Cranberries are native to the United States and are almost always associated with the fall season and especially the Thanksgiving holiday. In fact, Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the cranberries!
The cranberry is a wonderful source of both Vitamin C and dietary fiber. They are also thought to promote cardiovascular health, immune health, have anti-inflammatory properties & are also rich in antioxidants as well.
When selecting fresh cranberries, choose big plump cranberries that are a deep red in color and still very firm.
My Cranberry Orange Ginger Chutney is a delicious combination of tastes & flavors. It’s also a great alternative to the standard can of cranberry sauce. In fact, this lovely dish has rightfully earned its place on my Thanksgiving dinner table adding a wonderful bright red color and complementing all of my other dishes.
CRANBERRY ORANGE GINGER CHUTNEY
1½-2 cups of fresh cranberries
1 small apple, peeled & diced (I use either Honeycrisp or Granny Smith varieties)
1 cup orange juice
½ cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1 heaping tsp freshly grated ginger (peeled)
1 tbsp fresh orange zest
1 bay leaf
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground cardamom
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp honey (I used orange blossom honey), to taste
In a medium size heavy bottom saucepan, combine all of the ingredients (except the honey & freshly grated nutmeg) together and simmer on low heat with the lid partially covered. Let cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the cranberries are tender and completely cooked. Next add the honey and freshly grated nutmeg, mix well to combine. Let cook uncovered for another 5-6 minutes or so until thickened. Remember to remove the bay leaf before serving. Let the chutney cool completely before refrigerating. This recipe makes about 2-2½ cups of delicious chutney.
Instead of using dates in this recipe, feel free to use dried apricots or figs in place. Instead of an apple, use a pear if you like. Feel free to add some golden raisins or currants. Use brown sugar or jaggery in place of the honey. You could also add some fresh orange segments just before serving. For texture, add some toasted chopped walnuts or pecans for garnish. To add some zing to the chutney, add a pinch of ground cumin powder or red chili powder. You could also add some finely minced thyme, mint or rosemary.