Lower in added sugar, this easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce gets its sweetness from orange juice and applesauce, plus a touch of honey or maple syrup.
Up until a few years ago, I was never a fan of cranberry sauce. I did not see the appeal of it. It was way too sweet.
However, I was preparing a friendsgiving feast a few years ago multiple people requested cranberry sauce, so I made a basic cranberry, sugar, and water version. And I realized that homemade cranberry sauce is actually quite delicious.
The next year, I added some orange juice & zest and really liked that.
I also tried it with sugar substitute and that was a hard no. You need a little bit of real sugar to make it taste good.
However, I really wanted to use less sugar.
Not because I think sugar is poison or the devil or the cause of the world’s health problems but because I know that I have more energy and feel better when I don’t eat a ton of sugar.
I decided to use fruit to help sweeten the cranberry sauce and add a little sugar as needed, and last Thanksgiving, I finally perfected my homemade cranberry sauce recipe made with orange juice, applesauce, and honey.
Maple syrup also works but has a stronger flavor than honey in this cranberry sauce. Not that it’s a bad thing, though.
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If you want to jazz this up a little bit, feel free to add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick to the saucepan when you add the cranberries, etc.
I personally prefer a more basic cranberry sauce, but the cinnamon cranberry sauce makes your house smell incredible. (Or make a batch of this for the stove)
P.S. Don’t toss your leftover cranberry sauce. Make a margarita or mocktail with it 🙂
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup apple sauce no added sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan, and heat over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the cranberries pop and it turns into a sauce.
- Add orange zest, and taste. Add any additional honey if desired.
- Transfer to a bowl, and enjoy!
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