Cranberry Sauce Showdown

Yes, we know we know:  Your mom/aunt/uncle/(insert family member here) is the best cook in the world and no one knows how to make gravy or stuffing or mashed potatoes like she/he does.  We’d never argue with that, but all we’re saying is that Thanksgiving dinner is wide open to interpretation, and that’s exactly what some of CEH’s fine staffers have done with one very key Thanksgiving dish:  cranberry sauce.

We choose to steer clear of most canned foods when preparing our Thanksgiving dishes, because can linings may  leach Bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone-mimicking   chemical linked to breast cancer and a host of other health concerns. You may have heard about the Breast Cancer Fund’s recent report on BPA in Thanksgiving Canned Food, which found high levels of BPA in many commonly-used canned foods used to make popular Thanksgiving dishes.  From creamed corn to pumpkin, there are—unfortunately—too many ways to  be exposed to BPA from your Thanksgiving feast.

This is especially concerning, since many people cannot afford the fresh versions of many of these ingredients.

Even if you don’t have the time or money to cut all the canned ingredients out of your Thanksgiving repertoire, why not try making at least one dish can-free? We focused on cranberry sauce, surveying our staffers about their favorite, homemade recipes.  Fresh, homemade cranberry sauce is surprisingly quick and easy to make, and it tastes all the more delicious!

Here are our top cranberry sauce recipe choices:

Cranberry-Port Relish (adapted from Vegetarian Times recipe)

1 cup fresh, organic cranberries

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

1 tbs. port or orange juice

In medium saucepan, combine cranberries and water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until cranberries are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and stir in port or orange juice.  Let cool.

Pack some extra punch by adding several chunks of orange and chopped walnut pieces!


Cranberry, Ginger, and Orange Chutney

2 navel organic oranges

2 pounds fresh organic cranberries

½ cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup minced fresh ginger

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For instructions, click here.


Simple Cranberry Sauce

12 ounces fresh, organic cranberries

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup orange juice

In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice.  Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl.  Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

Those are our top three—look them over, try them out, and decide what’s best for you! Then tell us: which is your favorite?