAKES

This recipe is easily made gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free flour mix for the all-purpose flour. Your best bet is with flour mixes labeled as a "1-to-1" substitute for wheat flour.

½ cup oat flour (or ¾ cup oats, pulsed in food processor until finely ground)

¼ cup almond flour (also called almond meal)

cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons flax meal (ground flaxseed)

teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

cup prepared cranberry sauce (whole berry or jellied)

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 egg

cup low-fat milk (dairy or nondairy)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat a nonstick griddle over medium while preparing the batter. Heat the oven to 200 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flax meal and cinnamon.

In a second medium bowl, briskly whisk together the yogurt and cranberry sauce to break up the cranberry sauce. Add the orange zest, egg, milk and vanilla and whisk until smooth (not counting chunks from any whole cranberries). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and gently stir with a whisk, incorporating all the ingredients, being careful not to overmix.

Lightly mist the hot griddle with cooking spray. Using a ¼-cup measuring cup, scoop batter onto the prepared griddle, being careful not to crowd the griddle. Cook until the pancake batter is nearly dry, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a heat-safe plate and set in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with desired toppings.

Makes 10 pancakes.

Nutrition information per pancake: 130 calories (30 calories from fat, 23 percent of total calories), 3g fat (0.5g saturated, 0g trans fats), 25mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 18g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 8g sugar, 4g protein.

Leftover cranberry sauce finds new life in oat and flax pancakes 11/12/15 [Last modified: Thursday, November 12, 2015 5:42pm]
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