Another reason for me to fall for autumn is…..(drum roll please)…. cranberries! Little packets of them are in the markets now! Get them while you can because, I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but they disappear around here FAST after they hit the market shelves. Every autumn I stock up on a couple of bags of the berries. Both the raw berries and the cooked chutney freeze well so you can have this delicious topping all year round.
When people ask me if I use apricots, apple or raisins in my cranberry chutney, my answer is always “Yes!!” Yes to all off it. I like a huge burst of flavor in my chutney.
Forget the yucky can of gelatinous goo that is commonly known as cranberry sauce. It is so easy and fast to make your own sauce. Once you do that, I guarantee that you will never go back to the substandard stuff. Ooooh… (wince)… “guarantee” is such a strong word, but, yep. I guarantee it! Simple sauces can be found all over the internet, so go for it. You won’t be sorry. If you want a recipe for a fabulous chutney, read on.
Cranberry chutney is a taste bonanza of sweet, tangy and spicy. It generally contains fruit such as apples, apricots and /or raisins plus vinegar. I did quite a few experiments to come up with my own favorite recipe. I like it so much that I double the recipe so that I can have chutney in many other dishes as well as a condiment at Thanksgiving.
My recipe packs a punch so if you don’t want your chutney to be quite so tangy, cut back on the vinegar.
I tried experimenting with the chutney to make it a little more healthy. The original version that my mom used to make required two cups of sugar. In an effort to bypass all of that sugar, I made one batch with only Stevia. That did NOT work out! It left such a bad aftertaste. So, I switched to the Stevia/ sugar baking combo. It has 75 percent less calories – still not as good as all white granulated. Not to my taste buds anyway. The cranberries were still quite tart. It was when I added the honey and vanilla that it all fell into place. So, this dish DOES have a small amount of granulated sugar in it, but not to the extent of a traditional sauce.
Cranberry sauce or chutney is not just for Thanksgiving , although I do give a lot of thanks for these delicious little, nutrient dense berries. And, doncha’ know, they are not just a sauce to compliment meats. In fact, I don’t eat it with meat. I use it to sweeten my toast or biscuits. It is also delicious over a dollop of French vanilla ice cream.This chutney is a fabulously sweet punch to your Greek yogurt too. Or you can spoon a generous amount over cream cheese and serve with cookies or crackers for a pretty appetizer. Or spoon over warmed brie. Yummmm! It’s heaven on French toast and amazing in stuffed French toast. For now, check out how easy it is to make cranberry chutney.
Easy but Loaded Cranberry Chutney
Once you get the apples peeled and diced and the dried apricots diced, this dish moves along fast!My secret ingredients are apples, honey and vanilla. They are all optional, but they kind of make the Stevia baking sweetener with the vinegar a little more smooth and mellow.
- 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 peeled and diced gala apple
3/4 cup Stevia/sugar baking mix
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Add sugar and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring constantly until all sugar has dissolved.
Add all of the other ingredients except the honey and vanilla. Bring back to a boil stirring gently and continuously.
Lower heat and simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes. You will hear the cranberries pop and break down. I like to leave a few berries whole.The room is cold this morning so steam is coming off the pot making the photo look blurry, but I wanted to show you what the chutney looks like when it is done. If you don’t want whole berries, just keep stirring and breaking them down.
Add the honey and vanilla when the sauce is to your consistency. Plate and serve while warm or store in the refrigerator in an air tight container. The sauce will remain fresh tasting for up to 14 days in the refrigerator. You can store in an airtight baggie in the freezer and keep it for up to a year.
OH! And the sauce is also excellent when added to protein smoothies. 🙂