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Try a New Twist on Cranberries this Thanksgiving

Although cranberry sauce is one of the main items associated with Thanksgiving, I was never a big fan.  I know a lot of folks enjoy it and that’s great–I just could never quite warm up to that red, jiggley mass, which still held the can imprints on it.  Is it a sauce, is it Jello and exactly how am I supposed to eat it (do I slice it, scoop it)???  So, for my first 30 years I basically avoided the stuff.

About 12 or so years ago my mom introduced Cranberry-Orange Relish to our Thanksgiving table and WOW–what a difference!  It’s both tart and sweet with a bit of a crunch and goes perfectly with roasted turkey.  In fact, I forgo the gravy these days and put the relish on my turkey instead.  It also works really well as a condiment for those leftover turkey sandwiches you’ll be eating the following week.

If you’re like me when it comes to the traditional cranberry sauce, give this recipe a try.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Let me know what you think and if you have an alternative cranberry recipe you’d like to share with us. 

Finally, I hope everyone has a festive and healthy Thanksgiving–enjoy this wonderful holiday with the people you love.

Cranberry-Orange Relish

4 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Combine the cranberries, sugar, water, orange juice and orange rind in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until the cranberry skins pop (you will actually hear them popping!), stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in almonds.  Cool and store in the refrigerator.  This recipe makes 4 cups.

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  1. You can enhance this recipe and cut the sugar but retain sweetness by using a whole navel or juice orange that has been pureed instead of at least 1 cup of sugar and the grated orange rind. If you want to cut reduce sugar further eliminate all the sugar and use sucralose, stevia or aspartame at the end (not all sweetenrs are heat stable)

  2. Thanks Chris for eliminating the sugar idea. Even tho too many Americans are obese, we still see these recipes that are loaded with sugar and fat. We need recipes that promote weight loss not gain.

  3. Actually tried this recipe and it is great. I don’t think anyone needs to worry about the sugar content since this is probably the smallest serving you will be having of all the dishes you serve. I’d watch out for the pie!

  4. I also like to experiment with cutting sugar in recipes and substituting…..but beware about cutting the sugar down too much, as it could change the consistency of the relish. I have had success with Splenda (for baking).

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