While cranberries are typically associated with Thanksgiving, they are a wonderful complement to many other foods besides turkey. Cranberry sauce goes well with chicken and pork, wonderful dolloped atop a slice of sharp cheddar, cottage cheese topped with cranberry sauce is delicious as is ricotta cheese. You can top pancakes or waffles with cranberry sauce or even use it as a topping for chocolate cake. If you are really adventurous go ahead and put a dollop on your steak. And then we have this beauty below, Homemade Greek Style Yogurt with Easy Cranberry Orange Sauce.
Let's start with the Greek style yogurt, so thick and creamy and oh so easy to make your own. If you enjoy the tanginess of yogurt and the creaminess of cream cheese then this is for you (only if you can tolerate dairy). Often called yogurt cheese or “yo cheese”, homemade Greek style yogurt is the perfect vehicle for cranberry sauce. Of course you can buy Greek yogurt, but I have yet to taste one that is as delicious as making your own, especially since our favorite, Fage, changed their recipe.
1. First things first, get yourself a container of good quality plain yogurt, organic & full-fat is best. I like the Kalona Super Natural brand and it's around $3.00.
2. You will need a clean kitchen towel. (I have a set of four towels I use for making almond & coconut milk as well as yogurt. I wash them separately without fabric softener in unscented laundry detergent.)
3. A strainer or colander of choice, one that sits nicely above a pan or bowl.
4. Plop yogurt in the center of the towel and tie it up in the middle. Put in the refrigerator and let it drain. You can gently coax things along by squeezing periodically. Or you can just let it drain naturally overnight and then give it a squeeze in the morning.
I wanted my yogurt for dessert after dinner, I started it at 3pm and by 6pm, with a few squeezes between, it was ready. If you so choose you may sweeten up your yogurt with a little vanilla extract and stevia or just use my favorite, NuNaturals Pure Liquid Vanilla Stevia.
There is an added bonus to making your own Greek style yogurt, the yellow-ish liquid that drains, is liquid whey. Save it in a glass jar, tightly sealed, it will last 6 months or longer. It is a healing tonic that can be added to just about anything you cook or bake. Recently, I started throwing a tablespoon of it in a pitcher of iced green tea. According to Christopher Vasey, N.D. author of The Whey Prescription, whey has four main healing properties, it regenerates intestinal flora, eliminates fluid retention, stimulates the kidneys to release toxins and stimulates intestinal peristalsis.
What is most amazing about whey is that its healing properties have been recognized since antiquity and modern scientific research has only confirmed the knowledge of the ancients. The whey cure used today just as it was twenty-four centuries ago. Few remedies or cures can boast of such a long history and such unanimous agreement about its virtues. ~Christopher Vasey, N.D.
Easy Cranberry Orange Sauce
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 12 oz. Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
- 1 c. Water
- 1 tsp. Orange Extract
- 1 c. Granular Sweetener – for sugar-free I recommend Swerve or Birch Xylitol
- Add water and sweetener to saucepan. Dissolve over medium-high heat.
- Add cranberries and cook until cranberries begin to pop.
- Remove from heat and mash with back of a slotted spoon.
- Stir in orange extract.
- Sauce will thicken as it cools.
You didn't think I'd forget to mention that cranberries are a spectacular source of antioxidants, did you? In fact, According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cranberries have a higher phenol concentration than any of the twenty commonly eaten fruits studied, more than grapes, apples, strawberries or blueberries. Cranberries have anticancer properties, help prevent ulcers and urinary tract infections as well as reduce the formation of dental plaque. The “Rogue Nutritionist” Jonny Bowden, recommends sweetening up tart cranberries with xylitol, a healthy natural sweetener with minimal effect on blood sugar.