Cherry and Orange-Sweetened Cranberry Sauce with Apple and Spices

Three weeks until Thanksgiving!  For some reason, every year after Thanksgiving I continue to make cranberry sauce for several weeks, as I’m reminded how versatile it is.  It’s a great balancer for savory dishes, a flavorful topper for oatmeal and yogurt, as well as a satisfying dessert on its own.

Cranberries are very tart and are often sweetened with TONS of sugar.  I decided instead to sweeten them naturally (while upping the antioxidants even more) with pure cherry juice, freshly squeezed orange and chopped apple (which also serves as a thickener, thanks to the pectin in the peel).  Not only do these additions result in more complex flavor, but they also yield a diabetic-friendly and anti-inflammatory version of traditional cranberry sauce :).

If you really like sweeter cranberry sauce, you can always add maple syrup or coconut sugar to adjust to your taste preferences.


12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries

2 cups of pure organic cherry juice

juice from 1 orange (include the zest if your orange is organic)

1 large apple, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 whole cloves or 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 star anise or 1/4 teaspoon star anise extract

2 cardamom pods, smashed or 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder

What to do:

Assemble all ingredients in a 2-quart pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes or until the cranberries and apples are broken down and the liquid is reduced to a sauce consistency.

Remove any whole spices and chill before serving.

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