Monday, November 23, 2009

Cranberry-Apple Sauce (refined sugar-free)

Can you believe it is Thanksgiving week already? Seems impossible, but it is true. This time of year can be one of the most wonderful times of the year for delicious and nutritious food. With so many plentiful fall veggies, mixing that with the savory flavors of thanksgiving it is just a wonderful time to indulge in good homemade creations.
I just recently found out that we can buy local cranberries in Michigan. There is a farm just south of Grand Rapids in Holland, Michigan area. They are a blueberry and other fruit farm, and they have just recently decided to try out producing cranberries. This is quite exciting! Here is a local newspaper article about the farm they come from. Most cranberries are produced on the east coast of the US, or in Wisconsin or Washington State, so to have some of our very own Michigan cranberries is a treat. They are not super expensive either, just about 2 dollars for 12 ounces. So, really, if you want to try and make your own refined sugar- free cranberry sauce and you hate it, it was only 2 dollars wasted :) Ok, but I know you will love it. It is a fun little experiment and the colors and smells are delicious.
Cranberry Sauce:4 cups of fresh, cleaned cranberries
2 cups of pure water
juice of one lemon or organic orange
1/2 cup of raw honey
1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
4 pealed and diced apples
2 ts. of ground cinnamon
*** You could easily half this recipe in half if you want to make less***
***You could substitute the lemon juice for either apple cider or orange juice***
***If you need to add more syrup/honey to sweeten more, do so for your own taste***
First of all, you will want to wash and pour the washed, whole cranberries into a large pot. Then pour in the water, syrup, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon. Let this start getting warm, which will produce a popping noise... almost like popcorn, except it's a louder pop. They will cook for about 10 minutes and you will start to produce some red cranberry juices and foam.
Keep stirring and allowing the juices and berries to mix and start to mush together. This is when you add in the diced and pealed apple pieces. Continue to cook for about 5-10 more minutes on a lower heat, just until the apples are soft enough to eat. The cranberries and apples will gel together without the use of gelatin and the sweet and tart flavor will be just perfect.
There is nothing real special about this recipe except that it shows you that you can make something like cranberry sauce on your own, and that you do not have to use table sugar or refined sweeteners. It can be done without adding anything unhealthy and it is just as yummy.
Cranberries are very healthy for you. Especially in the fall, they help cleanse your blood and make your kidneys and bladder stronger for the winter months of less fresh foods and vitamin D. They are full of antioxidants that can help build your immune system to stay well and strong.
Cranberry sauce could be a great side to your Thanksgiving dinner, or topped on top of some baked salmon, chicken, or turkey. Or, you could add it to the top of a piece of some pumpkin cheesecake, or to the tops of some pumpkin pancakes. Really you can get pretty creative with this sauce. It's a nice thing to have around this time of year.
I hope you find rest and joy this week, and are able to truly find thankfulness for life and all of it's gifts!
Much love to you!

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