Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberry sauce with my turkey, but traditional cranberry sauce is off the charts! Even a small portion of only 1/4 cup is loaded with 22 grams of added sugar and a total of 27 grams of carbs. Add that to the other carbohydrates in a Thanksgiving meal and cranberry sauce, even a spoonful, is off limits for me. Instead of dwelling on the things I can't have because of my diabetes, on this Thanksgiving Day I smile and am thankful I live in an age when there are so many wonderful alternatives that make it easy to manage this complicated disease.

It's simple to make homemade cranberry sauce and it tastes so much better than canned. I tweaked the traditional recipe just a bit to create this delicious variation that calls for a combination of erythritol sweetener, stevia and applesauce to replace the sugar called for in the recipe found on the back of a bag of fresh cranberries, plus it cooks up quick on the stovetop. The hint of cinnamon, cloves and vanilla balances out the tartness. The pectin in the applesauce helps to thicken the sauce perfectly. This cranberry sauce is so delicious, I top it with whipped cream and have it for dessert, use it as a fruit spread on my gluten free waffles or stir it into yogurt. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce
(Makes eight ¼-cup servings)

One 12 ounce bag of cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener (or other erythritol sweetener)
a pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (no sugar added)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon stevia powder, or to taste (I used Sweet Leaf brand)

1. Rinse and pick over the cranberries and place them in a large saucepan. Add the LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener, salt, water, applesauce, cinnamon and cloves. Stir to combine.

2. Boil gently for 5-8 minutes (skins will split), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and stevia powder to taste. Stir to combine. Allow the sauce to cool until it reaches room temperature. Store in the refrigerator until time to serve.  The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Nutritional Information per ¼ cup serving: 28 calories, 7 g carbohydrate, (2.3 g dietary fiber, 3.2 g sugars, 8 g sugar alcohols), 0 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 16 mg sodium, 7.8 mg calcium, 50 mg potassium, 0.2 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 4.7 grams

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009, revised 2016

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