Earlier this week I started a draft of a soapbox post on healthy for the holidays. My ramblings got the best of me, and, well, it remains a draft. The gist, simply, was where in the holiday meal to concede to caloric bombs in all their glory, and where to try and make healthy substitutions your friends and family won’t groan over (do not use silken tofu for creamed spinach. Just don’t).
Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite holiday sides. The bright color and acidity cleans the palate between bites of creamy mashed potatoes and cloying gravy. I’ve always made mine from scratch, but even the homemade kind is high in sugar. On their own, cranberries are both acidic and bitter, and desperately seeking sweet. While replacing the sugar all together may be a stretch, I’ve found a ripe Bartlett pear can help cut the amount in half. It does, however result in a saucier texture than a gel.
Cranberries, like concord grapes and blueberries are one of the few native fruits to the US. One family farm near and dear to my heart is Vincent Cranberries. Tim and his wife Dani are the third generation to work the Vincent bogs. Like many small farmers, they’ve looked to creating a value added line with their products enabling them to drive a stronger profit from their business instead of selling to a middle man or co-op. Their expanded line included raw cranberries, dried cranberries and cranberry and fruit juices. Tim is so passionate and proud to carry on his family’s linage, you can’t help but feel pride in taking part in the process. Look for them in grocery stores around town.
Oregon Cranberry Sauce
Makes 2 cups
2 cups Vincent Family Farms Cranberries
1 cup water
1 bartlette pear, peeled and diced
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup toasted freddy guy hazenuts, toasted and chopped
In a medium sauce pot, combine the cranberries, water, pear, and sugar over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cook 10 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the sauce to break the cranberries and pear. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in hazelnuts. Enjoy on just about any and everything
LEFTOVERS!! Just some of the ways I’d use up leftovers.
Mix into your oatmeal or yogurt
Serve with stuffed squash
Brush on chicken breasts/tofu and bake
Stuff in wontons with cream cheese substitute for dessert wontons
Freeze into incube trays for a seasonal sangria or NA Cranberry lemonade
Serve on top of baked yams, garnished with chopped green onions
How do you expand the life of leftover cranberry sauce?