No doubt your Thanksgiving menu is planned, shopping is mostly complete and your bird is thawing in the refrigerator. As we enter into the final days of the thankful holiday, there is still time to get real, unprocessed menu items on the table. This fresh cranberry chutney takes only minutes to make, can be made ahead (it actually tastes better the longer it sits), and is not shaped like the can it came from!
A can of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce (jellied or whole berry), which is typically found on most Thanksgiving tables as the crimson accompaniment to turkey, contains the controversial ingredient high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The average American has increased their consumption of HFCS from zero to 60 pounds per person per year, attributed mostly to sugar sweetened drinks and processed food. Our ancestors consumed the equivalent of 20 teaspoons per year, so when one 20-ounce HFCS sweetened soda, sports drink or tea has 17 teaspoons of sugar (and the average person often consumes two drinks per day), we flirt with obesity and disease disaster.
The corn industry spends millions of dollars on print and television advertising campaigns to dispel the “myth” that HFCS is harmful and is a “natural” product no different from cane sugar. HFCS has been linked to heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, and tooth decay. Sugar is sugar and indeed both cane sugar and HFCS can be harmful when over-consumed. The fact is, HFCS and can sugar are not biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body. HFCS is an industrial product extracted from corn stalks in such a secretive way that members of the corn industry do not allow investigative journalists to observe for the purpose of reporting. HFCS is almost always a marker of poor-quality, nutrient-poor, disease-creating industrial “food-like” substances. If you see “high fructose corn syrup” listed on the ingredients label you can be sure it is not a whole, real, fresh food full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Don’t compromise your family’s health by picking up a can of processed cranberry sauce. Your family will love the sweet-tart flavor of this fresh cranberry chutney made with real food ingredients and it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish!
Read more about high fructose corn syrup from the Charlotte Healthy Foods Examiner and identify HFCS products that may be lurking in your pantry.
Port Wine Cranberry Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
½ cup ruby port
Zest of 1 orange
½ cup fresh orange juice
12 ounces fresh cranberries
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons candied ginger, chopped
In a medium saucepan, combine port wine with orange zest and orange juice and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries, honey and ginger and simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce is jam-like, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm or at room temperature.
Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
*Please use organic ingredients when possible.