Tangy, sweet and bursting with antioxidants, homemade cranberry sauce is not only a festive and highly versatile holiday condiment, it’s also incredibly healthy. Among the fruits and vegetables richest in anti-aging and anti-inflammatory antioxidants, cranberries rank right up there at the top of the list. And to me, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be complete without a bowl of zesty cranberry sauce on the table. But never the canned version. Ever.
Whether you are into clean eating or not, when it comes to cranberry sauce, homespun is definitely the way to go. Not only does homemade cranberry sauce taste far superior to the canned jellied version, it can be made every bit as sweet without using any refined sugar. In the recipe below, sweetness comes from orange juice, white raisins, dates and raw honey.
And all it takes is a dollop of cranberry sauce and you can immediately put a holiday spin on just about anything…
My Top 5 Uses for Homemade Cranberry Sauce:
- Pancake Topping! Cranberry sauce makes a delicious alternative to syrup. Gluten free pancakes on Christmas morning never tasted so good.
- Cranberry Crostini Appetizer. If you already have the cranberry sauce made, this makes one of the easiest last-minute holiday appetizers ever. Simply spread sprouted toasted whole grain bread squares with a decadent dairy-free cheese made from nuts and then a spoonful of homemade cranberry sauce. Garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.
- Baked Potato Topping. One of my favorite holiday lunches is a baked potato with homemade sour cream and cranberry sauce. The combo sounds strange, I know. But it is seriously SO good.
- Open Faced Sandwich. You can’t beat sauteed kale, leftover turkey and homemade cranberry sauce piled on top of toasted whole grain sourdough spelt bread (Berlin Bakery is my favorite).
- Potato Latke Topping. Another unusual but unbeatable combo, cranberry sauce on potato latkes is a must-try.
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Ok, on with the recipe…Print
- 1 large pear peeled (cored and sliced in half)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 3/4 cup dry red wine (such as Pinot Noir)
- 3/4 cup orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
- 1/4 cup white raisins
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- 6 pitted organic pitted dates (like these ones from Terrasoul)
- Position rack in center of oven; preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the pear halves on parchment-lined baking sheets, brush with olive oil and roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Remove pears from oven and set aside to cool. Chop pears into small pieces when cool enough to handle.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add cranberries, orange zest and ginger; stir until cranberries begin to burst, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add wine, orange juice, white raisins, honey, and salt; simmer until mixture is reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in the roasted chopped pears.
- Transfer 1/4 of the mixture to a high-speed blender, like our favorite one from Ninja, and add the dates. Process until dates are pureed.
- Transfer the pureed date-mixture back to the saucepan and stir to combine. Serve cranberry sauce warm or cold.