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!
Chutney is a little different from regular cranberry sauce in that it usually contains apricots and raisins or some other fruit plus vinegar. It is both sweet and tangy. 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 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.
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 a couple weeks 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.
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 a fabulously sweet punch to Greek yogurt too. 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 as well. Ooooh! I’ll make another post and show you my cranberry/ cream cheese stuffed French toast. Amazing! That will be coming up sometime soon. 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 apple
3/4 cup Stevia/sugar baking mix
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 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.
OH! And the sauce is also excellent when added to protein smoothies. 🙂