Thursday, November 18, 2010

I love cranberry sauce.  I adore the chunky, homemade tart/sweet ruby-red cranberry sauce that's bubbling in saucepans all over America in November (not so much the jellied, in-the-can variety).  I usually make it with diced oranges and orange juice, but this time I wanted to make something a little different.  This time, I diced up a pear and a couple of apples and cooked them up with my cranberries in some apple cider and spices.

Apple, Pear and Cranberry Sauce - Kim's Welcoming Kitchen

The next question...what to use for a sweetener?  In a world of alternative sweeteners, I'm still drawn to the simplicity of evaporated cane juice.  Don't get me wrong, I have found room in my heart and stomach for maple syrup, fruit juice and juice concentrates, and agave nectar.  My cabinets and recipes are rich with turbinado sugar and molasses, but this week I bought my first package of coconut palm sugar.

Coconut palm sugar, the nectar of the coconut palm blossom, is all the rage in certain healthier eating circles.  I wanted to give it a try.  It's lovely.  It has a rich flavor, and so far, is easy to work with.  I bought a package of granulated coconut palm sugar, but it can come in a paste or a block that you grate yourself, too, I think.  I baked with it, and it held up great.  I wanted to cook with it, too, so I came up with this chunky cranberry sauce.  It tasted super-Thanksgiving-y.  If you don't have any coconut palm sugar, you can use evaporated cane juice or other sugar in its place.

We shared this recipe as part of Gluten-free Friday, Wellness Weekend and  Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays; please check out the other yummy entries.

Apple, Pear and Cranberry Sauce - Kim's Welcoming Kitchen

Apple, Pear, and Cranberry Sauce

1 1/2 cups apple cider
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup diced apples
1 cup diced pears
3 cups fresh cranberries (1 12-ounce package)

In a medium saucepan, heat apple cider over medium flame.
Add coconut palm sugar and spices, stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Add fruit, cook at a high simmer; the cranberries will pop after a few minutes.
Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Happy Cooking and Happy Thanksgiving!

My new book,  Super Seeds, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.

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  1. when i tried coconut and palm sugar (they were 2 separate sources and one one light and the other dark) i liked them for brown sugar replacement, but that was it. they didn't go well in tea and i thought they left a not quite sweet enough flavor in baking. that can be easily adjusted though. it's good to know they melt in things like cranberry sauce though. i was thinking of trying a caramel sauce with palm sugar and almond milk with earth balance soy free margarine.

    i want to try date sugar. have you tried that?

  2. Hi Ginger,

    Since I use a lot of turbinado sugar, I'm used to that kind of brown sugary flavor, I think. I think the coconut palm sugar that I used would make a great caramel sauce. I use coconut milk in mine, because we stay away from nuts.

    I haven't tried date sugar yet, but it was next on my list. Let me know how your trials go!

    Happy Thanksgiving,

  3. Well, you know how I feel about coconut sugar--I LOVE it! I agree with Ginger about it being less sweet (I usually adjust with stevia). And it does make a perfect caramel sauce. :)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. You are the go-to-gal on all sorts of sweeteners, Ricki! Thanks for weighing in!

  5. This sounds awesome! It looks beautiful too! I have not tried coconut sugar, I can't want to try it! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    We have a great collection of recipes going to get us ready for menu planning! Hope to see you this Thursday for another Gluten Free Fridays link up! It will be live at 7:05 eastern US time. Cindy from