Happy Christmas everyone! I won’t lie, I am pretty slack with this blogging thing so I probably won’t post again before the big day. I love everything about Christmas, not least the food! And cranberries are such a Christmassy food. When I was younger I used to love the cheese with dried cranberries in, spread on crackers, or a generous dollop on some turkey. My dietary habits have changed a lot since then but I do still plan to have meat this Christmas. But this is the first year that I have made my own cranberry sauce and my first year buying raw cranberries. I did try one raw and won’t be doing that again! Although my beautiful kitten Lola snapped one up that fell on the floor and didn’t even flinch! That cat will eat anything though. I was going to dehydrate some but I didn’t want to end up with a bag of dried sour berries that I would never eat. So with my first ever bag, I made cranberry sauce and cranberry muffins. The sauce first:
Jarred cranberry sauce is full of sugar and god knows what other additives that I don’t really want to eat. But how do you sweeten something so sour without heaps of sugar? I chose to add two nice ripe and sweet red apples and some stevia, but I would love to know if anyone has any better ideas.
200g Raw Cranberries
2 Large Red Apples
4 Sachets of Stevia (or sweeten to taste with the liquid kind or other sweetener)
Heat whole cranberries with a few tablespoons of water in a pan on a low heat. Small dice the apples (I peeled mine) and throw them in too. I stewed this until the berries melted into a sauce and the apples softened. Add stevia or sweetener to taste.
This would also make a great fruit sauce layer for a crumble or a pie if you add more apple and less water to thicken it up. I froze some of mine for the big day and spooned some into soya yogurt for a tasty snack once it had cooled down.
Next up are the muffins:
Again, I didn’t want to fill these with sugar but I did add a sugar/stevia blend to keep them light. Apples go well with cranberries so I added applesauce in place of butter/oil. These are perfect for a packet lunch or a light snack.
100g Raw Cranberries
110g Gluten Free Flour Blend
110g Unsweetened Applesauce
60g Lyte at Heart Sugar/Stevia Mix (or 110g Sugar)
1 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1 tbsp Ground Flax
3 tbsp Water
Christmas Cupcake/Muffin Accessories
Slice cranberries in half, leaving the tiny ones whole. Mix sugar with applesauce and allow it to sit for a moment while you mix the flour, baking powder and spices together. Mix the flax with the water and add into the the sugar mix. Beat together before stirring in the flour mixture. Bake in muffin cases at 180c/160c fan for around 15 mins. The mixture will make 6 large muffins or 8 small ones.
What else do you do with cranberries at Christmas time? Have you dehydrated cranberries before without adding sugar?
Have a great Christmas everyone! 🙂