Simple Refined-Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

I always loved cranberry sauce in the fall as a kid… okay, I’m exaggerating. I somehow loved the canned gelatinized sugar filled cranberry stuff. It must have been the texture. My palate wasn’t as refined before my teenage years! But, I have always loved tart and sweet flavors together.
Now, as a dietitian, I reduce sugar in almost every recipe and swap the refined sugar for natural sugar whenever I can. I’ve done a lot of tweaking with cranberry sauce over the past few years and think I’ve found the perfect balance for this super simple healthier version, that is featured on The List.

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

I got excited at the store and bought some cranberries before our weekend in St. Louis but didn’t end up using them! When we returned I decided to make my first cranberry sauce of Fall 2016.

It is delicious as is, cooked with orange juice and sweetened with a little pure maple syrup, but you can always add pumpkin pie spices, mulling spices or just a dash of cinnamon and ginger for exciting flavors. I kept it plain with my first batch of the season last week so that I could enjoy it with a variety of meals, including my fall power bowl coming up on Friday!

While it may take 25-30 minutes to cook, you barely even have to stir it so, just set a timer and get some other food prep done in the kitchen at the same time! Below you can see the cranberries and OJ about half way through the cooking process, right after the berries have burst. It only takes another 10-15 from there at a summer til you have a warming delicious sauce to add to all your fall dishes!

Simple Refined-Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

refined sugar free cranberry sauce

  • 16 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 Cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Optional: 1 tsp ea ginger and cinnamon
  • Place cranberries and orange juice in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium for an additional 5-10 minutes, until all cranberries burst. You can press them with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula after 5 minutes to speed this process.
  • Add maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon and ginger if desired.
  • Stir well before reducing to a simmer and cook an additional 10 minutes with lid tilted.
  • May be refrigerated in a sealed container up to one week.



14 thoughts on “Simple Refined-Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

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