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Apple Cranberry Topping

Tart and tiny cranberries add a special seasonal kick to my ultra easy, low-sugar, Apple Cranberry Topping. The thing is cranberries can be super good for you if you just prepare them properly and refrain from adding globs of sugar.

For unknown reasons to me, almost every single cranberry recipe I find calls for an obscene amount of sugar. Ultra sweet, cloying cranberry recipes completely derail any health-promoting properties you would have gotten from the cranberries. But, if you can figure out a way to minimize the sugar, cranberries can be a super healthy boost to your diet.

Apple Cranberry Topping

Phenols Contribute Greatly to the Health Benefits of Cranberries

Cranberries are incredibly healthy with plenty of vitamin C and fiber. However, some of their most amazing health-promoting properties are because they’re rich in phenols (also known as phenolic acids).

Phenols are protective phytonutrients that are in unprocessed “whole” plant-foods. They have tremendous anti-aging, disease-fighting and cancer-preventing properties. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cranberries had a higher phenol concentration than any of the twenty commonly eaten fruits studied. This included more phenols than red grapes, apples, strawberries or blueberries. And by the way, phenols are also in abundance in wine and contribute greatly to wine’s cardio-protective reputation.

Clean Eating Healthy Dessert Recipe for the Holidays

Even I admit clean eating is a challenge this time of year. However, with a little imagination and forethought you can prepare festive eat clean recipes everyone in your family will love.

My mom created this incredibly simple Apple Cranberry Topping recipe. You can make it up to a week in advance, and it’s also incredibly versatile! It can be eaten on top of dairy-free ice cream, or even serve it as a side dish to turkey. You can also make a chicken dinner dish with chicken breasts. Do this by baking the chicken breasts in white wine smothered with the apple cranberry sauce. My son even puts it on his mashed potatoes (sounds strange I know, but it’s really, really good!)

Put it Over Dairy-Free Ice Cream

You can use this on any ice cream, but dairy and refined-sugar free ice cream is the way to go. Our all-time favorite brand is Daily Harvest’s Scoops!

Recently, Daily Harvest came out with their own line of ice cream, “Scoops”. It truly tastes just like the real thing! Currently, there are 4 flavors: Vanilla + Salted Swirled Black SesameMint + Dark Melty Cacao NibsStrawberry + Rich Rippled Berry Compote, and Chocolate + Ooey Gooey Midnight Fudge. Click here for a full review of all of the flavors!

If you’re ready for this incredibly easy and quick dessert topping, let’s get started!

apple cranberry topping
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  • 3 organic Fuji apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh organic cranberries
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup (sub maple for AIP/Paleo or honey for SCD)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. In a food processor, combine the apples and oranges. Cover and process until finely chopped. Set aside.
  2. Add the cranberries and agave syrup to a medium sized heavy sauce pan. Add just enough water to barely cover the cranberries. Cover the pot and cook the cranberries, stirring frequently, about 10  minutes, or until the cranberries pop. Add the apples, oranges, cinnamon and about 1 cup of water. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until apples are soft. Remove the skillet from the heat and set the apple cranberry sauce aside to cool (it will thicken as it cools.) Transfer the cooled cranberry mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

Last Step! If you loved our recipe, leave us a review below. This helps future recipe makers and ensures continued high-quality recipes for years to come!


Note: Apple cranberry sauce will keep nicely if stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week.

To serve

Spoon the apple cranberry topping onto a small scoop of healthy vanilla ice cream. You can also add a few chopped walnuts and a little douse of amaretto to make it extra special 😉

© 2024 clean cuisine Recipe by:

Madison Suttles

Madison is passionate about health, fitness, and Jesus. She has lived with autoimmune symptoms nearly her entire life, but was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2016. She shares her experience with Crohn's and living on a modified Specific Carbohydrate Diet as a resource to others on their health journeys.

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Glynis Fluke

Friday 7th of January 2011

I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don't know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

Ivy Larson

Tuesday 11th of January 2011

Thanks Glynis.

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