Healthy Cranberry Sauce
Growing up in Massachusetts, after the leaves have fallen, and the air gets crisp, you know it’s time for the Holidays. There’s something so magical about New England during the holiday season. The stillness in the air, the crunch of the leaves, the excitement of the probable white Christmas. With Massachusetts’ deep history, Plymouth is an obvious Thanksgiving destination.
I was definitely an angsty teen, slumped over in the backseat of our car as we traveled to Plymouth, listening to my CD player (I’m literally NOT old.) dreading a family trip. Secretly, I was loving the views of stone ledge lined highways, cranberry bogs, and the last of the trees hanging onto their colorful leaves. Cranberry bogs lined the narrowing roads along the way to Plymouth, serving as a reminder that Thanksgiving was drawing close.
For this simple cranberry sauce, I decided to use a complimenting flavor to the orange juice used in this recipe by clipping some rosemary and some sage. Ya’ll…the smell!! So gorgeous, so tasty! Cranberries to honor my northern side, and oranges to recognize my love of my new home in Florida. Fitting!
Cranberry sauce is a perfect dish because it adds that balance of sweet and sour to your holiday dish. It is a refreshing and different taste other than the turkey, ham, creamy mashed potatoes and whatever hearty sides you keep on your table.
This recipe is even better because while all your dishes are fighting for priority in the oven, this is made quickly in one pan on the stove. I have to tell you, mashing the cranberries against the side of the pan is satisfying. Don’t ask me why – you’ll just have to crush a few cranberries yourself!
HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH ORANGE JUICE
I know what you’re thinking! But hear me out! Thanksgiving is the perfect season for the FLU. What better way to show your Thanksgiving guests you care by spreading illness, right?
Sugar has it’s time and place, but for this recipe, I was really milking every aspect of the cranberry sauce to bring you a healthy, well thought out dish.
The honey that is added to this cranberry sauce recipe serves its purpose as a perfect sweetener, but it also includes health benefits specific to the season. With honey’s anti-fungal properties (amongst the many other benefits), it’s usually the first thing someone recommends having when you have a cold! Since there are no processed sugars, this is a paleo compliant recipe.
HEALTHY CRANBERRY SAUCE
- Pour fresh cranberries into a medium-sized pot and place it over medium heat.
- Pour honey, orange juice, and orange peel into the pot.
- Finely chop the fresh rosemary, then place it in the pot. Stir occasionally and cook for 15-20 minutes. Cranberries will begin to expand and pop as it heats up. The sauce will thicken the longer you cook it
- Before you remove the pot from the heat, use a fork to mash the cranberries against the side of the pot to create a smoother texture.
TIPS TO MAKE FRESH, HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE
- Use Ocean Spray cranberries! This is not sponsored, I just have a genuine love for their quality and their business.
- Use half and half honey and maple syrup for a sweeter cranberry sauce. If 1/2 cup of sweetener isn’t enough for you, add more honey/maple syrup 1 TBS at a time.
- Love cranberry sauce year-round? Since cranberries are seasonal, you can buy them in the fall and freeze them! Cranberries can stay in the freezer for up to 12 months.