whole cranberry sauce

I am going to be posting a few recipe and food-related updates. Creating and eating food is a big part of my life right now. I hope you enjoy.

My family grew up eating cranberry sauce from a can. You know the jellified substance that sh-lurps out into a dish with tons of circles around it? Yep, that’s it. In my time spent learning to read food labels- I sadly discovered that nearly every brand and type of canned cranberry sauce has high fructose corn syrup as one of its first ingredients. This was a bummer, but only a temporary one. Part of my adventures in eating less processed foods is the realization: making and eating the convenience item from scratch is surprisingly simple and without a doubt—tastier, than the automatic go-to item.

As Thanksgiving approached I debated buying a bag of fresh cranberries or just going without this year. Last year was my first time making it on my own, I used the recipe on the bag and I basically had to match cranberry quantity for sugar quantity… While the results were pretty good, this year I was less eager to use a cup and more of sugar on my “clean and pure” cranberries. I looked around online and I found this recipe from the Clean Eating magazine website.

Cranberry Sauce with Apples & Ginger
Whether you use the fresh or frozen type, these berries break down as they cook, while the apples stay slightly firm, creating a pleasing variety of textures and tastes in our revamped cranberry sauce. Plus, the slight spiciness of fresh ginger gives this not-too-sweet fat-free condiment a pleasant kick.
By Julie O’Hara

Serves: 8
Makes: 2 cups
Hands-on time: 17 minutes.
Total time: 3 hours, 17 minutes (includes chilling).
Gluten Free, Vegetarian
• 12 oz cranberries, fresh or frozen and defrosted
• 1 apple, cored and chopped into 1/3-inch pieces
• 1/2 cup raw organic honey
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
• Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1/8 tsp sea salt
1. Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cranberries break down, apples soften and mixture thickens (sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it chills). Stir often to prevent sticking on bottom of pan. Transfer to a serving dish or storage container, cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
Nutrients per 3-tbsp serving: Calories: 84, Total Fat: 0 g, Sat. Fat: 0 g, Carbs: 21 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 18 g, Protein: 0 g, Sodium: 24 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

This was exactly the type of recipe I was looking for. We happened to have every ingredient at our house and the total time for prep and cooking was short. I think I used a combination of sugar and honey for this, so feel free to use what you have as well. One of the best parts of making cranberry sauce from berries is watching, smelling, and hearing the berries cook. As they heat, they pop and sizzle, and slowly everything thickens nicely. The result- really amazing cranberry sauce, little sweetener necessary (granted it still needs a good bit unless you love the bitter kick of cranberries- then feel free to add a little and then add more as needed), and the joy of making your own from scratch food.

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