Orange and cranberry chutney

cranberry sauce

An essential, whenever you roast a turkey

This post offers one simple but tasty and traditional recipe for cranberry sauce, done up in bows and boasting less sugar and more pizzazz than you get from a can at the grocery store. This is a recipe staple now for our family’s celebrations.

Cranberry sauce is one of the easiest sides you can make to go along with your golden roasted turkey. This version, dressed up with orange and renamed a chutney, is just as easy for twice the bang.

Make it your own

Cooking up your cranberry sauce at home means you can make it your own. I often make mine with a mix of fresh and dried cranberries. But this year I went with a whole bag of fresh cranberries and that was all I needed. I use coconut palm sugar in my chutney. But if you want to use brown or granulated versions, it will taste as good. It just won’t be quite as healthy. Coconut palm sugar sugar has a lower glycemic index, and is absorbed into the blood stream less rapidly than table sugar or brown sugar, giving your body more time to metabilize it. I use stevia as a sweetener as well, so as to lessen the amount of added sugar in this recipe. To enhance the orange flavor in this chutney, I use orange juice and Grand Marnier, where there is an option. As well, I never leave out the orange zest.

Update: A word of gratitude in the year 2020

Cranberry sauce or chutney is often served as part of a celebration, at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, along with a large turkey to feed our extended families. This year of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020, has made most of us change our lives in many awkward ways – working or studying at home, meeting friends and colleagues over Zoom, and avoiding large crowds of any kind. The saddest and most difficult adjustment is keeping our family gatherings at special times to the immediate family.

Perhaps we can take a moment to be grateful for the wonderful selection of food we have to choose from in our country, Canada. I’m thankful for the people who work to make our food safe, who grow it, who distribute it, and who study how our bodies use its nutrients. I’m thankful we live in a country that is not at war, one where people are interested in sharing what we have with others who are not so lucky. That’s pretty cool!

cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce for celebrations

Cranberry-orange chutney (or… Cranberry sauce gourmet style)
Makes 2 cups or 16 servings of 2 tablespoons each

  • 3 cups cranberries, dried, fresh, or a mix
  • sweetener equivalent to 2/3 cup sugar (I use 1/4 cup home-made stevia solution made from 1/4 teaspoon stevia powder in ½ cup hot water plus 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (cranberry or pomegranate juices also work well)
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest from one of the oranges (scrub the skin well before zesting to eleimate any pesticide residue that may remain there)
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Port (optional, but DELICIOUS if you have it)
  • ½ cup toasted slivered almonds
  1. Combine the cranberries with the juice and the sugar and/or stevia in a saucepan. Cover and bring to boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 min. Remove the cover.
  2. With a chef’s knife, remove all skin and pith from the oranges. Slice thinly and chop. Stir orange pieces and any juice into cranberries.
  3. Increase heat and reduce the liquid until the sauce is very thick, another 3-10 min. Remove from heat and cool.
  4. Add the Grand Marnier or Port and the orange zest. Mix well.
  5. Pour into a pretty bowl and top with your toasted almond slices to serve.
  6. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Cranberry fields, forever

Cranberry fields, forever

Cranberry, an awesomely healthy food

The color should tell you just how healthy cranberries are for you. Red signals anthocyanins, and cranberries’ anthocyanins are extra special. They bind to the lining of the stomach and the urinary tract to keep bad bacteria out, preventing urinary tract infections and ulcers.

Ripe berries float to the surface of the bogs where they grow. Sunlight increases the anthocyanin content, so the longer they float, the better they will be at keeping you healthy.

Eating cranberries is smarter than taking cranberry supplements. The cranberry’s components work together to provide anti-inflamatory, antibacterial and anticancer benefits for heart, kidney  and liver health.

For details on the nutritional properties of cranberries check out The World’s Healthiest Foods.

A final note

If you do have any left over, this chutney tastes great with Stilton cheese and gourmet crackers.

Or if you feel more ambitious, use your leftovers to make cranberry troll cream, a holiday recipe from Norway, or a delicious cranberry fool, a fruit pudding popular in England. Happy holidays!

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Soul Gifts
    Dec 02, 2015 @ 01:02:27

    BTW, how do you do that? The snow thing …


  2. Soul Gifts
    Dec 02, 2015 @ 01:01:33

    Yum!!! AND it’s snowing on the screen, how awesome! It’s the only white Christmas I’m going to get 🙂


  3. chef mimi
    Nov 25, 2015 @ 18:13:12

    Gorgeous! And I love your tablescape. I mean what I called a chutsauce, because I couldn’t decide between a cranberry sauce and a chutney! I would never buy cranberry sauce. ugh.


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