This recipe is so simple, so tasty, and so fresh! I presented the idea of an herbal cranberry sauce to my family, and I got mixed reactions. No worries, I don’t mind mad science experiments, so off to the kitchen I headed.
I ran out to my garden and took a glance at my herbs. A lot of my recipes call for fresh herbs because I believe in the health benefits of them, and they are readily available to me. Oregano, culantro, thyme, rosemary, and sage are my all time favorites, and they grow amazing in this Florida climate. For this recipe, I decided to keep a complimenting flavor to the citrus juices used in this recipe by clipping some rosemary and some sage. Ya’ll…the smell!! So gorgeous, so tasty!
Home made cranberry sauce without sugar?!
I know what you’re thinking! But hear me out! Thanksgiving is that perfect season for the FLU. What better way to show your Thanksgiving guests you care by spreading illness, right? Sugar has it’s time and place, but for this recipe, I was really milking every aspect of the cranberry sauce to bring you a healthy, well thought out dish. The honey and maple syrup I added to this cranberry sauce recipe serve their purpose as a perfect sweetener, but they also include health benefits specific to the season. Maple syrup contains manganese, magnesium, zinc, calcium, potassium, iron, and natural antioxidants. Not to mention, maple syrup can aide in digestion, which makes this a perfect ingredient for a Holiday known for it’s bloating foods. Honey was an obvious ingredient to add. With honey’s anti fungal properties (amongst the many other benefits), it’s usually the first thing someone recommends having when you have a cold! Since there are no processed sugars, this is a paleo compliant recipe.
Growing up in Massachusetts, after the leaves have fallen, and the air gets crisp, you know it’s time for the Holidays. There’s something so magical about New England during the holiday season. The stillness in the air, the crunch of the leaves, the excitement of the probable white Christmas. With Massachusetts’ deep history, Plymouth is an obvious Thanksgiving destination. I was definitely an angsty teen, slumped over in the backseat of our car, listening to my CD player (I’m literally NOT old.) dreading a family trip. Secretly, I was loving the views of stone ledge lined highways, cranberry bogs, and the last of the trees hanging onto their colorful leaves. Cranberry bogs lined the narrowing roads along the way to Plymouth, serving as a reminder that Thanksgiving was drawing close. All the Autumn colors portrayed by nature with bursts of warm oranges, flaming reds, and soothing yellows.
Cranberries are a big deal in Massachusetts, being that is it the state berry, and color and drink. Also, cranberries are sour, much like us Northerners. Kidding. It’s not a surprise this is one of the main dishes I get excited for on the Thanksgiving table. I have been experimenting for a few consecutive holidays to make a healthier version than the canned that has a perfect balance of tart and sweet.
Cranberry sauce with citrus juices, fresh herbs, and no processed sugar!
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 navel orange
- 1 lemon
- 1 TBS fresh rosemary
- 1 TBS fresh sage
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup grade A maple syrup
Put cranberries in a medium pot over medium heat.
Slice the orange and lemon in half. Squeeze both citrus fruits over a strainer into the pot of cranberries. Discard the seeds.
Finely chop the rosemary and sage. Add to the cranberry mixture.
When the cranberries begin to pop, continue to cook for about ten minutes after. Stir occasionally, crushing the cranberries against the side of the pot for a thinner consistency.
Remove the cranberry sauce from the heat, and rest for 30 minutes. Serve immediately or place in the fridge. Enjoy!