With maple syrup and orange juice for sweeteners- and 10 minutes time- maple sweetened orange cranberry sauce is healthier AND better tasting than canned.
When I was growing up there was only one kind of cranberry sauce at the holidays – the kind that is served in the shape of a can. I didn’t even know there was a type of sauce with actual cranberries in it, or that it could easily be made at home.
Now there are a lot of other processed foods that have many more questionable ingredients than canned cranberry sauce, so I’m not saying it’s evil or anything – just one of the many foods that I always assumed had to be bought at a store rather than made at home, just like mayonnaise, salad dressings, chocolate syrup and other “pantry basics” I’ve discovered.
And just like those other basic foods, I’ve found that not only is cranberry sauce incredibly easy to make at home (in about 10 minutes!), it’s also much fresher tasting.
It’s even possible to strain it and make a semi-jellied sauce, if that’s your thing, or process it longer to make it more smooth. But once I tried pieces of real cranberries in my sauce, there was no going back for me. I do make sure all the berries are popped when cooking and use an immersion blender to make it semi-smooth, but I keep some texture in the sauce.
I feel like a broken record, but this is one of the reasons I love cooking from scratch so much – you can adapt recipes to fit your family’s preferences and it’s healthier. #winwin
Maple Sweetened Orange Cranberry Sauce
There is one thing that I’ve gotten rid of from the first years that I made homemade cranberry sauce using the package directions – the heaps of refined sugar. I now sweeten our cranberry sauce with only maple syrup and the natural sweetness of orange juice.
Ahhh, and what that did to the flavor! Very subtle hints of maple and a large dose of citrusy goodness – way better than the water-sugar variation I started with. And not even in the same universe as the canned stuff.
Maple sweetened orange cranberry sauce can be made days or even a week in advance of your holiday meal, taking only minutes of your time to prepare.
And if you have any leftovers, they are SO good in many things – thinned with more maple syrup as a sauce for ice cream and pancakes, in sandwiches, as a sweet bread filling and as a filling for any jam-crumb bar (like this recipe instead of the apple butter) or layered in sweet breads like these cranberry-crumb loaves/muffins.
Click the arrow for the full recipe (with print options)!
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