Cranberry Sauce (All Natural, Sweetened with Agave Nectar)

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Can you believe Thanksgiving is this week?!  I say this every year, but this year really has flown by!  I'm sure you already have your Thanksgiving menu finalized and are knee-deep in prep for the feast.  However, just in case you are still looking for one last side dish, or forgot to pick up the canned cousin, I wanted to share this Cranberry Sauce I made for our Thanksgiving dinner.

When I first started making Cranberry Sauce, I used a ton of sugar as indicated in most recipes.  After a few years I started using Splenda to save calories, and this year I challenged myself to make it all natural with agave nectar.  I did a quick search and came upon this recipe from Amy Andrews and decided to give it a try.  Not only did it use agave nectar, I was intrigued by it's use of spices.  Speaking of spices, I had no cheesecloth, so I opted to try my tea ball.  It worked.

This resulted in a less sweet, a little spicy and mighty tasty version of a classic Cranberry Sauce.  Since I'm the only one who eats it, I'm excited to dig into the leftovers mixed in my yogurt and spread on bagels with cream cheese!  If you have ideas for other ways to use up the leftovers, please leave me a comment with your suggestions.

Here is what you'll need:
  • 1 12 ounce bag fresh, whole cranberries
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • grated peel of 2 clementines
  • 1/3 cup clementine juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 whole allspice
Place cranberries, agave nectar, grated peel, juice and cinnamon stick in a medium nonreactive saucepan.  Stir to combine.

Place remaining spices in cheesecloth (or a tea ball!), tie the cheesecloth and place in saucepan.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stir, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer 15 minutes, or until cranberries pop and sauce becomes syrupy.

Remove from heat and remove tea ball.  Allow to cool, then remove cinnamon stick.  Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 2 cups.

Source: Amy Andrews: Your Guide to the Food Room

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