This fresh lower-sugar cranberry relish is my jam. Full of bright, tart cranberries and fresh orange and almond flavors. With so much flavor, you don’t need as much sugar.
This low-sugar cranberry relish pairs beautifully with your Thanksgiving turkey or a roasted chicken. But it’s also delicious spooned into your oats, yogurt, or as a topping for baked brie.
A few weeks ago, I got a mega-treat from my friends at Ocean Spray Cranberries. It was a huge shipment of fresh cranberries. ‘Cause they know I love them.
Can you tell?
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 to make banana bread and a few other desserts.
The problem with winter fruits is that they just go on and on and on until you can’t eat another apple, orange, or banana… and then, happily, it’s strawberry season.
The exception to the winter fruit problem is cranberries. They’re such a wonderful and underutilized fruit. Unfortunately, they have such a short harvest season — from mid September through early November. And then they’re gone.
So the first thing I dowhen I get my hands on fresh cranberries is to stash several bags in the freezer. They’ll last all year, and that way, you can have cranberries even in the summer. Or whenever you’re craving Mini Turkey Meatballs with Curried Cranberry Sauce.
Then, I make a big batch of this fresh, chopped cranberry relish. Every year.
Unfortunately, there’s no secret recipe. It’s actually from the back of the Ocean Spray Cranberries package. With a few of my tweaks, of course.
I don’t buy cooked cranberry sauce much unless I’m using it to make my homemade Cranberry Vinaigrette. But oh, how I love the fresh, bright flavors and the crunchy, chewy texture of this cranberry relish.
I tend to make it a little different each time. Sometimes it’s cranberries with apples and walnuts. Or cranberries with super ripe pears and pecans.
Today, I was craving my favorite holiday Cranberry Orange Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies, so I went with fresh orange and some almonds. SO good.
Are Cranberries Healthy?
Cranberries are incredibly healthy. They’re one of the highest antioxidant fruits — full of vitamin C and anthocyanins, the antioxidants which give them their rich color. Cranberries are also quite high in fiber.
While cranberries and cranberry juice usually come to mind for preventing urinary tract infections, they also help to protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases.
Cranberries are also a super-low-sugar fruit (which is why prepared cranberry sauce is so high in sugar). If you try one straight out of the bag, be prepared to pucker from its tartness. This recipe has an entire fresh orange (including the rind), so it has lots of natural sweetness.
Because of the orange in this recipe, this relish only needs a small amount of added sweetener. I like to use Swerve or Lakanto in place of sugar. You can use all or part zero-calorie sweetener plus a little bit of real sugar.
Feel free to play around with the amount of added sweetener depending on your taste.
What to Eat With Cranberry Relish
Fresh, chopped cranberry relish isn’t just for Thanksgiving!
Try these ideas:
- Stir a few spoonfuls into oatmeal for a sweet, fruity, and nutty flavor
- Spread it on a turkey sandwich
- Spooned it on top of pancakes or waffles
- Mixed into yogurt
- Use it as a base for a vinaigrette
- Serve it on top or alongside grilled chicken
- Use it to make baked brie
Chopped Orange Almond Cranberry Relish
- 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries 1 bag, rinsed
- 1 medium orange with peel, washed, quartered, any seeds removed
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar or sweetener of choice I recommend Swerve or Lakanto for no-calorie sweeteners
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until relish is evenly chopped.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 weeks, or freeze.
Have you ever seen a cranberry bog?