Cranberry Chutney with Papadam Chips

Cranberry chutney with papadams
Cranberry Chutney with Papadams Photo by Judy Barnes Baker

If you think a low-A detox means months of pale, bland, boring food, you can think again. Cranberries are still on the menu! With their bright red color and spicy tartness, they have become a staple for low-carb dieters, but they are also very low in vitamin A because their cheery hue comes from cyanidins rather than carotenoids.

Cranberry Chutney

A perfect appetizer or snack for the holidays. Also tasty just spooned over sliced turkey or ham.


  • 1 cup water
  • Sweetener equal to ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

For serving:

  • One (or more) 8-ounce package of cream cheese (dairy-free for zero A diet. I like Kite Hill brand)
  • Papadam Chips


Bring water and vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cranberries, apple, celery, and spices. When mixture returns to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool to room temperature. Stir in walnuts or reserve to sprinkle on top when serving.

To Serve as an Appetizer or Snack

Turn package of cream cheese out onto a plate. Spoon some of the chutney over cheese and top with walnuts. Surround with papadam chips. (See papadam recipe below.)

Nutrition Data for chutney:

Serving Size: ¼ cup, Number of Servings: 12

Cal: 29: Fat: 1.6g; Protein: 0.5g; Carb: 3.4g; Fiber: 1; Net Carb: 2.4g; Vit. A RAE:* 0.69 mcgs

*Retinol Activity Equivalent


Fresh cranberries can be frozen without blanching. Simply rinse them and spread them on a baking sheet. Place, uncovered, in the freezer. When frozen solid, put them in a sealed container and keep frozen. It is not necessary to thaw frozen cranberries before cooking.

Even though most brightly-colored fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin A, many berries get their color from cyanidins rather than carotenoids, and they contain very little vitamin A. (Goji, lingonberries, and acai are exceptions, so avoid those.)


I wrote about these big crackly rounds called papadams on my blog in 2015. They are the most popular bread in the world. They may be made of lentils, chickpeas, or black gram flour (chana dal). (They may also be called: papadum, popadam, poppadam, puppodum, pompadum, pompaum, pampad, papad, happala, and on and on–so be flexible if you search for them online.)

Papadams make great low-carb crackers or chips, and better yet, they have little, if any, vitamin A, so they are perfect for those of you who are joining me in my low-vitamin A journey. They are grain-free and you can buy them ready-made. When I wrote my previous article, I cooked them by the directions on the package, which says to either deep-fry them or coat them with oil and bake them in the oven or microwave until they are completely puffed. I have since discovered that you don’t need to use the oil at all. They puff up just fine without it, although a quick spray of cooking oil will help coarse salt and freshly ground pepper stick better if you want a salty popcorn-like snack. If you want a sweet, crunchy treat, cinnamon and granular sweetener will also stick better if they are oil-coated.

They are available in Indian and Asian stores as well as many regular grocery and online stores. I found the most common brand, Indianlife, at my local Fred Myer (Kroger). I recently found some brands that I hadn’t tried before and one of them is my new favorite. It is Anand Madras Fryums  (apparently another name for papadams is fryums because there were a lot of products that used that name.) They are about 4-inches in diameter and they bloom out to make gorgeous chips for dipping the chutney. These are available “here.” 


Papadam Chips

To make papadam chips like the ones in the picture at the top of this post:

Cut or break Fryums or other papadums into pieces. I made 4 or 5 chips out of one 4-inch disk. Microwave the pieces of only one papadam at a time. Spread the pieces out and cook for about 35 seconds. Check and remove any chips that are fully popped. If any still have flat spots, give them a little more time. You may have to experiment with your oven to get the perfect timing. Repeat until you have the desired amount.

Nutrition Data:

Serving Size: one 6-inch Indianlife Papadam, about 6 chips

Cal: 25; Fat: 0g; Protein: 2g; Carb: 4g; Fiber: 2; Net Carb: 2g; Vit. A RAE:* 0**

*Retinol Activity Equivalent

**I can’t tell you the exact vitamin A content for the papadams and it may vary from brand to brand, but lentils have a RAE of zero in a cup and garbanzos have 1.6 mcgs in one cup, so they are very low too. Check the ingredients to see if they have rice—if so, it might raise the carbs a little, but they are so thin, they will still be low.

Nutrition Data for Kite Hill Dairy-Free Cream Cheese:

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Cal: 70; Fat: 6g; Protein: 2g; Carb: 2g; Fiber: 1; Net Carb: 1g; Vit. A RAE:* 0

*Retinol Activity Equivalent

I have not received free products and I am not part of any affiliate program.

© 2019 Judy Barnes Baker

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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