Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce w/ Walnuts -- Holiday Recipe Countdown

Today was a busy day. Hubby and I worked around the house most of the day today trying to sort through the stacks of stuff we have accumulated. With the holidays approaching, we have some serious house organizing and cleaning to do...in other words, it looks like a bomb went off here! LOL After we put a small dent in our housework, we did our Costco run and then stopped at the mall and did a bit of shopping, too. We actually headed to Costco after work yesterday, but never made it because hubby couldn't pry me away from Macy's before Costco closed (it's across the street from Costco). They had their Christmas stuff out...and I bought my first Christmas ornament of the season (hubby already bought one a few weeks ago -- we collect Swarovski snowflake ornaments and he found one of them at Costco several weeks ago, and picked it up. Even though the ornament he bought is pretty...mine is super cute -- I snapped a picture for you to see below. Needless to say, we had to go to Costco again today since we didn't make it there yesterday before they closed...LOL. While working around the house today, I made a test batch of cranberry sauce. It turned out great. I am officially kicking off "Operation Thanksgiving Menu" today! Over the next few weeks I will be including recipes for the holiday meal. I am so excited! Last year it seemed so challenging to be preparing my first wheat and grain free Thanksgiving meal, but this year I am psyched!  :-)  So, rather than ramble on and on...I will present you with my low carb, sugar free, wheat free homemade fresh cranberry sauce. It only takes about 15 minutes to make and it is super simple, too! I snapped a few photos below as well as the recipe. Enjoy!






2 cups of fresh cranberries in the pot
Add 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Add 1 teaspoon of orange zest and 3/4 cup of Swerve...
After cooking for 10 minutes...transferred to a bowl to pop in the fridge and chill
Voila!
We tested the cranberry sauce with our dinner this evening
My first Christmas ornament this year -- isn't it cute?  :-)

Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce w/ Walnuts

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh whole cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 large orange)
3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener or erythritol (preferably powdered)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Dash of cinnamon, optional

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently on low for approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the cranberries have popped and sauce has thickened. Lightly press (smash) cooked cranberries with back of spoon if a less chunky sauce is desired. Cool in pan for about 15 minutes; transfer to a bowl or serving dish, cover and refrigerate several hours or until thoroughly chilled. Serve garnished with additional chopped walnuts, if desired.

*Note - If a juicier sauce is desired, add additional 2 tablespoons of orange juice or water when cooking cranberries. Entire recipe has 23 total net carbs (Total carbohydrates less fiber).





14 comments:

Ryder said...

This looks fabulous. As my husband and I struggle to find the right eating to get us on track to lose weight we vacillate between low carb or low calorie and are so frustrated. I follow your posts and am motivated to give up the wheat but it is much with such resistance. Thanks for posting so many glorious recipes and posts. I am going to make a meal plan for a month and give it a try. What do you usually do for bfast and lunch?

Anonymous said...

For low carbers and diabetics, I'm wondering if a 1/4 cup of Crystal Light Sunrise Orange on the Go could be substituted for the orange juice?

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I can't decide which I like more, the cranberry orange sauce or the absolutely *darling* Christmas tree decoration!!! I was going to try cran/orange sauce, but lucky for me, you came up with the recipe. :-)

I'll have to see if our Macy's has the ornament. I made some wheat-free gingerbread men last year. Everyone loved them ... but they were knitted out of yarn. :-) There must be a way to make *edible* ones.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Ryder! For breakfast during the week, I usually have Greek yogurt (I flavor it with some liquid stevia drops by NuNaturals and cinnamon -- sometimes I use other extract flavors, too). On weekends I frequently have eggs, bacon, or sausage or veggie filled omelets w/ grain-free biscuits. I also make grain free bagels, donuts and muffins so you can switch things up and not get bored, too. When I first started, I decided to give it a month to 6 weeks. There was no turning back after that...I dropped weight so quickly and effortlessly (without ever being hungry or having to exercise for the first 55 lbs lost). I've lost a total of 68 lbs and started exercising after 6 months simply because I wanted to, not because I thought I had to in order to lose weight. I feel great! I wish you LOTS of success on your 30-day journey. The key is making things you LIKE to eat - there should be no suffering or deprivation. Most foods can be made without wheat or grains or at least a suitable substitution that is close. The biggest gift is the drastic reduction in appetite and cravings. Let me know if I can help and good luck! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous! I actually am a low-carber...and find that since cranberry sauce is more of a condiment, the few grams of carbs aren't too bad for me in the couple tablespoons I usually eat. However, if you want to reduce the carbs and sugars even more...I think you could use water with pure orange extract (maybe 1/2 teaspoon in place of the orange juice and just bump up the sweetener). I don't know how real the crystal light tastes, so don't know if it would taste good or not in this. If you think it tastes like real orange, then it can't hurt to try it. Since this has orange zest in it too, you could also just use plain water if you wanted to. Hope it turns out great since I'm sure there are others that would like further reducing carbs and sugars, too! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! When you made your cranberry sauce -- did you add more or less Swerve than I used (I used 3/4 cup for 2 cups)? It turned out sweet and tart (which is how I like it). I'm curious how much sweetener you like when you make it. I liked the walnuts in it, too, but know everyone wouldn't necessarily like them in there. I liked the texture it gave. LOL on the wheat-free yarn gingerbread men! I'm sure there is a way to make edible gingerbread. Once I get my house in order (it's a disaster)...I want to set aside a weekend to experiment with baking. I just got another bag of Honeyville almond flour so I am good to go! Hope you find the ornament at your Macy's -- I love it! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I went by the instructions on a 12-ounce bag of cranberries. I didn't measure how many cups of berries, though, so I can't tell you that off the top of my head. I just used the whole bag.

