Did you know that the average American puts on 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years? I’ve done my fair share of gaining and losing through the years and I’ve found that going on (and off) diets just fuels the “all or nothing” thinking that I find so destructive, not only to my waistline but to my mental health.
A steady stream of healthy choices is my current mode of operation. This week I plan on eliminating refined sugar from my traditional holiday recipes. I’m substituting fruit juices and agave nectar in cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole and even pumpkin pie. Cranberry sauce was the first experiment, and it turned out delicious!
Cranberry Sauce with Agave Nectar
makes 2 cups
1 12 ounce bag fresh, whole cranberries
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cinnamon stick (2 – 3 inches)
6 black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
1. Rinse cranberries and put in medium saucepan. Add agave nectar, orange juice, and cinnamon stick.
2. Place peppercorns, cloves and allspice in a small square of cheesecloth, bundle it up and tie securely with kitchen twine. Trim excess cheesecloth and add bundle to pan of cranberries.
3. Bring cranberry mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring often for 15-20 minutes, until cranberries have broken down and mixture is syrupy.
4. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and peppercorn bag. Store cranberry sauce in refrigerator until ready to serve.