As promised, I am back today with another recipe for your real food Thanksgiving feast. I know this might sound weird but cranberry sauce is my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. Well besides pumpkin pie obviously. But that’s dessert so it doesn’t count. At least in this case. I literally can’t take a bit of turkey unless it’s drowned in cranberry sauce. And my stuffing has to have cranberry sauce on it too. Unless it has dried cranberries in it. Then it’s usually fine without it.
I know some people are fans of canned cranberry sauce. You know the stuff where you pour it out of the can and it completely keeps its shape, lines and all? That’s cool and all I guess, but I’m more of a whole berry sauce fan.
Growing up we never ate cranberry sauce from a can. It was something my mom always made from scratch. So I suppose that’s where my love of cranberry sauce started. That and the fact that I’ve never liked traditional gravy. So I think I just replaced it with cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce > gravy any day!
This recipe is a variation on the way my mom always made it. I used freshly squeezed orange juice instead of juice from a carton but feel free to use store bought if you have that on hand already. I also used maple syrup instead of refined white sugar. The pinch of cloves and cinnamon adds just a touch of spice without overpowering the flavor of the cranberries. This recipe has the perfect flavor and just the right amount of sweetness in my opinion and, being such a cranberry sauce lover, I consider myself a bit of an expert.
If you’re making this for Thanksgiving dinner, feel free to make it a day or two ahead of time. It actually tastes better after it’s been chilling in the fridge for a little while. It thickens up perfectly and the flavors come together really nicely. Plus it will save you some much needed time on the day of so you can spend time with your loved ones. Or watch football.
- 16 oz fresh cranberries (or frozen)
- ¾ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed (about 3-4 oranges)
- ¼ cup water
- 2-3 Tbs maple syrup
- Pinch salt
- Pinch cloves
- Pinch cinnamon
- Add cranberries, orange juice, and water to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil
- Let boil for 2-3 minutes until cranberries start to pop
- Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until sauce thickens and most of the cranberries have popped, about 10-15 minutes
- Stir in maple syrup, salt, cloves and cinnamon
- Let cool and then place in fridge to cool completely
I’ve got a few more recipes coming your way next week so keep an eye out for those!
In vibrant health,