Tangy, sweet, homemade cranberry and clementine sauce. It’s easy!
It’s not Thanksgiving without the cranberry sauce. Don’t you agree? Think about it, at what other time of the year (except maybe Christmas) do you put cranberry sauce on the table?
Here’s a question for you – what kind of cranberry sauce do you serve? Is it the gelatinous stuff that comes out of a can and jiggles like a slinky just waiting to be sprung? Or do you make your own?
No offense to those of you who grew up on the canned version. It was on my childhood holiday table too; but then I became health conscious, and aware of ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, and carrageenan. Ewww……
Take a look at the “nutritional” factoid on a can of cranberry jelly. For example, one ¼ cup serving from a 14 ounce can of Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce is a whopping 110 calories, with 21 grams of sugar, and ZERO vitamins.!!!! A quarter of a cup is like two bites for me! Uh, yeah, no thank you, I think I’ll make my own.
I started making my own cranberry sauce – notice the word jelly is absent from the title – after Alex was born, and I’ve never gone back to the dark side. Making homemade sauce is sooooo easy you guys! And, it’s healthier, and tastier, and lower in calories, and you get to keep the vitamins as long as you keep the heat below 350°F. The burst point of a cranberry is 212°F, so no problem! Once the cranberries begin to burst you must turn the heat down to let it simmer and thicken; sooooo, unless there is a food scientist out there who can correct me, I’m pretty sure that this is a healthier way to go, because the vitamins don’t get cooked away.
But here’s the thing, even if the vitamins do get annihilated, is that any reason to not eat cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving? Noooooo! It’s tradition. A really, really good one. Plus, I’ve slashed the caloric content of the typical cranberry sauce because I reduced the sugar, by a lot. The canned stuff has 28 grams per serving. Holy s…!!! And from the recipes I’ve looked at online, most people put 1 to 2 cups of sugar in their homemade cranberry sauce. WHY??? If you don’t want to taste the tartness of the berries, then don’t eat them. Am I right?
My family loves this cranberry sauce, and I’m so excited to share it with you. So let’s get cooking!
Buy two 12 ounce bags of organic cranberries and rinse them well. Put them in a medium sauce pan with a cup and ½ of water and bring to a boil. Once the cranberries begin to burst – listening to them pop and sizzle is my favorite part of making this recipe, reduce the heat to simmer and add the sugar, the cloves, the clementine juice, and the zest. Let it simmer until the water evaporates and it becomes thick and sticky. It will thicken even more as it cools, so don’t overcook it.
Why do I use clementines instead of oranges? Because they too are in season, and I love the sweeter flavor of them. You can use oranges if you want, it will taste pretty much the same.
If you have leftovers put a scoop on your oatmeal in the morning, or spread it on toast with peanut butter for a PB & cranberry sandwich. It would also be good in a kale or spinach smoothie to add some tanginess.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, and again, and again. This food blogger gig is awesome, because it’s only early November and I am eating cranberry sauce! Smile.