Tart and tiny cranberries add a special seasonal kick to my ultra easy, low-sugar, Apple Cranberry Topping. The thing is cranberries can be super good for you if you just prepare them properly and refrain from adding globs of sugar.
For unknown reasons to me, almost every single cranberry recipe I find calls for an obscene amount of sugar. Ultra sweet, cloying cranberry recipes completely derail any health-promoting properties you would have gotten from the cranberries. But, if you can figure out a way to minimize the sugar, cranberries can be a super healthy boost to your diet.
Phenols Contribute Greatly to the Health Benefits of Cranberries
Cranberries are incredibly healthy with plenty of vitamin C and fiber. However, some of their most amazing health-promoting properties are because they’re rich in phenols (also known as phenolic acids).
Phenols are protective phytonutrients that are in unprocessed “whole” plant-foods. They have tremendous anti-aging, disease-fighting and cancer-preventing properties. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cranberries had a higher phenol concentration than any of the twenty commonly eaten fruits studied. This included more phenols than red grapes, apples, strawberries or blueberries. And by the way, phenols are also in abundance in wine and contribute greatly to wine’s cardio-protective reputation.
Clean Eating Healthy Dessert Recipe for the Holidays
Even I admit clean eating is a challenge this time of year. However, with a little imagination and forethought you can prepare festive eat clean recipes everyone in your family will love.
My mom created this incredibly simple Apple Cranberry Topping recipe. You can make it up to a week in advance, and it’s also incredibly versatile! It can be eaten on top of dairy-free ice cream, or even serve it as a side dish to turkey. You can also make a chicken dinner dish with chicken breasts. Do this by baking the chicken breasts in white wine smothered with the apple cranberry sauce. My son even puts it on his mashed potatoes (sounds strange I know, but it’s really, really good!)
Put it Over Dairy-Free Ice Cream
You can use this on any ice cream, but dairy and refined-sugar free ice cream is the way to go. Our all-time favorite brand is Daily Harvest’s Scoops!
Recently, Daily Harvest came out with their own line of ice cream, “Scoops”. It truly tastes just like the real thing! Currently, there are 4 flavors: Vanilla + Salted Swirled Black Sesame, Mint + Dark Melty Cacao Nibs, Strawberry + Rich Rippled Berry Compote, and Chocolate + Ooey Gooey Midnight Fudge. Click here for a full review of all of the flavors!
If you’re ready for this incredibly easy and quick dessert topping, let’s get started!
Apple Cranberry Topping
- In a food processor, combine the apples and oranges. Cover and process until finely chopped. Set aside.
- Add the cranberries and agave syrup to a medium sized heavy sauce pan. Add just enough water to barely cover the cranberries. Cover the pot and cook the cranberries, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes, or until the cranberries pop. Add the apples, oranges, cinnamon and about 1 cup of water. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until apples are soft. Remove the skillet from the heat and set the apple cranberry sauce aside to cool (it will thicken as it cools.) Transfer the cooled cranberry mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
Note: Apple cranberry sauce will keep nicely if stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week.