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Cranberry Sauce Chia Seed Pudding Is the Best Way to Eat Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Photo: Natalie Rizzo, M.S., R.D.

How many times a year do you actually eat cranberry sauce? Let me guess—once. It's the perfect tangy side, nestled among the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing on Turkey Day, and then it goes in the garbage, never to be seen again until next Thanksgiving. The holidays are a time of massive amounts of food, but not just on your dining room table. With that abundance of grub comes an incredible amount of food waste. In fact, approximately $282 million of uneaten turkey ends up in the trash on Thanksgiving night, according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). While the statistics on cranberry sauce aren't known, it's safe to say there's going to be a lot of cranberry sauce in landfills come next week.

If that's not reason enough to put those leftovers to good use, this will be: Delicious, healthy, vanilla and cranberry chia seed pudding.

Not only will this creation allow you to enjoy the taste of Thanksgiving for just a little while longer, but it's a much-needed light meal after a very heavy dinner. Cranberries are loaded with inflammation-fighting antioxidants, vitamin C, and folate, and chia seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats. This recipe combines the sweet and tangy goodness of cranberry sauce with a hint of orange zest for a nice twist on the classic flavor. Instead of packing up the cranberry sauce in an ordinary storage container and tossing it in the back of the fridge, make this quick and easy breakfast in a glass jar to enjoy on Black Friday morning when you'll really need your energy.

More Thanksgiving leftover recipes: Kale Salad Using Leftover Thanksgiving Stuffing + Thanksgiving Leftovers & Chickpea Grain Bowl

Cranberry Sauce Chia Seed Pudding

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla nut or soy milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 clementine, peeled and segmented (optional)

Directions

  1. In a storage container such as a mason jar, combine cranberry sauce, vanilla milk, chia seeds, and orange zest. Stir until well combined.
  2. Store in the fridge for at least two hours.
  3. Press clementine slices onto the sides of a glass before pouring chia seed pudding on top.

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