I grew up eating canned cranberry sauce every year at my Thanksgiving dinner. Cranberry sauce was one of my favorite dishes during the feast. I'd plop a huge pile on my plate and dip each bite of turkey in it. Back then I didn't question what I ate and certainly didn't participate in the cooking process.
Why I Ditched Canned Cranberry Sauce For The Real Stuff
At some point, I came to understand that my beloved cranberry sauce not only came out of can, (not a big deal), but was primarily made with high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup (not so cool...or appetizing).
I'm currently at my grandma's house celebrating Thanksgiving early and went out of my way to dig through her cabinet for a can of cranberry sauce so I could show y'all the back of the label.
As there are only four ingredients in this entire can, you can see that half of this sauce is made of highly processed, genetically modified "sugar substance". I don't know about you, but I'd rather cover my turkey in real cranberry sauce that doesn't contain industrial food products.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Takes as Little as 4 Ingredients to Make
Especially when it's SUPER simple to make on the stove top and only requires a few fresh ingredients. You really only need:
- a bag of fresh cranberries (duh)
- water to create the sauce as the cranberries burst and thicken
- some form of sweetener to balance out the cranberries' tartness and
- citrus juice + zest to brighten and compliment the cranberry.
If you want you can add some warm spices for extra flavor, but that's totally optional. The real star of the show is the cranberry followed by the orange!
Note & Tips
- Don't have any fresh oranges or citrus on hand? Try bottled orange juice, just be mindful of the sugar content and know that a little goes a long way.
- If you want to try an unrefined sweetener in this recipe, honey is my favorite. Maple syrup will work, too, but it will alter the taste a little bit. I prefer honey over maple syrup as it has a lighter taste.
I'd like to hear from YOU!
Do you have any creative way to use leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving day?