Every November, cranberry sauce claims its rightful spot on the table next to the turkey, potatoes and stuffing. Both tangy and sweet, it perfectly complements all the savory dishes on your plate. But do you serve jellied or whole cranberry sauce? Canned or homemade? This loaded question can easily ruin a perfectly good Thanksgiving dinner.
Luckily, this Homemade Spiced Cranberry Sauce is fast and easy to make. The essential oils add a sweet and spicy twist to a classic favorite. So put that can opener away, and make your own cranberry sauce this holiday season.
Thanksgiving is pretty much my favorite holiday. An entire holiday devoted to eating…it’s a no-brainer. I also love that my meal plan is already done for me. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Done!
Growing up I wasn’t sure there was any type of cranberry sauce other than canned. My mother took her Thanksgiving meal pretty seriously, so everything was homemade, right down to the gravy. Except for the cranberry sauce.
My younger sister was usually in charge of that dish. She would grab the can opener and go to work. 30 seconds later, and a bit of jiggling, the cranberry sauce was plopped into a fancy dish and placed on the table. I didn’t ask questions, I just ate it.
Little did I know at the time, cranberry sauce is so easy to make and the results are even more delicious than the canned version. As an adult getting ready to serve her first Thanksgiving meal, I was determined to change that tradition. I’ve never looked back.
History of Cranberry Sauce
No, cranberry sauce was not served at the first Thanksgiving. Cranberries are native to North America, so it is possible they were served on that day, but just not in the way with which we are familiar.
Traditional stewed cranberry sauce (with sugar) did not enter the culinary scene until at least the 18th century, while canned cranberry sauce did not make an appearance until 1912. And so a tradition was born.
- 20 percent of all cranberries consumed each year are consumed the week of Thanksgiving.
- Jellied cranberry sauce was actually a genius solution to finding a profitable use for imperfect cranberries.
- Cranberry sauce is called relish or chutney in other countries.
- Cranberries are packed with vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Cranberries are actually a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs.
This cranberry sauce recipe combines some classic spices that are always perfect for holiday baking. Using vitality essential oils gives it an intense flavor that will ‘wow’ your dinner guests.
Cinnamon Bark, Orange and Clove Vitality essential oils are some of my favorites to use in my fall dishes. Serve up a batch of Apple Cranberry French Toast the morning before the big meal.
Cranberries on their own are quite bitter. They pair well with citrus fruits like orange and tangerine as in these delightful Cranberry Orange Muffins.
New to essential oils? Learn more about how we use them and why you should use them as well.
Homemade Spiced Cranberry SaucePrint Pin Rate
- 6 drops orange vitality & 2 drops ginger vitality
- Wash and rinse the cranberries, removing any visible stems.
- Add sugar, orange juice and water to a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil. Cranberries will begin to pop, about 10 minutes.
- Simmer on low for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Remove from burner and let sauce rest for 15 minutes.
- Add essential oils, orange zest, and salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Garnish with remaining orange zest.
Recipe Notes and Substitutions
- Sugar is added to balance the dish and thicken the sauce. You could also use honey or agave depending on your flavor preference. Orange juice and orange zest add a mild zing that complements the cranberries, but you could omit if you find it too citrusy.
- When cooking with essential oils, they are always added after cooking or boiling while the dish is resting. Similar to cooking with wine or alcohol, the essential oils will burn off during the heating process. Add at the end.
- Make this cranberry sauce in advance and refrigerate in a mason jar for up to one week.
- Optional: Add 2 ounces of NingXia Red to the mix for a rich dose of berries and antioxidants.
- I have also made this recipe in my Instant Pot. Directions: Add cranberries, water and orange juice to the IP. Set to ‘Manual’ for 7 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally. Set to ‘Saute’ and slowly add the sugar. Let it come to a boil, about 4 minutes. Turn IP off and let rest for 5 minutes. Add essential oils and orange zest and stir. Chill for one hour before serving.
If you got lucky and are not hosting Thanksgiving this year, bring this as a througtful hostess gift. Add the cranberry sauce to a mason jar with a cute label and you’re done!