Orange Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce- the most bastardized of the holiday dishes. Why do I say this, you ask? Well I’ve often wondered why something that is so simple to prepare, would ever need to be convenienced? You know where I’m going with this- canned cranberry sauce- the kind that keeps its cylindrical shape for hours after it has been released from it’ BPA loaded shackles. Ok, so yes, I have very strong opinions about cranberry sauce in can; and, of course, I plan to elaborate.

Cranberries are a nutritional powerhouse that work to protect our bodies against stomach ulcers by preventing the adhesion of the bacteria H. pylori on the stomach wall. Not to mention that cranberries have vitamin C and fiber, with only 45 calories per cup. In disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable–including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries; with a mere one cup of whole cranberries boasting 8,983 total antioxidant capacities. Only blueberries and kale can top that. I think this is pretty impressive for such a diminutive crimson pebble. So when I see cranberry sauce in a can being presented to adorn my holiday plate, I lose it a little; because the benefits of cranberries are all negated when you buy the sauce in the can. This is due to exorbitant amount of refined sugar, the aforementioned BPA can and the fact that it has likely been sitting in said can for at least a year- it is the farthest thing from fresh.

Cranberry sauce is the easiest dish to prepare for the Christmas meal; place all in the ingredients in a pot, cook down until the cranberries yield to the heat and BOOM, sauce is ready. And this orange cranberry sauce can be made almost a week in advance and still be delicious and brimming with nutrients when you serve it; yes, you could make it today and enjoy the fruit of your labor in a week’s time without the flavor or nutrients suffering one bit.

Now, you could very easily make cranberry sauce basically with cranberries and a sweetener such as raw honey or coconut sugar, and it would be delightful; however, I like add a little sparkle to this already shining dish by adding Grand Marnier and the zest and juice of one orange. I do this for two reasons 1) it’s Christmas and why not add a little boozy fun to your plate and 2) citrus, such as orange, brings out the flavor of the cranberries, while taming the tart, lip puckering flavor.

12 minutes to flavor heaven, small time investment, HUGE flavor…this recipe is a do!

8oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
2/3 cup coconut sugar
Juice and zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp Grand Marnier
1 tbsp coconut oil

In a small pot on medium high heat combine all ingredients. Cook stirring consistently for 12 minutes.
1 cup of sauce

Are you a cranberry sauce purist; or do you like to play around with this classic recipe?