Hello lovely friends,
Are you looking to make some homemade cranberry sauce to add to your festive table spread? Look no further; this sauce is for you! With only 3 wholesome ingredients, this sauce takes next to no time to make and is the perfect balance of tart and sweet. It is sure to be a staple in your household for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any festive occasion. Bonus: it is also gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan!
It’s that time of year once again. Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend (to my American friends be sure to save this recipe for your celebrations next month ;). While some of you may be excited about everything pumpkin, we can’t forget that it’s also cranberry season! Hooray!
Oh, cranberries, how I love you so. They may seem like a slightly unusual choice as a favourite fruit, but I love them. Every time the holiday season rolls around, whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, I get excited for their much-awaited return into my life. Something about these little pearls of tartness captures my heart year after year.
My affinity for cranberries started at a young age. Back then, it was the wobbly canned cranberry jelly sauce. Jam-packed with sugar, I had no idea what true cranberry sauce tasted like and blissfully gobbled it up. Sure, it was great and sparked my love for cranberries, but little did I know that you could make it from scratch and that it was even more delicious.
Canned cranberry sauce definitely has its time and place, but let me tell you, the taste of homemade is incomparable. This cranberry sauce is an absolute game-changer, and I promise you will never look back at the canned version again.
• Gluten-free, refined sugar-free and vegan
• Super simple to make with only 3 ingredients
• Naturally sweetened with maple syrup (or honey for a non-vegan version)
• An excellent make-ahead for all festive occasions
• You can use the leftover sauce in various sweet treats
Once you taste this sauce, you will surely fall in love with it. It has the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, with the beautiful hum of maple syrup in the background, deepening the flavour. It took quite a bit of experimenting and tweaking to get it just right. So, in my humble opinion, it truly is the best cranberry sauce ;).
Is any holiday feast complete without cranberry sauce gracing the spread? Personally, for me, it surely is not. So do give this cranberry sauce a try and who knows, maybe this cranberry sauce will become one of your holiday favourites, just as it is mine :).
• CRANBERRIES – are jam-packed with antioxidants and have potent anti-inflammatory properties while improving digestive and heart health.
• LEMON JUICE – are packed with immune-boosting vitamin C, can help regulate blood sugar, aid digestion, and is excellent for skin health.
• MAPLE SYRUP – is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, beneficial for skin health, and packed with vitamins and minerals.
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁 I am so thankful to each and every one of you for following along on my journey, trying out my recipes, and for all your love and support 🧡. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
Let me know how you enjoyed this cranberry sauce in the comments below!
Now let’s go and make ourselves the best cranberry sauce ever!
The Best Cranberry Sauce
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (or frozen)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or orange juice)**
- ⅔ cup maple syrup* (or raw honey for the non-vegan version)
- ⅔ cup water
- cutting board
- paring knife
- medium bowl
- measuring cups and spoons
- wooden spoon (or metal spoon)
- citrus juicer (or squeeze by hand)
- Wash the cranberries thoroughly with cold water a few times, then fill the bowl with cold water. You will notice that most of the cranberries will float to the top, similar to what happens in cranberry bogs. The ones that sink to the bottom are usually not good, so you can discard those. Double-check the berries for any soft or shrivelled ones, as they are also not suitable. The cranberries should be bright red or yellow and firm to the touch. Once you've finished this step, set them aside.
- Wash, dry and juice the lemon. Set aside.
The Best Cranberry Sauce
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and add lemon juice, maple syrup, and water until it begins to gently bubble.
- Slowly add the cranberries to the mixture, ensuring they are well combined.
- You will notice the cranberries making a 'pop' sound and splattering, not to fret, it's entirely normal. It will settle down.
- The mixture will start to foam. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally. The foam will dissipate after 3-4 minutes and start turning light pink. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
- Continue to stir occasionally, and you will notice the mixture will gradually thicken as the cranberries start to break down. The texture will resemble that of cranberry sauce we all know and love.
- The sauce will deepen to a glorious, dark red, and after about 10 minutes of cooking, your sauce is done!
- NOTE: If you prefer the cranberries to remain whole and not break down too much, ensure you cook them on lower heat. For a thicker sauce, cook a bit longer, keeping in mind that the sauce will thicken further as it cools.
- Let the sauce come down to room temperature, and enjoy! If you want to thicken it more, place it in the fridge before serving.
- This sauce pairs perfectly with a turkey dinner, but it also complements other dishes and can be used in sweet treats like crumble bars, cookies, and more!