I’ve always thought that homemade versions of classic recipes taste much better than store-bought versions, and cranberry sauce is a perfect example of this. Although I loved the canned jellied cranberry sauce that we always ate on Thanksgiving when I was young, after I tried making cranberry sauce from scratch one year, I was hooked.
Now I have a whole list of re-invented, healthier recipes for the holidays, most of which call for real food ingredients, little prep, and a lot less sugar.
Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce
Most homemade cranberry sauce recipes call for a lot of sugar… enough that I’d classify cranberry sauce a dessert and not a side dish!
For those who haven’t tried them, plain cranberries are very tart, so I wasn’t sure how much it would be possible to reduce the sugar and still have an enjoyable sauce. I shouldn’t have worried, because unrefined natural sweeteners (honey) and delicious applesauce filled in the gaps.
This recipe still has more natural sugars than we normally eat, but is a much healthier option than the ones that actually contain refined sugar and is a delicious treat for Thanksgiving dinner.
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- 24 oz fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup pineapple juice or orange juice
- ½ cup no sugar added applesauce
- ½ cup water
- juice and zest of one orange
- 3-4 TBSP honey or to taste optional
- Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce and water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to medium heat and stir constantly until the cranberries start to explode (about 10-15 minutes).
- Reduce to a simmer and add the juice and zest to the cranberry mixture.
- Simmer 10-15 minutes and remove from heat.
- Cool completely and store in fridge at least 4 hours but preferably overnight before serving.
Do you eat cranberry sauce? What foods do you always have at Thanksgiving? Share below!