I hate the gooey, canned cranberry sauce, but we love fresh cranberries.  The best cranberry sauce has a clean, pure cranberry flavor, with enough sweetness to match the tart fruit, without being like jello or candy.

Plus, Ocean’s Spray’s Jellied Cranberry Sauce is one-third sugar, as it has has whopping 24g of sugar per 70g serving. And by the way, we’re not talking unprocessed sugars, it has high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. If that’s not enough reason to make the switch, another is continuing debates about the BPA levels in their cans.

This recipe is simple and can be whipped up in about 15 minutes.  Make the day before, as it is better after having been chilled.


  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar (or for naturally sweet version substitute 1 ½ cup fresh or canned pineapple, crushed, and 1 small apple, peeled and grated (about ⅓ cup) and ¾ cup honey)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh cranberries


1 Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar (if using pineapple, apple and honey, just dump in and proceed to the next step). Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.  Pour in a container, allow to cool, and then refridgerate overnight.

2 At this point you can add any number of optional ingredients. Some like to add 1/2 c. roughly chopped pecans with or without a few strips of orange zest. You can add a cup of raisins or currants. You can add up to a pint of fresh or frozen blueberries for added sweetness. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice can be added too.  Or they can be topped with mini-marshmellows.

3 Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.


Cranberry sauce base makes 2 1/4 cups.