Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce (no added sugar)

Yes, it can be done!!  Cranberry sauce that is all berry-goodness and no added sugar.  I didn't think that you could do it, and some of you may choose to add a little sugar, but this sauce is pretty darn tasty, and really very good for you.The combination of cranberries, fresh ginger, orange and spices makes this sauce not only delicious but an anti-inflammatory powerhouse.  Every ingredient in this sauce is a worthwhile food to incorporate into your diet.  Put all into one sauce and this is something that doesn't need to be saved solely for Thanksgiving Day.NOTE: This recipe has been updated and incorporated into a new e-cookbook, Organic, Non-GMO and Gluten-Free Fall Family Favorites.Per, choose fresh, plump cranberries, deep red in color, and quite firm to the touch. Firmness is a primary indicator of quality. The deeper red their color, the more highly concentrated are cranberries' beneficial anthocyanins, the primary family of antioxidant compounds found in cranberries.Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 pint organic cranberries
  • 2 cups 100% orange juice (for sweetness)
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (you can keep the peel on, no need to peel the thin skin off)
  • The zest of one orange
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sugar or orange juice concentrate, as needed to satisfy your taste buds.

I made this recipe with no sugar and it was acceptable as a part of a meal.  When I first tasted it, it was admittedly tart.  But when I ate it with sauteed herbed chicken breasts, and baked sweet potatoes with an onion-yogurt-sour cream sauce, the cranberry sauce was not overly tart.  I made the recipe again last night and added 2 tablespoons of sugar at the end of cooking, which did soften the tanginess of the sauce.  We'll see how it goes with a meal.Experiment with what you like by adding sugar at the end of cooking.  Keep in mind that traditional cranberry sauce recipes all for 1 cup (16 tablespoons) of sugar.  How much sugar do you end up adding?       

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan.  This a good one for the kiddos to help with!
  2. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.
  3. Allow the sauce to simmer until thickened, about 45 minutes.
  4. Cool slightly and taste.  Add orange juice concentrate or sugar 1 teaspoon at a time, if you'd like.  Try it and you decide! If you are aiming to stick with no added sugar, add more natural sugar with orange juice concentrate.
  5. Another taste-preference note: my husband has informed me that no one loves ginger as much as I do.  So if you are not a fan of ginger, skip it!

Make-ahead tips~

  • Make the sauce weeks ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Nutrition Details:
Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian
Makes 16 servings (1 cup); per 1 tablespoon,
20 calories, 0 grams fat, 20 mg sodium, 5 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 3 grams natural sugar
Traditional cranberry sauce is made with 1 cup of sugar to 2 cups water; 1 tablespoon traditional cranberry sauce is nearly all added sugar, it has 13 grams of sugar.