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Now that we’re officially into November, I feel okay sharing this recipe with you. Cranberry sauce in October would have been jumping the gun, but with Thanksgiving just 23 days away, let the holiday countdown begin!
Through the years, my family’s Thanksgiving dinner table has always been laden with traditional fare: turkey or game hens, stuffing, creamed corn, potatoes, cranberries, green beans, and pies of every kind. Since my diet has changed over the past few years, I pass on the stuffing and pie these days, but with so many flavorful veggie side dishes to load up on, I don’t miss the gluten one bit. I feast on salads with figs and walnuts, green beans dressed with orange vinaigrettes, sweet potatoes tossed with herbs and pine nuts.
And I always, always, always savor some cranberry sauce—whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas. Of all the holiday side dishes, it’s one of my sister’s favorites and over the years has become mine as well. Usually I treat homemade cranberry sauce as my “sweet splurge” for the holiday, since it’s usually laden with white sugar. But this year, I decided to give my cranberry sauce recipe a sugar-free makeover…so that maybe I wouldn’t feel so guilty about going in for the third or fourth spoonful!
Instead of using all cranberries, I added in some pears to bump up the sweetness naturally. With a touch of honey and bit of kick from the orange zest, this sauce beats last year’s by a mile. Serve it alongside your favorite holiday recipes, or enjoy it any night of the week with roasted chicken breasts. A dollop of the sauce is also mighty tasty atop a bowl of my Kale and Porcini Rice Pilaf.
Cranberry Pear Sauce – makes 1 3/4 cup
This recipe makes a relatively small batch. It can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a crowd. Enjoy!
3 small-medium Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and chopped small
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup water
3 tbs. honey
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 18-20 minutes or until pears are soft, cranberries have broken down, and sauce has thickened.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled.
It’s sure to be filled with tasty holiday recipes with healthy twists, just in time for Thanksgiving later this month. I don’t know about you, but I’m happily working on my Turkey Day menu plan these days, so a little inspiration from around the blogosphere is just what I need right about now.
Join in on the celebration!
UPDATE 11/11/10 – This post is linked to the second week of A Gluten-Free Holiday at Gluten Free Easily.