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Monday, December 23, 2013

Sugared Cranberries: A Tasty Indulgence

Cranberries are a brilliant gem on the holiday table. Add a little sparkling sugar and you have a delicious treat that even the kiddies will enjoy: Sugared Cranberries.  I've been sharing this recipe with the LivingAfterWLS community for several years and many of you have reported how delighted you are with this treat. Others panic at the word sugar reminding me we are instructed to restrict sugar in our diet after bariatric surgery. I understand this concern and appreciate our community for the desire to follow the rules.

I think sugared cranberries are an ideal indulgence this time of year when we are tempted with so many high calorie rich sweets and confections.  Cranberries on their own are considered a superfood loaded with vitamin C and phytonutrients that promote good health. But their tart bite keeps them off the snack table. With just a little stove time, an overnight steep in syrup, then a dusting of fine sugar sweetness these tart berries become tasty delights. The steeping plumps the berries, the sugar dusting adds a crunch. One bite delivers sweet juicy cranberry flavor with a pleasing tart burst. This little treat packs a big punch and is suprisingly satisfying with only a few bites. A few sugared cranberries leaves me happy and satisfied and most importantly, disinclined to reach for something else on the sweet holiday buffet.

A serving is 1/3 cup and provides 75 calories, a trace of protein, no fat, and 17 grams carbohydrate (9 grams sugar).  I hope you'll find a place for this little treat on your holiday table.

Sugared Cranberries

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup superfine sugar

Directions: Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry.

Note: The steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.

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