Canned cranberry sauce was a mainstay on my mom’s Thanksgiving table. Refrigerated and cut into slices, it was exceptionally easy and popular—even us picky kids ate it up! But somewhere along the line a good friend of my mom’s introduced us to REAL cranberry sauce. Over the years hearing the “pop” of cranberries on the stove has become a new tradition, and something I think your family might enjoy as well.
Why should you consider Kicking the Canned Cranberry Sauce? It’s pretty simple. With a whopping 24g of sugar per 70g serving, Ocean’s Spray’s Jellied Cranberry Sauce is OVER ONE-THIRD added sugars. And by the way, we’re not talking unprocessed sugars. Nope! Ocean Spray uses Big Food’s finest sweeteners: high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. If that’s not enough reason to make the switch, another is to avoid Ocean Spray’s continued sketchiness about BPA in their cans. After going around and around with their staff, the closest I could get to a statement was, “yes, our cans contain trace amounts of BPA.” Unfortunately, more and more research suggests it doesn’t take much BPA to effect your body, so I think we can all do better.
How can you avoid serving these processed, sugary, potentially BPA-laden cranberries on your table? It’s easy … use fresh cranberries and some naturally sweet additions like pineapple, apples, and honey. Let’s not fool ourselves, though. Most experts agree, sugar is sugar—no matter where it comes from. So I limit my consumption of sweet stuff and choose unprocessed sources if at all possible. Yes, homemade cranberry sauce is a little indulgent, but I don’t eat very much of it or too often … so it’s what I choose for my Thanksgiving!
Okay …without further adieu, here you go! Just one more little gift from my holiday table to yours! Enjoy!
- 3 cups fresh whole cranberries (about 10 ounces)
- 1 ½ cup fresh or canned pineapple, crushed
- 1 small apple, peeled and grated (about ⅓ cup)
- ¾ cup honey
- ⅔ cup of juice from fresh orange and pineapple (add water, if needed)
- ½ - 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Wash cranberries
- Zest and juice orange
- Put cranberries, diced apple, and pineapple in a 6-quart saucepan and add juice.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the cranberries begin to pop.
- Reduce heat, keep stirring, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. The sauce will start to thicken.
- Remove the pan from the stove and add honey, orange zest, stir, and let it cool.
- Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
For the apples, I use a firm, tart apple like Granny Smith.
We recommend using organic ingredients when possible.
Interested in learning more about High Fructose Corn Syrup, how it’s made, and why it’s so popular with Big Food? Or the latest research on plastics and BPA in our food. Then check the additional resources below!
- If you want to learn more about how these industrial sweeteners are made and why they’re so popular with Big Food, check out the movie King Corn. (You can watch and extended clip of it here or purchase it here.)
- My favorite, recent article about concerns over BPA and non-BPA plastics is at Mother Jones: The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics