A fresh look at everyday eating

Cranberries Two Ways – Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce

The holidays just wouldn’t be the same without cranberries. Cranberry sauce is to Thanksgiving dinner just as much as dyed eggs are to Easter. Besides being a delicious accompaniment to your holiday meal, cranberries are high in antioxidants and are rich in Vitamin C. Recently, cranberries and cranberry juice have been linked to improved gastrointestinal health and healthy cholesterol levels. These are good reasons to leave room for the sauce on your plate on Thursday!

The question I get most often is which is better for you: canned or fresh cranberry sauce? Since a serving of canned of cranberry sauce usually contains about 21 grams of sugar (most likely in the form of high fructose corn syrup), I’d say go with a homemade version that you can control the amount of sugar going into it. The recipe I’ve provided below is slightly lower in sugar (about 15g in a ¼ cup serving) and is packed with nutrients.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce


  • 1 12oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • 2 medium navel oranges (you are going to use the rind and the juice of both oranges)
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of water


  1. Using a sharp paring knife, remove skin of orange being careful to avoid the white part. The white rind adds bitterness. Make thin julienned strips about the rind. Set aside. Juice your two oranges and set juice aside as well.
  2. Rinse cranberries well and remove any that are bruised. In a medium saucepan, add juice, rind, sugar and water. Stir to combine ingredients. Heat over medium high heat until it boils. Add cranberries and cover with lid. The cranberries will begin to “pop”. When popping slows down, turn down heat, stir and let simmer for a few minutes. Continue to stir to combine ingredients.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to refrigerator to cool completely. Can be made a few days in advance.

About ¼ cup serving provides 77 calories. The entire recipe serves 8.

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