Source: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

Perfect for the traditional Thanksgiving menu, cranberries will also add zest to any of your fall meals. Learn more about cranberries or, check out these family-friendly ideas for incorporating this ruby-red fruit into your favorite dish.

Football snack: Add dried cranberries to any nut mixture.

Salad: Sprinkle dried cranberries on mixed green or spinach salad. The sweetness of the cranberries is terrific with any vinaigrette dressing and is a great compliment to crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese.

Side dish: Add dried cranberries to your favorite stuffing, wild rice, or couscous recipe.

Veggie: Sauté onions, diced zucchini and dried cranberries in olive oil. Season with a dash of turmeric, cinnamon, and rep pepper flakes. Great taste and awesome color!

All American Apple Pie: Add 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries to your favorite apple pie recipe.

Here are a few recipes kids—and grown-ups—will love:

Easy Cranberry Sauce

16 ounces fresh cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice or water

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries pop open (about 10 minutes). Skim the foam off the surface with a metal spoon and discard. Cool to room temperature.
Storage: Refrigerate, covered, for up to three months.

Creamy Cranberry Dipping Sauce

3/4 cup 100 percent cranberry raspberry (or grape) juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

Place juice into a small saucepan. Boil until reduced to a syrup (about 3 tablespoons). Allow to cool. Add syrup to remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Chill and serve with a variety of fresh fruit slices.

Cranberry Mustard Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup jellied cranberry sauce
1 1/2 Tbs. grainy Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. brown sugar

Combine ingredients in a small mixing bowl, whisking until smooth. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with raw/blanched veggies, baked tofu, chicken fingers or fish sticks.

Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children and founders of Fresh Baby. Visit them at and subscribe to their Fresh Ideas newsletter. Fresh Baby Baby Food Kits and other products are available at many fine specialty stores and national chains including Target, Wild Oats, and Whole Foods Markets.