cranberry orange sauce with coconut sugar recipe

Cranberry sauce is the unsung hero of Thanksgiving. Seriously. Think about all of the heaping servings overflowing on your jam-packed dinner plate. The colors and flavors are bland but still, somehow, delicious. Turkey (or tofurkey), stuffing, potatoes, gravy, corn...the list goes on. Aside from the greens that I hope you have on your plate, the most vibrant color comes from the cranberry sauce. And that sweet tarty flavor brings the entire plate together with an unexpected taste explosion. I <3 cranberry sauce.

Well, I used to love it. Until I started my necessary but sometimes challenging diet of cutting out refined sugars. One cup of canned cranberry sauce or jelly yields 105 grams of sugar! Don't believe me? Google it. Clearly, I need an alternative recipe so I can still enjoy that tarty and tasty addition to my plate. Here it is!  #feelingthankful

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Unrefined Sugar

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


Fresh From the Market:

  • 8 oz. Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 Large Orange, Juiced
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice (optional)

From the Pantry:

  • 1/3 c. Coconut Sugar

From the Spice Rack:

  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Kitchen Gadgets:

  • Fine Mesh Strainer
  • Citrus Press or Juicer
  • Skillet

Fresh Cranberries

Always Wash and Dry Produce!

Cooking Instructions:

  • Always remember to wash and dry your produce. Then set the cranberries aside.
  • Press or squeeze the juice of the whole orange (about 4 tbsp.) and measure 1 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice. I am not only concerned about sugar intake, but I also like the tart taste of lemons (obviously, lemons to lemonade :). If you prefer a sweeter taste, you might opt to leave the lemon out. Same goes for the coconut sugar. 1/3 c. yields 20 g. of sugar for the entire recipe so you can add some more without going overboard to sweeten this dish up.

Coconut Sugar and Fruit Juices Result in a Low (Unrefined) Sugar Count

  • Place the skillet over a low flame to avoid burning the cranberry sauce. If you have an olive oil spray, add a few spritzes to the skillet. Now add all of the ingredients, starting with the cranberries.
  • Simmer over a low flame for 10 to 15 minutes, or until all of the cranberries have burst into a thick, gooey sauce. Keep a close eye on this to avoid burning.

Cranberries in the Skillet

Cooking and Crackling Cranberries

I love the color of cranberries. There are very few things in nature that have such a bright and vibrant red so I appreciate the fruits and vegetables that do. The cranberries also make a snap, crackle and pop noise while cooking which reminds you that you are making something fresh and alive with nutrients. Did you know that Native Americans used the cranberry as an original superfood? Be sure to acknowledge their contributions to the foods we enjoy and give thanks for on Thanksgiving.

You can either serve your cranberry sauce warm or cover and put in the fridge to serve later. Make sure you save some for later. What is a leftover Thanksgiving sandwich (gluten free, of course!) without the cranberry sauce? Enjoy - gobble, gobble!


Jessica Flatley

My mission is to provide ideas and inspiration for the times life hands you a lemon. Learn how to manage a food allergy or intolerance, whether cooking for yourself or eating on the go. Let's turn lemons into lemonade together!