by Cat, Dec 2007 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
This is a must for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, instead of canned cranberry sauce or gel. It goes will with fish, poultry, and game.
Cranberries are closely related to blueberries and huckleberries and are very healthful, being rich in vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants. They also help to prevent urinary tract infections. (See also World’s Healthiest Foods on cranberries (2) for lots more about the benefits of this fruit).
Cranberries are a rich source of natural pectin; they thicken the relish on their own – no need to add pectin or starch.
I used to make my cranberry sauce with sugar, but now that I’ve discovered stevia, I use a mix of stevia extract powder and sugar. Most recipes require the equivalent of ⅔ -¾ cup sugar for 2 cups cranberries (depending on your taste). I use only ⅓ cup sugar plus stevia; the proportions I list are not hard and fast. Remember that ½ – 1 tsp stevia extract powder (depending on brand) has the same sweetness as 1 cup of sugar! Refer to my Stevia article for more on cooking with this sweetener.
You can make this with spices or just the fruits. I like to use grated fresh ginger, or ground, dried ginger, with just a bit of cinnamon or clove.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 2 cups organic cranberries (whole)
- 1 orange (juice and zest)
- filtered water
- ⅓ cup (or to taste) Rapadura or other minimally-processed dried sugar cane juice, or white cane sugar plus ⅛ tsp stevia, or to taste; OR ½ – ¾ cup sugar and no stevia
- Optional spices: ⅛ – ¼ tsp clove, allspice, ginger and/or cinnamon
- 2 quart saucepan
- glass jar with lid
- orange juicer
- grater for zesting
- Clean & rinse cranberries, throwing out any that are shriveled or bruised. Place in saucepan.
- Grate the zest of the orange to make about ¾ tsp. Add to cranberries.
- Cut orange in half; juice both halves into a glass measuring cup; add enough filtered water to equal 1 cup.
- Add sweetener and desired spices; stir well.
- Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or so, until most of the berries have popped.
- Turn off heat and let sit in pan for a few minutes to cool a bit, then scoop into the glass jar. Let cool thoroughly before screwing on the jar lid. Store in refrigerator overnight, or until ready to serve.
Sources and References:
- Catherine Haug recipe collection
- WHFoods.com (World’s Healthiest Foods), on cranberries