I really enjoy all aspects of the Thanksgiving meal, and the meal would not be the same without the cranberry sauce. I will admit, though, that I only started to eat the "whole berry" version as an adult, whereas we used to always have the canned "jellied" version at the Thanksgiving table. One Thanksgiving after I was married, I decided to make the real deal and I haven't looked back since. Of course, since cranberries are very tart on their own, sauces are typically made with lots of sugar or other sweetener. So, I used pear (a sweet baking apple would work, too) to help bring in some natural sweetness to reduce some of the added sugar. Another bonus with adding pear or apple is that they contain pectin, a natural thickener, that helps to give the sauce its consistency. If you eat this sauce instead of canned whole berry cranberry sauce, you'd save almost 50 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrate! This is also great as a condiment for a turkey sandwich or mixed into plain Greek yogurt.
1 (12 oz) package whole cranberries (fresh or frozen, about 3 cups)
3 large anjou pear, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 15 minutes or until thick. If desired, use a potato masher and mash to desired consistency. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Discard cinnamon stick.
Servings: 16 (1/4 cup or 2 oz per serving)
64 calories, 16 grams carbohydrate (1.5 grams fiber), 0 grams protein, 0 grams fat
Written by Michelle Baglio of Optimal Nutrition and Health (Google+). All recipes, unless otherwise noted, are created and tested in my home kitchen. Any resemblance to other recipes available in print or online is purely coincidental. The use of particular brands and/or products is sometimes noted because of their quality and the use of other products, while similar, may affect the outcome of the finished dish. Please do not reprint this recipe for distribution without my permission. To feature this recipe on your website, please link to this post as the original source.
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