Cranberry Chutney

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Cranberries will always and forever remind me of my mom and Thanksgiving.  That’s actually a very odd thing if you think about it, because my mother doesn’t have a drop of U.S. blood in her bones.

For those who are curious, yes, she is a citizen of the U.S. and she’s darn proud of it. I base her bloodline by what language she reverts to when she’s mad. Trust me, it’s not English.

Cranberries remind me of my mom because they remind me of Thanksgiving and the amazing spread she put on the table year after year. The laden table was much like mother; very American, right up until you stopped and took a good look (or listen, as the case may be).

We had turkey. I’ve yet to meet a single person that doesn’t think my mom’s turkey is the best they’ve had. Ever. We also had mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.

It’s only after you do the once over that you’d have noticed the lack of bread stuffing (though that did change after my sister-in-law joined the family). My mom did stuff the turkey, yes, but she used a seasoned rice in the main cavity and a meat stuffing in the back end. Odd, yes, but yummy, nonetheless.

You’d have also realized that there was a marked lack of orange on the table. Sweet potatoes; not a European thing. Especially not when covered sugared up and topped with gooey marshmallows. She did try a few times [cue sweet potato casserole forgotten in the microwave story] but it never took.

The final thing that’ll catch your eye isn’t even on the dining room table. It’s the stack of cans of cranberry sauce on the counter in the kitchen. Never just one. Never again. Multiple cans of the jellied, use-the-can-opener sauce.

Mom realized she didn’t have any cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving morning. Once. Dad was sent on a wild goose chase to multiple grocery stores in search of an elusive can. Since then, Mom has never and will never run out of cranberry sauce. She just loves it too much.

These days, things are a little different because Mom was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago. Luckily, she’s been able to keep it under control with moderation and diet change, but the change is there.

(The cranberry sauce slice on Mom’s plate is a little thinner than it used to be.)


My mom is the reason that I agreed without hesitation when Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food asked me if I’d be a part of her efforts to raise awareness of diabetes on November 14, National Diabetes Awareness Day. How could I not?

In fact, most of what I’ve learned about diabetes, I’ve learned from Carolyn because she is a diabetic. Once she found out, instead of retreating into herself, Carolyn flung her arms out wide and embraced diabetes and the world with gusto. She has taken any sugar and gluten filled recipe that has been thrown her way and revamped it into a sleek and sexy diabetic-friendly food. I stand in awe of her every time I visit her blog.

So, today I share a recipe that I created for my mom. I’m hoping to move her away from the canned, jellied sauce and toward something lighter, fresher and sugar-free. I’ve added a hint of booze to entice her into giving it a try. Would she if she were at my table? I doubt it. She loves her cranberry sauce. But the thought is there.

Cranberry Chutney
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
from Taking On Magazines
Reviewed by:
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Serves: 3 cups
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 tart, firm apple, cored, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup Stevia in the Raw (Cup for Cup variety)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  1. Place the hot water, brandy and raisins in a small bowl and let sit for an hour until raisins are plump.
  2. Combine all ingredients (including brandy water) in a large non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook chutney, uncovered, until the cranberries burst and the apples are soft, approximately 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Store the chutney in the refrigerator for up to a month.


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0 thoughts on “Cranberry Chutney

  • November 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Great low sugar cranberry recipe!! I was just thinking chutney with cranberries for Thanksgiving. :) I may have to go buy some stevia now. :)

  • November 15, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I'm visiting all the sites participating in the Diabetes awareness event to say thank you for doing this. I've had gestational diabetes and my sister is a Type I, so I'm happy someone like Carolyn is trying to get the word out about low-carb eating. And oh, yum–I love cranberries! BTW, the actual link of your recipe at ADIDAF isn't working, just so you can let Carolyn know. I had to search your blog to find this.

  • November 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    This looks so amazing. I used to make a cranberry-raspberry sauce for Thanksgiving, but it has a lot of sugar so I don't make it anymore. I'll definitely be trying your chutney!

    • November 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      Ooh, cranberry raspberry sounds delicious! You could make it using this Stevia Cup For Cup stuff, couldn't you?

  • November 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Love it! We always have cranberry sauce out of a can out of obligation. NO one even bothers to spoon some on their plates. Maybe if we made your fresh, family friendly version, people would give it the time of day.

    • November 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      I'll probably forget to get or make any cranberry type thing on the official day. Hubby will be bummed but us two ladies won't even notice.

  • November 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Very nice recipe and post. I know your mom loves reading your blog! I much prefer a chutney to traditional cranberry sauce.

    • November 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      She does like reading it, and I get requests to mail care packages on a regular basis (or to visit).

  • November 14, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Once I was a canned cranberry man myself…that is until Liz showed me the ways of the fresh stuff too.;-)

    • November 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Liz sounds like a good woman. I don't like any of the stuff very much, truth be told. Hubby likes the canned stuff though.

  • November 14, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Brandy…. Grand Marnier? I'd say we are on the same page!! Very similar stories too with the moms and the shrinking cranberry sauce. Looks like both moms will be happy this Thanksgiving with new lower-sugar recipes!!

    Your comment of her language reversion when she gets angry made me think of another story… I have a very good friend who is Japanese, and when my son was in 2nd grade, there was an issue with another mom in the class who didn't speak too kindly of me and my friend got so angry she yelled at the lady in my defense, but didn't realize she had reverted to Japanese!! A good friend indeed to stand up for me like that!

    Beautiful post, Chritiane!

    • November 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      I knew my mom would love yours when she saw it. She's a huge Grand Marnier fan. I've just never been overly fond of the cranberry/orange thing. Yes, your friend is a good one. Hang on to her!

  • November 14, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Just making my way through all the sites that are participating in Carolyn's World Diabetes Day awareness campaign & wanted to say hello & thx (I'm a type 2, btw) :-)

    • November 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. This has been an amazing thing that Carolyn did!


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