centerpieces featuring cranberries

9 Fabulous Ways to Use Fresh Cranberries Starting Now and Throughout the Year

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Fresh cranberries are available in supermarkets and grocery stores from October thru December—a very short season! Stock up on fresh cranberries to use now and freeze enough to last through the coming year.

cranberries in a basket

Freeze fresh whole cranberries right in the bags they come in and they’ll be good for up to 12 months. What to do with all those cranberries? I’m so glad you asked!

But first …


Research has linked the nutrients in cranberries to a lower risk of urinary tract infection (UTI), the prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, and decreased blood pressure. They are a good source of various vitamins and antioxidants.

Historically, Native Americans used cranberries as a treatment for bladder and kidney diseases, while early settlers from England used them to treat poor appetite, stomach complaints, blood disorders, and scurvy.



I would not recommend eating fresh cranberries straight out of the bag. They need to be prepared first, and then oh my. Fresh cranberries used as an ingredient can be deliciously delightful! Here are a few recipes and ideas for your consideration.

Cranberry Sauce

Here is my favorite simple, delicious recipe for Cranberry Sauce.

You’ll need:

✅ Fresh cranberries

✅ water

✅ white sugar

✅ brown sugar

Scroll down for complete printable recipe.


Homemade Lip Gloss

You’ll need:

✅ fresh cranberries

✅ honey

✅ almond oil

Microwave, mash, sieve, and cool. That’s it! Apply to lips as needed for a wonderful moisturizer and exfoliant.

Scroll down for complete printable recipe.

But there are other ways we can use fresh cranberries—to make the holidays even more beautiful!


There are other ways we can use fresh cranberries—to make the holidays even more beautiful! Here are a few ideas.



Start with  Styrofoam balls, any size. Cut a bunch of wood toothpicks in half.

Stick a pick into the ball so that about 1/2-inch is sticking out. Push a cranberry onto the toothpick until it touches the foam ball. Repeat until the ball is covered, placing the cranberries close enough so the white ball does not show through.

Set your cranberry balls on candle holders of various heights or pile them into a large bowl.

Glittered up

In a medium bowl stir together 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon pasteurized egg white (or one raw egg white) until blended, but not whipped. Coat raw cranberries with this mixture. Spread granulated sugar on a baking sheet and roll the cranberries in it until they are covered. Dry at room temperature for 2 hours. Use as a garnish for desserts. Sugared cranberries almost sparkle, they are so pretty.

cranberry arragemeents

Flower arrangements

Pour fresh raw cranberries into a clear glass vase. Add water. Now add a simple flower arrangement.

The red berries in the water are stunning. Berries will last longer than the flowers so don’t worry about them going bad.

You don’t have to add the water or even the flowers. Clear glass vases filled partially with red cranberries add a beautiful decorator touch to any setting.

Floating candles

Partially fill a clear glass bowl with water. Add fresh cranberries (they’ll float) and floating candles to make a pretty, colorful, and simple holiday decoration.


Wash the cranberries. Thread a large sewing needle with waxed dental floss. Secure the first cranberry on the floss by putting the needle through the cranberry twice, then make a knot in the floss. Continue threading the cranberries until the desired length is achieved to decorate the mantel, Christmas tree, or banister.

cranberry sauce
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

No spices, no orange peel, just pure, sweet, amazing cranberry sauce. So easy, too!
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time7 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 101kcal
Author: Mary Hunt


  • 1 (12-ounce bag) fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, light or dark, tightly packed
  • 1 ½ cups water


  • Add all ingredients to a small saucepan wet over medium heat
  • Cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • Spoon off any foam that forms.
  • Serve hot or cold.


Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Cranberry Lip Gloss

A wonderful all-natural moisturizer and exfoliant.
Prep Time1 minute
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time11 minutes
Course: DIY, Health Beauty
Cuisine: Gifts, Health and Beauty
Servings: 2 tablespoons product


  • 10 raw, fresh cranberries
  • 1 tspn honey
  • 1 tbsp almond oil


  • Place ingredients in a small microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave on high for two minutes. 
  • Mash and stir up the mix.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Use a fine sieve to strain out the goop.
  • Pour the mixture into a small container.
  • To Use: Apply to lips as needed for a wonderful moisturizer and exfoliant.


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6 replies
  1. Mary says:

    Only 2 grocery stores in my town, neither has cranberries. They told me drought conditions ruined the cranberry crop this year.

  2. Anita says:

    Yum. We like cranberries, and you’re right the season is short. My kids like it when I simmer a diced apple or two till soft (in about 1/4 cup water), add all the ingredients for basic cranberry sauce and proceed with cooking just as specified above.


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