Learn how to make my super easy Healthy Homemade Organic Cranberry Sauce Recipe, a healthier alternative to the store-bought cranberry sauce with real whole cranberries, a touch of sugar, loads of spices, and fresh orange juice. This recipe is perfect for your holiday meals, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, offering a delightful natural option.
I love a good homemade cranberry sauce recipe especially this time of year as I am not a fan, however, of processed foods. I do not like eating foods that contain ingredients that I cannot pronounce and I like to eat foods that are minimal in ingredients that I know will add some healthy benefits.
When our kids were young they fell in love with canned cranberries. Thankfully, as they have aged they have fallen in love with this recipe. Only one of my adult children still asks for the canned version, but even he eats both with his Thanksgiving turkey!
I found a similar recipe for this cranberry sauce while watching Alex Guarneschelli cook on television. I tried it one year for Thanksgiving and we were hooked. The flavors of the added spices create a mouthwatering taste and it's just a few simple ingredients and an easy recipe. I have been making this recipe ever since and it is the perfect side dish for our Thanksgiving table.
- Why Make A Cranberry Sauce With Organic Cranberries?
- Ingredients for Healthy Cranberry Recipe
- How to Make a Healthier Cranberry Sauce
- Variations Of The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- How to Store This Healthy Cranberry Sauce
- Top tip
- What to do with Leftover Cranberry Sauce
- What is the difference between Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Jelly, and Cranberry Chutney?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes To Try:
- Healthy Homemade Organic Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Why Make A Cranberry Sauce With Organic Cranberries?
Organic products, including organic cranberries, can be more expensive than their conventional counterparts. Additionally, the availability of organic cranberries may be limited in some regions.
Ultimately, the choice to use organic cranberries in your cranberry sauce is a matter of personal values, health considerations, and budget. Both organic and conventional cranberries can be used to make delicious cranberry sauce, and the decision comes down to your individual priorities and preferences. Here are a few reasons for choosing organic:
1. Pesticide Residues: Organic cranberries are grown without synthetic pesticides or herbicides so choosing organic may help reduce your exposure to pesticide residues and support a more environmentally friendly farming approach.
2. Environment: Organic farming practices often prioritize soil health, biodiversity, and sustainable land management. By choosing organic cranberries, you may be supporting more environmentally sustainable agricultural methods.
3. Non-GMO: Organic cranberries are generally non-GMO (genetically modified organism). If you have concerns about genetically modified foods, organic cranberries offer a non-GMO option.
Organic cranberries are processed with fewer additives and preservatives, which make them a cleaner ingredient in your sauce.
Ingredients for Healthy Cranberry Recipe
- Fresh organic cranberries
- Orange, zest, and juice
- White Sugar
- Cinnamon stick
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground Allspice
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Make a Healthier Cranberry Sauce
You're going to be shocked as to how easy this recipe is!
Place all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until the cranberries start to burst.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries saving most of them.
Reduce the liquid to half while simmering in order to thicken the liquid.
Add the cranberries back into the liquid, stir, and cool to room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator.
Variations Of The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Cinnamon - You can replace the cinnamon stick with another 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. This will impart more cinnamon flavor than the cinnamon stick does.
- Sweetness - While this recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of sugar, you can increase or decrease the sweetness by decreasing or increasing the amount of sugar. Personally, I feel that the sweetness is just right. It's not that tart of a recipe and it's not overly sweet either.
- Water - Instead of adding water, you can add the juice of a second orange, apple cider, or apple juice in its place.
- Spicy - You can add some heat to the cranberries by adding a bit of red pepper flakes.
- Other Spices - Ginger or cloves would also add a nice flavor profile to this healthy cranberry sauce recipe.
- Vanilla extract - Vanilla extract will add a touch of sweetness in place of some of the sugar.
- Lemon - You can substitute lemon zest in place of the orange zest if needed, but I personally love the orange zest.
How to Store This Healthy Cranberry Sauce
Place the cranberry sauce into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can freeze this recipe for up to 3 months if you wish; however, the consistency may change once defrosted. I typically make this recipe a few days in advance of Thanksgiving.
After you have strained off the cranberries, allow the liquid to thicken until it is reduced by half the amount. This will allow the sauce, once cooled, to be the correct consistency.
What to do with Leftover Cranberry Sauce
One of the best parts of making a healthy cranberry sauce is that you will be happy you have leftovers!
1. You can use the cranberry sauce like a jam and spread it on toast or leftover dinner rolls.
2. You can spoon the cranberry sauce onto waffles or pancakes.
3. Serving it with roast chicken or as a topping for a chicken burger.
4. Serve them on a charcuterie board.
5. It is delicious on crackers with cream cheese.
6. Serve leftover turkey sandwiches!
What is the difference between Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Jelly, and Cranberry Chutney?
Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Jelly, and Cranberry Chutney are all condiments made from cranberries, but they differ in terms of their ingredients, texture, and flavor profiles. Cranberry Jelly contains pectin, which creates a gelatin-like texture. Chutney is a more complex condiment that combines cranberries with a variety of ingredients such as sugar, vinegar, spices, and sometimes additional fruits like apples, raisins, or oranges. Cranberry chutney will be the most versatile as it contains fruit and vinegar so it pairs more easily with more recipes. All three are typically served during the holidays.
Frequently Asked Questions
Serving cranberry sauce warm or cold matter of personal preference and tradition. Some people prefer the contrast of a warm cranberry sauce with a hot main dish, while others appreciate the classic, chilled cranberry sauce. You can try both and decide which one you and your guests prefer.
Yes, cranberry sauce typically thickens as it cools. As it cools, the natural pectin in the cranberries, along with the sugar in the sauce, causes it to set and thicken. This is why many cranberry sauce recipes result in a thicker, jelly-like consistency when the sauce has cooled to room temperature or is refrigerated.
Cranberries are typically harvested annually between September and October. Outside of the fall holiday season, you may find them in the freezer section of grocery stores but the availability may be limited.
More Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes To Try:
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes that are main course meals:
Healthy Homemade Organic Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- 1 bag fresh organic cranberries
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 small orange zest and juice
- Place all of the ingredients into a pan.
- Simmer for 10-12 minutes until the cranberries start to burst.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the cranberries and set aside.
- Reduce the cooking liquid by half to thicken the texture.
- Add the reserved cranberries back into the liquid. Stir and cool.