Nov 12

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars + #CartonSmart Giveaway Valued at $1,000!

Cranberry Oatmeal Squares Recipe

This post brought to you by Carton Smart. All opinions are 100% mine.

Small, smart decisions can really add up, and Tetra Pak is looking to showcase this concept to its fullest with their Become Carton Smart program.

It was only recently that I became familiar with the Tetra Pak concept, so don't be discouraged if you're feeling a little clueless right now. Tetra Pak carton food packaging is designed for maximum efficiency and environmental friendliness

Become Carton Smart program. It was only recently that I became familiar with the Tetra Pak concept, so don't be discouraged if you're feeling a little clueless right now. Made of 70% paper, a renewable resource, from selectively harvested, re-grown trees that are FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council), Tetra Pak carton food packaging is designed for maximum efficiency and environmental friendliness.

Carton Smart Tetra Pak

But these cartons have benefits beyond the environment! Just a few impressive facts:

  • Tetra Pak cartons use 1/3 of the packaging compared to cans... or even an egg!
  • Cartons are space saving, easy to store and open.
  • The unique packaging process preserves the flavor and nutrients of food without the use of preservatives.
  • Recycleable and actually produce 60% less landfill waste than cans.
  • Cartons are re-closable so you can use what you need and save the rest for later.

Be sure to Tweet @CartonSmart and Follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest to learn more about their efforts.

Tetra Pak In Action

Pacific Foods sent me a variety of their products that utilize the Tetra Pak carton packaging, including their organic pumpkin puree, jellied cranberry sauce, and chicken stock.

Pacific Organic Pumpkin PureePacific Organic Jellied Cranberry SaucePacific Organic Simply Stock

I can't say that I've ever had cranberry sauce from a carton, so I chose to try it first. I spied a recipe on the back of the carton for Cranberry Pecan Crunch Squares that sounded delicious, and decided to give it a go.

I was a bit surprised to find that the jellied cranberry sauce was a little runnier than what I'm used to, but I actually decided that I like this consistency much better. It seems more natural and it made it really easy to spread over the bottom crust of the cranberry oatmeal squares.

Cranberry Oatmeal Squares

It was only after I started making the recipe that I realized that I didn't quite have exactly the ingredients the recipe called for -- so I improvised, of course. I don't know just how good the recipe is as written on the box, but my adapted version of these cranberry oatmeal bars is fantastic!

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Yield: 16-20 squares


  • 1 package Pacific Natural Foods Jellied Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • zest of one lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and butter a 13x9-inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Stir in softened butter, and mix well until crumbly and well blended.
  3. Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Spread the cranberry sauce evenly over the bottom crumb layer, and then sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top of the cranberry layer.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before serving.

BIG $1,000 ARV Giveaway!

Thanks to Tetra Pak, I have an AWESOME giveaway to share with you all today... One lucky Unsophisticook reader is going to win a $500 Visa gift card PLUS a $500 donation to the charity of his or her choice!!!

To enter, just leave a comment on the blog sharing your favorite small, smart recipe that uses ingredients in cartons!

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 and is open to all U.S. residents 18 years or older. Good luck! Carton Smart Official Rules

Visit Sponsor's Site

by Tara | 58 comments

  • Danielle F.

    I use chicken stock from a carton often in different recipes like when make roasted garlic chicken and also to help make soups. I also often purchase different flavored soups in boxes.

  • Amber G.

    I like to use the Pacific Organic Chicken Stock 1 Cup Cartons to make gravy for chicken pot pie. It's also super tasty on top of roasted chicken and mashed potatoes.
    To make the gravy I heat 2 Tbsp. of Butter in a small cooking pot. As it begins to become completely melted and bubble on the edge I thrown in 2 Tbsp. of Flour and incorporate with a whisk. Next, I cook the butter and flour for about 2 minutes. After the rue is cooked a bit I begin slowly adding a bit of organic chicken stock to make a thick paste, adding about 2 Cups of Pacific Organic Chicken Stock total. After adding the stock I add a pinch of Thyme and a bit of fresh cracked Black Pepper. I will then cook the gravy on medium heat for about 5 minutes, whisking often, until becoming thick and delicious.

  • Bert

    Use pumpkin puree cartons to make this recipe:
    Pumpkin pie croissants
    All you need is croissant rolls, pumpkin puree, sugar and cinnamon.
    Spread the pumpkin puree over each croissant, roll them up, sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon and bake as directed

  • Amanda Sakovitz

    My recipe is chicken noodle soup with pepperoni and I use cartons of chicken stock.

  • Thomas Murphy

    I use chicken broth in a container for my mom’s stuffing recipe.

  • Julie B

    My favorite recipe to use the Cartons for is my Porkchops and Gravy in the crock pot.
    I use the Pacific Natural Foods Organic Cream Of Mushroom Condensed Soup (12 oz).

    2 12 oz Pacific Organic Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup Cartons
    4-6 pork chops, boneless (depending on how many people you are serving)
    1/2 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
    1 tbsp dijon mustard
    1/2 cup of milk

    1. Cook the porkchops fully, browning them in skillet.
    2. Place the cooked pork chops on the bottom of the crock pot.
    3. Turn to crock pot on high heat.
    4. Add in Cream of Mushroom soup cartons, dijon mustard, milk and lipton onion soup mix.
    5. Stir mixture.
    6. Cook for 4 hours, then serve with mashed potatoes or any other side dish you would like.

    I never have liked pork chops, however these are AMAZING! They are not tough, they fall apart, and I would recommend this!! It is SO good!
    Thank you for the giveaway!!

  • Jes

    I can use cartons of pumpkin puree to make pumpkin cheesecake bars

  • Harmony B

    We use carton chicken stock for everything from soup to mashed potatoes

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