The recipe called for 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar, per 12 ounces of berries. I substituted a little less than a cup of Swerve (maybe 2 tablespoons less.) We don't like it too sweet ... we like it sweet-tart, like you do. I think your walnut addition is a *great* idea!

BTW, one of the emailed comments mentioned the large amount of sugar in canned sauce. Not only that, some time ago we wondered why it just didn't taste as good as it used to. When I checked the label I found they had switched to high fructose corn syrup! Ugh and double ugh! I started making it from fresh berries, but when I actually saw myself pouring in horrendous amounts of sugar, even to make it on the tart side, it wasn't too long before I gave up on cranberry sauce. Yay for Swerve! Cranberry Sauce is back on the menu! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis -- Wow, I had no idea they had begun using HFCS in it -- you are right -- BIG UGH!!! Yes, it's amazing how much sugar the regular kind takes to make, isn't it! I bought the 2-lb bag of cranberries at Costco which is why I measure the berries out and don't use the whole bag...LOL. I actually bought a 2nd bag of them yesterday -- the first bag is almost done -- maybe one more recipe's worth left in it! I actually made another variety of cranberry muffins -- I'll post them this week! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I made this a couple of days ago and thought is was very yummy! We had it warm off the stove the first day. The next day, cold out of the fridge, the Swerve had turned granular (crunch, crunch.) It then dawned on me that I'd forgotten to pulverize it first.

I did manage to save the sauce, though. I put it back on the stove and added some water (kept adding more a little at a time as it simmered down.) That did the trick. Even cold the next day the texture was fine. Not a "crunch" to be found anywhere! I'm saving the last little morsel for yogurt tomorrow ... or maybe a little snack tonight, now that I'm thinking about it! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! LOL -- yes, that crunch seems to be more pronounced when the item gets refrigerated which is why I mostly use the confectioners style or pulverize the granular version (unless I intentionally want the crunch...like maybe sprinkling on top of a muffin for a sugar-like crunch). LOL on having it for a snack -- I treasured my cranberry sauce. One day for lunch this week I had a leftover steak and dollop of cranberry sauce on the side. I found a way to enjoy it with things I never would have thought about before...even the yogurt! I am looking forward to making it again! Glad you were able to salvage yours and good thinking about reheating it -- brilliant! :-)

Betty Anne said...

Hi GGC,
I made the cranberry sauce with powdered Swerve. It still turned grainy after chilling. The cranberry sauce is wonderful when warm so I want to correct any mistakes I might have made. Do you have any tips for preventing the crunch when chilled? I did see the comment about adding water and cooking again. Is this the best/easiest solution?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Betty, I'm not sure why the confectioners was still crunchy after chilled. I wonder if you added a bit of water to it and reheated it like CyberSis did if it might completely melt/dissolve (but she used the granular kind). Maybe they length of time it cooks might have something to do with it dissolving. I'm going to make some more cranberry sauce this weekend so I will see if I can figure it out. Meanwhile, reheating, maybe with a bit of water/liquid (tablespoon or 2) might help resolve that. If you decide to do that, let me know how it works for you. Mine turned out thick, and the only crunch I had was from the walnuts. Maybe try reheating a small amount with a splash of water and see if that helps (rather than doing the entire portion). :-)

Betty Anne said...

GGC,
I did reheat it with additional water. That solved the problem. The original recipe was very thick after cooking, and I cooked it longer than the recipe suggested. I think I should increase the orange juice and/or water the next time to fully dissolve the powdered Swerve. It is delicious and another keeper.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Betty -- so glad that took care of it. I'm glad to know that it worked for you too. I will test it again tomorrow -- even though I note you can add more liquid at the end of the recipe -- maybe I need to add that up in the recipe itself. Thanks for letting me know! :-)