Let the “Holiday Season” commence! Many of us are preparing our Thanksgiving day menus (I could tell by the line at Shaw’s today!), even if for a smaller group this year. There is one Thanksgiving “staple” that usually comes out of a can and rarely makes it onto anyone’s plate. But did you know how EASY making cranberry sauce from scratch is??
I generally skip the canned version, but I made a delicious cranberry sauce in just 15 minutes!
This is a cranberry sauce I will actually make room for on my Thanksgiving day plate, not to mention the beautiful pop of color it will give to the generally beige palate.
We have had two bags of fresh-from-the-bog Massachusetts cranberries in our freezer for the last couple of weeks since we visited Benson’s Pond cranberry bog in Middleborough. (See my post Cranberry Bog Experience at Benson’s Pond!)
I have been saving my cranberries to prepare my first ever cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Luckily, we have two bags, so I could make a test batch this week before I use the second bag for the real deal.
When looking into cranberry sauce recipes, almost all of them call for 1 cup of refined white sugar! Because cranberries are so tart and bitter, they do need to be sweetened, but I wanted to use a healthier alternative.
In general, I try to avoid eating refined sugar as much as possible. There are many healthier alternatives that are as delicious (or in my opinion, even more so) than the more “main stream”, unhealthy option.
Especially with everything going around, we want to avoid added or refined sugar as much as possible for our immunity. To be fair, glucose is glucose in the body, so even alternatives are still meant to be enjoyed in moderation –
refined sugar alternatives: HONEY or MAPLE SYRUP!
I chose to use honey as a sweetener. Honey itself has health benefits such as dietary antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, wound-healing & anti-inflammatory effects, and more. Local, raw honey also helps with seasonal allergies!
Unfortunately heating the honey does take away some of these health benefits, but take a spoonful as you are cooking, and save the rest for added winter immunity!
I used fresh local cranberries from Benson’s Pond in Middleborough, and local honey from Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset.
Along with cinnamon, orange zest & fresh juice, the flavor profile is delicious!
Of course this sauce is traditionally used to be served with your turkey dinner, but I used my tester batch to top oatmeal! This is a perfect breakfast!
Here is the recipe!
- 1 12. oz bag of cranberries (standard bag size)
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 orange (for zest & juice)
- fresh ground cinnamon
- Rinse cranberries. Pick through the cranberries and discard any stems, or ones that look brown or squishy.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, water, & honey or maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then turn down to medium-low heat.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. You will notice the cranberries “pop”. (The sauce will thicken more as it cools)
- While this is cooking, zest and juice your orange. (You don’t need a fancy juicer, you can simply cut and squeeze into a small glass or bowl.)
- Remove the sauce from the heat and add your orange zest and orange juice. Taste the sauce, and add extra cinnamon, honey, or maple syrup if needed.
- Transfer your sauce into a covered container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!
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