Over the last few months I’ve been trying to reduce my sugar intake, but of course that is going to be much more difficult over the Christmas period with all the tempting seasonal goodies. I wrote a note on my amazon wishlist, requesting everyone to not buy me any sweet treats, as I usually seem to end up with a lot of fudge and chocolate gifts for Christmas. I am hoping they respect my request. I still plan to indulge on Xmas pud, mince pies and Xmas cake, all with the regular sugar hit. I’m not ready to skip sugar entirely.
In the past, I’ve always bought a jar of cranberry sauce, but I took a look at the listed ingredients and saw it was only 45% cranberries, with the second highest ingredient being sugar followed by water. So I put it back on the shelf, thinking it was one trimming we could skip.
However when I spotted fresh cranberries for sale at our local farm shop, I thought why not give them a try. Son2 immediately asked for one, as he is very fond of dried cranberries, so I gave him one before trying myself. Big mistake, as we found they are quite bitter raw. I was quite surprised and checked our dried cranberry packet for comparison, at which point I discovered that those are sweetened with apple juice concentrate. I never realised that before.
So I knew that I would need to sweeten the cranberries with something, but not sugar. So the following is the recipe I came up with.
zest and juice of 1 large orange
30g agave nectar
Wash the cranberries.
Grate the zest of the orange and squeeze the juice.
Add all ingredients to a saucepan.
Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Heat gently for about 5 more minutes until all the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened.
Allow to cool.
Serve with turkey.
This can be made ahead of schedule and will keep for a few days in the fridge. It can even be frozen and then defrosted.
It tasted delicious, with the orange flavour really complimenting the cranberries. So much nicer than a shop-bought jar. Pity that fresh cranberries are only seen in the shops at this time of year, as this sauce would make an ideal substitute for jam.
I’d love to hear what food preparations you do ahead of Christmas?