Retro Recipe: Zesty Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Staci Strauss

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Editor’s Note: We’re sharing our favorite holiday recipes again this year–and we’re continuing today with zesty, spicy cranberry sauce in a series we’re calling Retro Recipes.

I love cranberry sauce. I really do. My sister will only eat the kind out of the can, but not me. And here it is, autumn, with all its beautiful colors–Thanksgiving approaching, the cranberry beckons!

Now, the first priority at any Thanksgiving meal is flavor, but do you know how good cranberries are for your health?

I was reading about the benefits of cranberries–they are a huge source of Vitamin C, and I started playing around in the kitchen, looking at several different recipes from Thanksgivings past.

This zesty, spicy cranberry sauce, with all the citrus, is loaded with Vitamin C. The combination of orange and lemon juice can be tinkered with–I like more sweet than sour so I use more oranges–you could probably flip that for a tangy-er taste. The sugar and jalapenos walk the tightrope between sweet and spicy, making this a most savory sauce.

I like things really spicy, so use your own tastebuds! You may want to put less jalapeno or less sugar. This year, I perfected the flavor combo I know my family will love.

However you decide to combine these ingredients, I’m sure it will be delicious!

I like it with the big Thanksgiving meal, but I like it even more on toast in the morning, or as a dip for corn chips at the cocktail hour.

about 4 cups
Zesty Spicy Cranberry Sauce

2 pounds fresh organic cranberries

zest of 4 oranges, 3 lemons

juice 4 oranges, 3 lemons

de-skinned remaining orange meat

3/4 cup organic Wholesome Sweeteners sugar

1-2 de-seeded minced jalepenos

1 teaspoon fine sea salt


Combine cranberries, citrus zest, citrus juice, orange segments and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to keep sugar from burning. Cook over medium heat, slow boiling for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and cook for another 30 minutes, simmering and stirring.

Add salt and minced jalapenos to taste.

Cool and serve room temperature with Thanksgiving dinner,  on toast, or as a great dip for corn chips.

I like it with the big Thanksgiving meal, but I like it even more on toast in the morning, or as a dip for corn chips at the cocktail hour!

Store in a glass jar in the fridge, and it should last about three weeks.

Do you make cranberries a part of your Thanksgiving table?

Photo credit: Staci Strauss

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