"Canned" Cranberries

cranberries

Our family Thanksgiving dinner has seen a few slight variations throughout the years, but some things remain tradition. One of the key components of the perfect meal is the cranberry sauce. It seems simple enough, but it can really make a difference in how balanced your meal feels. It is important to have something sweet, like yams or sweet potatoes, to break up the savory components (“turkey”, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy etc), and something tangy to add even more dimension. This is where the cranberries fit in!

Every year, our aunt, who hosts and prepares dinner, makes a chunky cranberry compote with orange zest and some sort of chopped nut. Every year, we would bravely attempt to sample this concoction, and every year there is one thing we wanted instead: canned cranberry sauce. Yes. We are talking about that red, gelatinous blob that is etched with the ridges of the can. How else are you to know where to slice it with a butter knife if not for those bumps?! It seems strange that the sugar laden jelly from a tin is what we consider the perfect cranberry sauce..but it is what we love. It is simple, sweet, tart and smoothe. We don’t need a all the bells and whistles that go into other cranberry sauces! It is not that we don’t appreciate the flavor combinations, textures and gourmet touch that goes into my aunt’s cranberries..but the heart wants what the heart wants..and canned cranberries have our hearts!

We knew we could not just keep eating goo from a can forever. There is just way too much refined sugar that we don’t need added to our diets. Cranberries are naturally loaded with antioxidants, and are very high in vitamin C. On their own, they are a superfood, but that is all out the window as soon as you douse them in high fructose corn syrup! So what are two canned cranberry lovers to do? Make our own!!

With a few (and we mean VERY few) natural ingredients and turbo blender, BAM! All the smooth, tangy and sweet characteristics of our childhood favorite are back, and healthier than ever! Everyone loves these, and they are great spread on your post-Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. We hope you will give them a try, and see just why we love them so much!

 

“Canned” Cranberries {recipe}

Makes 4 ½ cups

 

INGREDIENTS

24 oz of fresh cranberries

2 cups (about 40) pitted dates

2 cups water

¼ c maple syrup

 

METHOD

  1. In a high-speed blender combine dates and water. Blend until smooth. (don’t clean the blender yet!)

  2. Pour date paste in a medium saucepan over medium heat with cranberries.

  3. Cook until cranberries begin to burst and soften, about 10-15 minutes. Stir frequently.

  4. Once they are soften pour cranberry date mixture back into blender. Blend 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.

  5. Refrigerate for a few hours to chill.

 

NOTE: Can be made up to 4 days in advance.

 

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