Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Orange Cranberry Sauce with Chia

Orange Cranberry Sauce with Chia
This is a delicious and healthy twist on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner accompaniment.  I got the idea for this recipe simply by seeing some organic cranberries for sale in my local grocery store and being completely obsessed at the moment with chia seeds.  I bought the cranberries thinking I would bake them into muffins or bread or something, but during the drive home, I had an idea.  What if instead of extra sugar in a homemade cranberry sauce, you simply sweetened it with orange juice and a touch of honey and thickened it with "magical" chia seed?  I was planning on having some of my left over Canadian Thanksgiving Casserole for dinner the next night, so cranberry sauce would be a perfect addition and a great way to test out a new recipe for the upcoming American Thanksgiving.

As usual when coming up with a brand new idea, I decided to check the internet to see if anyone else had tried this before.  I assumed someone must have and I just wanted to see what other ingredients they used, the ratio of chia to cranberry to juice, etc. and then planned to make my own version based on what I found.  But I found nothing!  There was one mention of a recipe to be shared in the future and lots of cranberry sauce recipes, but nothing using chia seeds as the main thickening agent.  I was fairly certain that it would work since I had seen recipes using fruit and chia to make jams and jellies, so I decided to just wing it and hope for the best.  Once again, I was lucky (or just talented) because this is honestly one of the best cranberry sauces I have ever had (sorry mom!).  And what is even better is knowing what went into it and that besides a mere two tablespoons of honey, it is sweetened purely with fruit.  And it has chia in it which is of course amazingly good for you! Win win win.  :)

Orange Cranberry Sauce with Chia
fresh ingredients
1 pint fresh organic cranberries
2 oranges, zested and juiced (about 1 C. juice)
1/2 C. additional orange juice
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 T. chia seeds
2 T. honey

In a medium saucepan, combine the fresh cranberries, orange zest and all the orange juice.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the cranberries have popped open and softened, stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Serve warm or cold.

ready to cook

all done

great with some leftover
Canadian Thanksgiving Casserole

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