Not Just For Holidays Anymore
Did you know that Wisconsin is the biggest producer of cranberries? Take that California, with your sunny, temperate weather. The snowy Midwest is the source of 60% of the bright red berries that we eat by the bushel at the holidays. As we lead up to Thanksgiving, we need our traditional foods, and suddenly the scarlet berry is in everything from sauce to these Cranberry Sweet Potato Scones.
The hardworking cranberry growers would love it if we embraced the cranberry all year long, and not just as something to pop into dishes from November to January. This native born superfood is poised and ready to become a part of your meal planning year ’round, in the form of sweetened dried cranberries, frozen cranberries, and juice.
You eat blueberries in winter, why not cranberries in summer?
Fresh, Frozen or Dried-Subbing is Easy
Just remember, these scones will be just as good any other time of the year, and you can use frozen or dried cranberries, no problem. To use frozen, use the same volume, and just stir them in frozen, then bake 5 minutes longer. To use dried, use 1/2 the volume and chop them coarsely, and bake the same amount of time.
There’s tons of research on the health benefits of cranberries up at the Cranberry Institute. Suffice to say, these are some amazing berries, full of Vitamin C, polyphenols, and other phytochemicals that fight disease and cell damage. A cup of raw cranberries has 25% of the Vitamin C and 20% of the Manganese you need for a day, with a few other trace minerals.
It’s really all about the phytochemicals, which show great promise in preventing cancer and other diseases. Anything this red has to be full of good antioxidants, and they are. There are studies showing that regular consumption of cranberries and their juice prevents heart disease, lowers cholesterol, and more.
Cranberry Sweet Potato Scones, with or without Extras
If you are looking to simplify, you can always make these scones without the streusel and the glaze. The sweet potato and cranberry part is exciting enough on its own. But if you want a little more crunch and curb appeal, you might as well gild the lily a little.
I love using the cranberry juice to make the glaze, and making good use of the color of the juice. No food color needed, just natural pigments. The tangy, tart juice is perfect with the sugar, giving it just enough bite to be interesting, with very little effort.
You don’t have to tell anyone that these are 100% whole grain, and have all the healthy goodness of white whole wheat. There is so much going on, with cinnamon and sweet potatoes and berries, that the mildly flavored flour just steps into the background.
Go ahead, bake some cranberry scones for the holidays.
Maybe you’ll still be baking them next Spring!
Cranberry Sweet Potato Scones
- 1/2 cup chilled coconut oil or organic butter
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons hazelnuts toasted, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or ww pastry
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 cup pureed sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure cranberry juice approximately
- First, measure and chill the coconut oil. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Make the streusel by mixing the oats, hazelnuts, sugar, cinnamon and salt, and chill.
- In a large bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Stir to mix.
- Grate the chilled coconut oil or butter into the flour mixture, tossing to coat.
- In a medium bowl, stir the sweet potato, maple, milk and vanilla. Stir the mixture into the flour mixture, and when it is nearly mixed in, stir in the cranberries.
- Lightly flour the counter, and scrape the dough onto the flour. Pat and shape into a disk about 3/4 inch thick. Cut in eight wedges, then sprinkle the streusel mixture over the wedges and pat to adhere.
- Carefully transfer the scones to the baking pan, leaving a 2 inch pace between wedges. Bake for 15-18 minutes, just until firm and golden around the edges. Cool on a rack.
- When the scones are cool, mix the powdered sugar and cranberry juice in a cup, then drizzle over the cooled scones. Let the glaze dry, then store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.