I love cranberry sauce. However, I prefer the chunky, made-from-scratch version and not the jelly ridged, popped-out-of-a-can version that line supermarket shelves.
Home-made cranberry sauce is easy to make, and I prepare it almost every year for Christmas Dinner. But perched alongside all the other rich delights on the Christmas dinner table, my cranberry sauce is all too often overlooked and sadly falls by the wayside as everyone shovels down mounds of turkey and other side dishes that carry a bit more "pin-nosh" than the lowly cranberry exudes. And to the misfortune of my dinner companions, I usually end up taking most of it back home with me and reap the benefits of their loss.
Then I thought to myself - why wait for Christmas? Cranberries are packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals which benefit the immune and cardiovascular systems. There are also some studies that indicate that this super-fruit may also inhibit cancer, urinary tract infections, and even tooth decay!
So on a recent week night, I picked up a bag of fresh cranberries. Preparation is easy, and once started, the dish will simmer quietly and wait patiently until the rest of the meal is ready. As a further innovation, one can tailor the spices added to the basic recipe to compliment the meal served.
Try experimenting by adding different fruits or ingredients to fit your mood, and you will find you have an easy, healthy and inexpensive weeknight dish... often under appreciated, but ready to oblige your dinner table with some sparkle with very little effort. It will also keep well in the fridge.
Trust me, I tried it, and it was simply... Crantastic!
BASIC CRANBERRY SAUCE
Cran-Applesauce. Add two peeled chopped apples, cinnamon, all spice, and chopped pecans.
Carribean Cranberry Sauce. Add mangos, cilantro, chopped sweet red peppers, lime, any other fruits available such as papaya or kiwi.