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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.
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, also check out my healthy versions of green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, butternut squash soup, and root vegetable stuffing.
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
A homemade alternative to store-bought cranberry sauce with delicious hints of pineapple and orange to complement the flavor!
- 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 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.
Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.2g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 2mg | Fiber: 3.7g | Sugar: 14.9g
Do you eat cranberry sauce? What foods do you always have at Thanksgiving? Share below!