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Turn cranberries into ambrosia

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Here at Christmastime, "Ambrosia", that favorite fruit salad from the South, makes it way on holiday tables. This luscious combination of oranges and coconut is very good for it to be so simple to make. Many homes declare it to be a holiday tradition and it only seems to be served at the Christmas holidays.

I've come across an interesting variation for Ambrosia and that's with the addition of cranberries! This special recipe, "Cranbrosia", is much like the traditional Ambrosia, but it contains cranberries and some other ingredients to make it unlike the Ambrosia you may be accustomed to. Not only is it good eating, it's pretty to look at, too.

As you might expect, you begin with fresh cranberries. These are coarsely ground and combined with sugar. Mandarin oranges and pineapple chunks are also added, along with bananas and coconut. The juices from the oranges and pineapples are added to unflavored gelatin and dissolved. This is now added to the fruits, along with sour cream. Real whipping cream is whipped and added, too. This is now turned into a shallow pan and chilled thoroughly. As you can see, this is quite different from the common Ambrosia recipes!

This can be served with a spoonful of sour cream or sweetened whipped cream, if desired. It can be placed on lettuce leaves to give it more color and eye-appeal. This can also be served as a side dish or a dessert. It's has many uses and serves a large number, especially handy if you're entertaining over the holiday season.

If you're curious to know more about the traditional Ambrosia, I ran a column about two years ago that gave a good recipe for it, as well as a recipe for "Ambrosia Cookies". To get these recipes, follow this link:

And, if you're looking for some candy recipes, here's the link of a video that shows how to make chocolate bark recipes, which you can get by following this link:

Want to dress up the regular Ambrosia for Christmas? Follow this recipe and it'll be all decked out for your holiday gatherings!


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely ground or chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can (11 oz.) Mandarin oranges, well drained and juice reserved
  • 1 can (8 oz.) pineapple chunks, well drained and juice reserved
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 large banana, cubed
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Combine cranberries and sugar. Mix thoroughly to dissolve the sugar. Add drained oranges and pineapple, coconut and banana to cranberry mixture. Measure 3/4 cup of the reserved fruit juice. Sprinkle unflavored gelatin over the juice to soften. Place over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the gelatin. Add to the fruits and stir. Fold in sour cream. Whip the whipping cream and fold into the mixture. Turn into a 9x13 inch pan or a 2 qt. mold and chill thoroughly. May be served plain, with sour cream or sweetened whipped cream. Yield: about 16 servings.



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