The former executive director of a successful nonprofit agency now content specialist, Cynthia writes about a variety of researched topics.
The Secret to Making Great Cranberry Sauce
During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in the United States when great cranberry sauce is most often served, you may hear cooks proudly proclaim that they have a secret to homemade cranberry sauce. No cans of jellied or whole cranberries for them; they make the real thing.
For years, I thought there was some complex secret to making great, fresh cranberry sauce which, by the way, is loaded with vitamin C. I actually learned the secret to the cranberry sauce when I bravely decided to tackle the sauce myself. I bought a package of fresh cranberries—not hard to find in the produce section of your local supermarket during the fall harvesting time. They are usually already bagged, but you can find them by the pound in plastic containers as well. I chose a bag and I prefer organic. I then decided to experiment with ingredients—and voilá: the secret to making great cranberry sauce was that it is so very easy to make!
Vitamin C and the Health Benefits of Cranberries
When it comes to health benefits of eating cranberries, the little red berry ranks right up there with blueberries and the redder the berry the better the benefits. Although packed with nutrition, the little red berry is very sour when uncooked. Even when cooked, however, the cranberry, which s 90% water, is still an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Like the blueberry, the cranberry is full of antioxidants, putting it in the category of a superfood. Antioxidants are important in the reduction of free radicals which play a role in damaging cells that could lead to cancer. It also contains fiber, manganese, Vitamins E and K, copper and panthenic acid.
In addition to the cancer fighting antioxidants, research has shown that cranberries also:
- prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs),
- help prevent gum disease according to the Center for Oral Biology and Eastman Department of Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center,
- improves immune function, and
- decreases blood pressure.
In addition to being the main ingredient in cranberry sauce, cranberries can be added to the diet as a juice or dried. They can be used in a variety of ways such as in drinks, sprinkled dried over salads or on cereals. Cooked, they can be added to any number of dips and sauces or salsas. They can also be baked into bread. It just requires a little imagination when deciding how to include cranberries in your diet.
The accommodating little berry can be frozen and kept up to a year. Many of the recipes can be adjusted for using the fresh or frozen cranberry.
Ingredients for Making Great Cranberry Sauce
- 1 12 oz. bag cranberries
- 3/4 cup sugar, (1 c. if you like it sweeter)
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice including pulp, (2 small oranges)
- 1/4 cup pineapple soda
- 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 cup water
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1/2 cup servings for 4 people
- Carefully rinse cranberries of any remaining debris or sand in a colander, also removing any shriveled cranberries.
- Using a medium size saucepan over medium heat, pour all liquid ingredients and the orange zest into the pan. Add sugar, stirring it in. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to avoid any sticking.
- Slowly add the clean cranberries to the boiling mixture. Bring to a second boil and reduce heat to simmer. Allow the cranberry mixture to simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Occasionally stir gently to avoid sticking. Cranberries will be soft and most will have burst. The mixture will be slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and carefully pour the mixture into a heat resistant bowl. Avoid touching the saucepan or the cranberry sauce without using pot holders or some other protection; both the pan and the sauce will be very hot! Covering the bowl with plastic wrap is optional if you are going to be serving the sauce soon. The sauce will thicken even more as it cools. Serve in the manner of your choice.
- Tip: You can prepare your cranberry sauce as much as three days in advance if you keep it stored tightly in the refrigerator.
Rate the Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Cooked Cranberry Sauce; Ready to Serve
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Cynthia B Turner