A dinner party or function can’t be completed without a side of cranberry sauce which I am telling you how to make. This tart and sweet sauce is a staple for many holiday meals and for good reason. Not only is it delicious, but it's also packed with health benefits.
Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. They've been shown to help prevent urinary tract infections, improve digestion, and reduce inflammation in the body. Pair all of these benefits with the delicious taste and you have a winning combination.
WHAT’S IN HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE?
This sauce is so much easier when compared to other sauces. This one can be made by adding the below-mentioned cheap and fresh ingredients:
- Fresh cranberries
- Granulated sugar
- Orange zest, orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg (optional)
HOW TO MAKE FRESH CRANBERRY SAUCE
While many people opt for canned cranberry sauce, making your own is surprisingly easy and much more flavorful. To make homemade cranberry sauce, all you need are fresh cranberries, sugar, and water.
- Start by rinsing the cranberries and picking out any that are bruised or damaged. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, and water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the cranberries have burst and the mixture has thickened.
- At this point, you can add any additional flavors you like. Some people like to add orange zest or juice for extra brightness, while others prefer to add cinnamon or nutmeg for a warm, spiced flavor.
- Once your cranberry sauce is finished, let it cool to room temperature before serving. You can also store it in the fridge for up to a week.
- Not only is homemade cranberry sauce delicious and healthy, but it's also a great way to add a personal touch to your holiday meal. Serve it alongside turkey, stuffing, and all your other favorite Thanksgiving dishes, and enjoy the sweet-tart flavor and myriad of health benefits that cranberries have to offer.
JAZZ UP YOUR CRANBERRY SAUCE
There are many variations of cranberry sauce that you can try to switch up the traditional recipe. Here are some ideas for cranberry sauce variations:
- Spiced Cranberry Sauce: Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cloves to the cranberry sauce for a warm, spiced flavor.
- Orange Cranberry Sauce: Add the zest and juice of one orange to the cranberry sauce for a citrusy twist.
- Ginger Cranberry Sauce: Add fresh ginger to the cranberry sauce for a spicy kick.
- Maple Cranberry Sauce: Replace the granulated sugar with maple syrup for natural sweetness.
- Apple Cranberry Sauce: Add diced apples to the cranberry sauce for a fruity twist.
- Cranberry-Orange Relish: Pulse cranberries and oranges in a food processor until coarsely chopped for a chunky relish instead of a smooth sauce.
- Boozy Cranberry Sauce: Add a splash of your favorite alcohol, such as bourbon, red wine, or port, to the cranberry sauce for a sophisticated twist.
WAYS TO USE CRANBERRY SAUCE
Cranberry sauce is a delicious and versatile condiment that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas for how to use cranberry sauce:
Serve it alongside turkey: Cranberry sauce is a classic accompaniment to roast turkey and for good reason. The sweet-tart flavor pairs perfectly with the savory turkey, making for a delicious combination.
Use it as a sandwich spread: Spread cranberry sauce onto your favorite sandwich for a sweet and tangy twist. It goes particularly well with leftover turkey or ham.
Mix it into yogurt or oatmeal: For a healthy breakfast or snack, mix a spoonful of cranberry sauce into yogurt or oatmeal. It adds a burst of flavor and a dose of antioxidants.
Use it as a glaze for meat: Brush cranberry sauce onto chicken, pork, or beef for a sweet and tangy glaze. It pairs particularly well with grilled or roasted meats.
Bake it into desserts: Cranberry sauce can add a delicious tartness to baked goods like muffins, scones, and cheesecake. Try swirling it into the batter or using it as a topping.
No matter how you use it, cranberry sauce is a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.
HOW LONG DOES CRANBERRY SAUCE KEEP?
Cranberry sauce can be stored in a fridge for 1 to 2 weeks and if placed in the freezer, it can be stored for up to 3 months. But optimally it should be used fresh because it may get sour with the passage of time.
HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE (BETTER THAN STORE-BOUGHT)
- 4 cups (12oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup, or more as desired
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup water
- orange zest
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water, orange juice, and honey. Bring to a boil.
- Add in the cranberries and give everything stir.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes while stirring occasionally. The cranberries will burst (that's what you want) and the sauce will start to thicken.
- Turn the heat off and let it cool for 15 minutes. Then transfer it to a container and place in the fridge to chill and thicken up.
- Cranberries are naturally tangy and tart. I don’t add a lot of maple/honey to mine, but feel free to add more if you like your cranberry sauce sweeter. Just take a quick taste test before cooling.
- Cranberry sauce adds such vibrant color to a table, so I love to serve it in this glass gravy bowl and let it shine!