Super Healthy Cranberry Sauce + Ideas for Leftovers

Posted November 11, 2014 in Thanksgiving, cranberry sauce, holidays, healthy holidays, healthy cooking, superfoods, leftovers, homemade

Growing up, I never ate the canned cranberry sauce that was served at our family Thanksgiving dinners. I always thought it was kind of weird. It wasn't until I was well into adulthood that I tasted actual homemade cranberry sauce, and the game was changed!

I love homemade cranberry sauce! But most recipes call for a whole cup of sugar for just 12-ounces of cranberries!! And I actually think most homemade cranberry sauces are way too sweet (shocking coming from me, I know). I just prefer to keep some of the tartness of the cranberries.

So I created a super healthy version! But why is it SUPER healthy? 

Well, first cranberries are super healthy - they are full of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. They also have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to the good stuff in cranberries, my recipe contains superfoods that will add even more nutrients to this holiday side dish. 

I added pomegranate juice, which is full of antioxidants, and chia seeds, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, calcium and antioxidants, to add some extra nutrition to this recipe. 

And the best part - there's absolutely no white sugar! 

Since both cranberries and pomegranate juice are tart, I added honey and coconut sugar to add sweetness. But this recipe isn't super sweet. You can adjust the sweetness if you would like. Use whatever sweetener you would like (pure maple syrup, stevia, etc.) and adjust the amount to make the cranberry sauce sweeter or more tart. You could also skip the pomegranate juice and use a sweeter juice (orange juice, pineapple juice, etc.) to make the cranberry sauce sweeter. 

Super Healthy Cranberry Sauce

12 oz. cranberries

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2-3 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. chia seeds

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp. coconut sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries burst and sauce begins to thicken. 


If you and your guests don't devour the entire batch of this cranberry sauce, I have some great ideas for leftovers! You may even want to set some aside so you can make these delicious leftover recipes!

Turkey-Cranberry Salad - Combine shredded turkey, Greek yogurt, dried cranberries or cranberry sauce and walnuts and serve over mixed greens or in a whole wheat wrap or sandwich.

Cranberry Oatmeal - Top your morning oatmeal with leftover cranberry sauce.

Pumpkin Oatmeal with Cranberry Sauce - Add 2-3 tablespoons of pure pumpkin puree and 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to your oatmeal while it's cooking, and when it's ready to serve, top it with cranberry sauce. (This is my fave!)

Cranberry Nut Waffles - Top whole wheat waffles with cranberry sauce and walnuts. You can do the same with whole wheat pancakes or French Toast.

Cranberry Yogurt - Top plain or vanilla yogurt with cranberry sauce and nuts.

Grilled Turkey Brie and Cranberry Sandwich - Butter two pieces of whole wheat bread. Place one piece of bread butter side down on a pre-heated skillet. Top with leftover turkey, cranberry sauce and brie. Place other piece of bread, butter side up, on top. Cook until bread is golden brown, then flip.

Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Chip Muffins - Stir your leftover cranberries into your favorite pumpkin muffin batter, and fold in some dark chocolate chips. This one is delicious!

What is your favorite way to use Thanksgiving leftovers?

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