This fresh cranberry relish is my jam. Full of bright, tart cranberries and fresh orange and almond flavors, it pairs beautifully with oats, yogurt, sweets or as a side with meats.
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 for making 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- such a wonderful and underutilized fruit with such a short harvest and eating season.
The first thing I make when I get my hands on fresh cranberries is 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 own tweaks, of course.
I don’t love cooked cranberry sauce that much unless I’m using it to make my homemade Cranberry Vinaigrette. But oh, how I love all of the fresh, bright flavors and the crunchy, chewy texture of this cranberry relish. I tend to make it a little bit 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 Almond Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies, so I went with a fresh orange and some almonds. SO good.
And really, so good for you. Cranberries are one of the highest antioxidant fruits around. While they’re usually thought of as bladder-friendly, they also help to protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and lots of other chronic diseases. They’re also a super-low sugar fruit, so if you ever try one straight out of the bag, be prepared to pucker from their tartness. This recipe has a whole fresh orange, so it has some natural sweetness. Feel free to play around with the amount of added sweetener depending on your taste.
Chopped Orange Almond Cranberry Relish
- 1 -12 oz bag fresh cranberries rinsed
- 1 whole orange with peel, washed, quartered, any seeds removed
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar or sweetener of choice I use half stevia and half sugar
- 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.
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 chicken.
Have you ever seen a cranberry bog?