Raise your hand if growing up, you only ate jellied cranberry sauce from a can?
me me me!
I know some people cringe at the thought of this squishy, gelled, goop, but I must admit I was always a fan.
I’m not sure I even knew what a whole cranberry looked like until a few years ago. I remember the first day I bought cranberries. How could I not, after popping a few in my mouth, RAW. Worst decision ever. Pretty sure I was expecting something like a grape, because I was thinking raisins come from grapes, and grapes are sweet, so cranberries must be too!
After that little number, I decided to use them as a centerpiece, and forgo making any type of sauce.
I guess I also avoid making this sauce because it is loaded with sugar. There is really no way around it! Well, maybe someone has figured out a way, but I haven’t spent much time looking.
Despite having to use quite a bit of sugar, I tried to get a little creative with it. Instead of 1c sugar, which is what most recipes call for, I broke it down a bit. I used a 1/2c of brown rice syrup, which has the same grams of sugar per serving, as sugar, but does not spike your blood sugar levels in the same way. For the other half, I split that between sucanat + unsweetened applesauce. The applesauce was a last minute idea, that I think worked quite well.
So what are the components of this cranberry sauce?
- cinnamon stick
I thought the ginger would add a nice warmth to the sauce and contrast with the fruity flavor of the cranberries and oranges.
To my surprise, I really enjoyed this and kept spooning it from the container in the fridge. I know I must like something, when I can’t keep out of the leftovers.
After the first trial sent a shiver down my spine, from not adding enough sugar, I adjusted for trial two and it was a keeper.
Cranberry Orange Ginger Sauce [adapted from Simply Recipes]
- 12oz cranberries
- 1/2c water
- 1/2c orange juice
- 1-2 large oranges, peeled
- 1/2c brown rice syrup
- 1/4c unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4c sucanat/pure cane sugar
- 1/2T minced ginger
- 1/8t salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- orange zest/toasted walnuts or pecans
- Peel your orange and carefully slice the pith off.
- Cut into about 1” pieces and set aside. Remove seeds if needed.
- In a large saucepan, over medium, add the cranberries, water, orange juice, brown rice syrup, apple sauce and sucanat, ginger, salt, cinnamon stick, and bring to a boil. Stirring every minute or so.
- Reduce heat to simmer for about 10-12min, stirring every minute or so.
- In the last 2 minutes, stir in the orange pieces.
- The consistency will be noticeably thicker than when you started, but it will thicken much more when chilled.
- Cover + chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
- Top with orange zest and/or toasted walnuts or pecans.
substitutions/comments: I used 1 1/2 large oranges in my version. Use more or less to your preference. You can sub 1c of pure cane sugar for the brown rice syrup, applesauce + sucanat, if desired. Likewise, you can sub 1c of brown rice syrup/honey/maple syrup. If you don’t have orange juice, use apple juice, or use all water. You can buy jars of minced ginger for about $2 in the Asian food aisle, which is a steal! If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, or want to buy them, just add 1/8t cinnamon to the mix.
I had so much fun shooting this lovely, vibrant sauce!! A nice change of pace from the stuffing + risotto, which were both pretty difficult to capture.
I just made a list of all the recipes I want to make before Thanksgiving and there aren’t enough days before next Thursday! Time to prioritize. DESSERT!