Make your own cranberry sauce

Have you ever poured cranberry sauce out of a can and witnessed it holding the same shape as it did while it was in there? Not very appetizing. Instead, whip up one of these simple and all-natural cranberry sauces this Thanksgiving.

All-natural alternatives to canned sauces
Homemade cranberry sauce

Basic cranberry sauce

To get started creating homemade cranberry sauces on your own, this is the perfect beginner recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan, and bring it to a boil. While the mixture is heating up, rinse the cranberries thoroughly.
  2. Once the mixture boils, stir in the cranberries, and reduce to a simmer. Let the mixture cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the majority of the whole cranberries have split open.
  3. Remove from heat, and let cool before transferring to a resealable container. Keep the mixture in the fridge until needed.

Low-cal cranberry sauce

It can be easy to pack on a few pounds with all the rich and elaborate foods served at Thanksgiving. If you want to shave off a few calories from your plate, turn to this low-cal version of the traditional sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup granulated artificial sweetener such as Splenda (make sure it’s the granulated kind)
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Combine the cornstarch, sweetener and water in a medium saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Caution: Do not omit the cornstarch, as this acts as the thickener with the more easily dissolvable sweetener. While the mixture is heating up, rinse the cranberries thoroughly.
  2. Once the mixture boils, stir in the cranberries, and reduce to a simmer. Let the mixture cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the majority of the whole cranberries have split open.
  3. Remove from heat, and let cool before transferring to a resealable container. Keep the mixture in the fridge until needed.

Have fun with it

Now that you’ve got the basic recipe down in its regular or low-calorie version, the fun can really begin. Just as a turkey can be seasoned in different ways and stuffing can include a variety of ingredients, so too can your cranberry sauce be original. So long as you keep the ratios of liquid and sweetener roughly the same, you can have lots of fun playing around with different options. For instance, do half water and half orange or pineapple juice. Or for some added cranberry flavour without letting it get too tart, use cranberry juice in place of water, but add a splash of maple syrup. You can also substitute white sugar with brown sugar or maple sugar. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, add in totally different ingredients, such as raisins, chopped walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg or orange zest. Have fun customizing your cranberry sauce just how you like it!

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