Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

My mom always had canned cranberry sauce in our pantry. You know the one I’m talking about. A cylindrical, molded block that slid perfectly out of the can and plopped onto the plate with no intention of ever losing it’s structure. We had it year round because it was one of my favorite after school snacks. Every 10 year old eats that right? I had a strange food palate.

I’d eat it in slices while watching early 90s reruns of 90210. SO addictive. The show and the sauce.

That canned stuff is thankfully far in my past. If I’d have only known what nasty ingredients were lurking inside. It contains four ingredients and two of them are sugar and more sugar. Cranberries, high-fructose corn syrup, water and corn syrup.

Traditional homemade recipes are not much better. They have at least a cup of sugar plus the orange juice, which is loaded with its own sugar too. All that sweetness could be reserved for dessert instead of included in the main meal. Orange juice adds enough sweet to balance the tartness of the cranberries so there is no need to add refined sugar.

My healthy version of cranberry sauce includes just one tablespoon of maple syrup plus fresh squeezed orange juice. Going from 1 cup to 1 tbsp saves a lot of excess sugar.

You get your money’s worth in nutrition with cranberries too. They have one of the highest levels of antioxidants. One cup of whole cranberries has 8,983 total antioxidant capacity, which is topped only by blueberries with up to 13,427.

Say no to canned cranberries this year. Make this recipe and save your sugar for the gooey butter cake.

Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

Makes 6 servings.

3 ½ cups fresh cranberries
½ cup whole pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
½ cup water
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp orange zest
¼ tsp cloves
1 cinnamon stick
¼ tsp red pepper flakes

►Combine cranberries and orange juice in a saucepan and cook all over medium-high heat until cranberries pop, about 10 minutes.
►Reduce heat to low and add in all remaining ingredients.  Cook for 5 minutes until mixture thickens.
►Stir occasionally to prevent sticking in pan.
►Remove cinnamon stick. Cool and serve.*

*This is a fabulous dessert option too! Just add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Complete deliciousness.

Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprout Salad

Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprout Salad

I love creating meals that resemble the current season. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m in the mood for autumnal colors in every dish. Butternut squash, brussels sprouts and apples are fall on a plate.

Brussels sprouts have pushed kale to the side and stepped into the spotlight. They’re the latest trendy vegetable to hit the table. I grew up eating them every week and have always loved them. It’s wonderful the rest of the world has finally caught on and fallen in love with this delicious vegetable. They are easy to prepare too. Try slicing them up, tossing with butter and coarse sea salt, then roasting at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

For this recipe, I wanted complimentary flavors, colors and texture. And I nailed it! The apple cider vinaigrette with cinnamon drizzled over the top pulls it all together.

Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprout Salad

Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprout Salad

Makes 4 servings.

1 cup onion – thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 cups acorn squash – cubed
1 cup honey crisp apple – cubed
1 cup brussels sprouts – sliced
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp salt

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp white pepper
3 tbsp apple cider
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

All of the vegetables in this recipe must be cooked at different temperatures and lengths of time to maintain the right levels of doneness. You’ll have a few extra dishes to wash but the final product is worth it! You can also buy pre-cubed squash to save some time.

►Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking dish with coconut oil. Slice acorn squash in half, sprinkle salt on the insides and place face down on baking sheet. Cook for 45 minutes until a butter knife easily slices through the squash. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
►Peel and cube the squash.
►Heat oven up to 425 degrees. Slice brussels sprouts and toss with 1 tsp salt. Coat roasting pan with coconut oil and spread sprouts evenly over pan. Roast for 20 minutes or until cooked and crispy.
►Turn oven down to 350 degrees. On a separate baking pan, evenly spread onions, garlic and apples. Bake for 15 minutes.
►Make dressing while vegetables cook. Combine all ingredients and whisk together.
►You can either toss all the vegetables with the dressing in a large bowl OR place all vegetables on a serving platter and drizzle dressing over everything. Either way, it will be delicious!