Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

Chopped Cranberry Relish

Sometimes I feel just a little bit sad for winter fruit.  Sure, I love my apples in the fall, and those first oranges in the winter make my mouth water just thinking about them.  Bananas.. meh.  I could take them or leave them.  I believe they were put on this earth for making banana bread and a few other desserts.  The problem with winter fruit, is that they just go on, and on, and on until you can’t eat another apple, orange or banana… until strawberry season. The exception to the winter fruit problem is cranberries- such a wonderful and underutilized fruit with such a short harvest and eating season. 

Many years ago, I had a part time job for Ocean Spray Cranberries.  I had quit my perfectly good, fairly high paying marketing job that I hated, to go back to grad school for four years to become an RD, AFTER I had my first child.  Don’t ask what I was thinking, but it all worked out in the end.  Anyway, I needed a fun, low stress, part-time job while in school, and I found myself working as a Consumer Affairs Representative (AKA phone question answerer, complaint handler, coupon mailer, etc) for Ocean Spray.  I also had the chance to work with their test kitchen staff, and I learned so much about cranberries, and the many ways to use them, so you, dear reader, are in luck!

A few facts about cranberries:

  • Cranberries are native to North American, and most are grown in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington State.
  • They do not grow under water, but in sandy bogs, which are often flooded in the late fall for wet harvesting – like the one on the Ocean Spray commercials.
  • North American cranberries are only harvested from mid-September through October BUT they can be frozen for more than a year, so when you see them, pick up several bags for your freezer!
  • Fresh cranberries bounce because they have air pockets inside.  After harvesting, the freshest ones are separated with a bounce board separator.
  • Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, and they really can help prevent urinary tract infections. They contain compounds that prevent bacteria from growing and adhering to the urinary tract walls.
  • Cranberries got their name, because it was thought that the cranberry’s flower resembles a crane


cranberry flower


What do you think?


Never, ever eat cranberry sauce from a can!  It’s so easy to make, just read the directions on the package.  Personally, I prefer uncooked cranberry relish over cooked cranberry sauce.  I adapted this recipe from Ocean Spray’s famous Cranberry Orange Relish recipe, which is one of their test kitchen’s original classics, and one of my family’s favorites.


Chopped Cranberry Relish|Craving Something Healthy


Chopped Cranberry Relish

Yield: 3 cups


  • 1 -12 oz bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 whole orange, with peel, washed, quartered, any seeds removed
  • 1 medium sweet apple, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup sugar


Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until relish is evenly chopped.

Refrigerate for 2-3 weeks, or freeze.


Make this No Sugar Added by replacing sugar with Monkfruit in the Raw

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 cup
Servings Per Container 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories 125 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 13g
Protein 2g 4%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

It’s not just for Thanksgiving!  Try this relish stirred into oatmeal, spread on a turkey sandwich, spooned on top of pancakes or waffles, mixed into yogurt, as a base for a vinaigrette, or on top of grilled salmon.


Have you ever seen a cranberry bog?


Eat well!







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