Homemade Cranberry Sauce

With (Canadian) Thanksgiving in a couple days, it’s time to get ready for the big turkey dinner (or chicken or tofurkey, if turkey isn’t your thing).  As I mentioned in my last post, my sister and I usually take on the big holidays because we like to cook. We never did celebrate Thanksgiving too much when we were younger, but that changed when we took charge of the kitchen. My mom never liked the taste of turkey, so we would usually have chicken, but that changed when she had turkey that was cooked properly (i.e., wrapped in bacon). Of course, that wasn’t going to happen all the time (although the rest of my family wants to do that this weekend), but we found a way to cook the turkey to her liking that still left it moist and flavourful.

An important condiment to go with turkey? Cranberry sauce. I know this isn’t for everyone (I sure did NOT like this before), but after I started making my own, knowing what I put into it, it just isn’t the same without it! I mean, the canned stuff is pretty disgusting and WAY too sweet. It’s almost like a jelly, and sometimes it has a metallic taste from the can. Anyhow, this homemade cranberry sauce definitely was a big hit with both my family and at potluck dinners with friends where turkey was being served!

It might sound like it would take a lot of effort to make cranberry sauce, but it is really easy to make. This is much healthier, and your body will thank you! This might make a big batch, but it saves well in the freezer…and you can use it in baked goods!

Ingredients

  • 24 oz fresh cranberries
  • rind and juice of 1 navel orange
  • 1 can of pineapple chunks (or ~1-2 cups chopped fresh pineapples)
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard seed
  • Agave or cane sugar, to taste

———

To your high-powered blender, add the can of pineapples (or fresh pineapples with a bit of water), and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the cranberries, rind, orange juice, pineapple chunks, cloves, cardamom, and ground mustard. Cook until cranberries begin to pop. Because cranberries have natural pectin, it’ll start to thicken up. Add agave or cane sugar to taste, depending on how sweet/tart you want it. Remove from heat and serve!

Looking for a stuffing to use? Try the quinoa pilaf in my stuffed acorn squash, or substitute with bread, if you want a bread stuffing!

Wishing everyone a Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

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