Red, juicy, plump and delicious

Perfect words to describe the bright fruit known as the cranberry. Full of antioxidants, vitamins and fibre – this berry packs a punch!

This nutrition powerhouse is getting set to take the stage with a starring role in November for Thanksgiving, and then globally during the festive season.  Cranberries and their vibrant burst of colour feature in mouth-watering festive foods like buttery shortbread, moist puddings and as the crowning glory in the sauce that adorns roast turkey and its friends.

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A healthier way to ‘cranberry’

Along with so many others around the world, I am rather partial to cranberry sauce, BUT I don’t love the sugar price tag that’s attached to it. Despite its deliciousness, cranberry sauce contains almost 40% sugar, making it a little sugar bomb. Now we’ve discovered that sugar isn’t good for you at all – your energy levels, your physical appearance and your overall wellbeing. It is best to be avoided, especially refined sugars, and those that ‘replace’ good fats.

With this in mind, you can imagine my excitement a few weeks ago when I discovered the secret ingredient to healthy cranberry sauce – chia seeds!

I know, I know – not your usual festive sauce ingredient, but trust me!

I have been in love with the smart little seed known as chia and it’s amazing health properties for a while now and I take every opportunity to sprinkle it on my porridge, in homemade bread, into cakes and biscuits and basically on or in anything that stands still long enough!

Chia seeds in sauce?

fresh cranberry sauce 2Keeping in mind that cranberry sauce does add quite a bit of sugar to a meal, these kinds of food discoveries usually generate a bit of excitement for me, especially when it means the end result is a sauce without all that added sugar and empty calories.

Aside from the fact that chia seed is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats, protein and fibre; it becomes gelatinous in liquid which makes it the ideal setting agent.

So, after a bit of experimenting… we have Cranberry Sauce with just a tiny bit of sugar and it tastes fantastic! TA DA! Thanks to the magic of those little superfood seeds, we’ve managed to create a healthy and delicious holiday sauce.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

– 500g frozen cranberries
– ½ cup water
– 1-tablespoon sugar
– 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Cooking Method

– Combine the cranberries with the water in a medium saucepan and simmer on stove-top for around 10-15 minutes until syrupy.
– Mash the mixture a little bit with a fork or potato masher to squish them up and then stir in the magic ingredient – chia seeds.
– Take saucepan off the heat and let it sit until the sauce sets (about 5 minutes) and then spoon into a sterilized jar.

And there you have it, a lovely accompaniment to any Christmas fare. Not only can you ensure that your festive meals are healthier this season, you’ll also be able to guarantee that they’ll be utterly delicious too.

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