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Cranberry Sauce Naturally Sweetened

Cranberry Sauce Naturally Sweetened

As much as I love coming up with new creations, I really love food that has been around for many years. Cranberry sauce is one of those old recipes, it dates from the 18 hundreds! And is still an absolute favourite in many homes. 


Cranberries are a winter fruit but you can find cans and jars of cranberry sauce at the store year round. To be honest, I prefer to stay away from them for different reasons. I much more prefer to make my own sauce. Which is limiting since this means we can only enjoy cranberry sauce during the colder months of the year. I guess, it makes it a bit of a novelty and we might even appreciate it a lot more because of it. 

There are many reasons why I like making my own sauce. First of all the consistency of canned cranberry sauce is not really appealing. I'm not sure why they have to make it look so unnatural. There are some brands that come in a jar that do a better job but it's still not quite the same as the home-made version.

cranberry sauce naturally sweetened ingredients

Also, pre-made cranberry sauce usually contains a ridiculous amount of refined sugar, which we well know is not good for the body. We often hear how bad sugar is, here are some of its negative effects: 

  • Linked to obesity.
  • Cause of chronic disease such as diabetes. 
  • May increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Increase the risk of depression. 
  • May increase the risk of cancer.
  • Can increase aging. 
  • Drains your energy. 
  • Causes fatty liver. 
  • Makes you feel hungry.
  • Damages dental health. 

orange juice and dates in a blender

Studies have found that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day! With all the negative effects sugar has on the body, we should be more concerned about where all this sugar is coming from. Processed food contains loads of it, and it's in things we would never imagine needed sugar.

I try to avoid it as much as possible and find alternatives to still satisfy my sweet tooth. There are many ways to make our recipes sweet and delicious. Such is the case of today's cranberry sauce, we are using orange juice and dates to make the magic happen. 

cranberries and orange juice in a pot

Cranberries have an amazing taste but they can be quite sour as well. It will all depend on where your berries are sourced from and how ripe they are. You can add a bit more orange juice than what the recipe asks if it comes out to sour. If that doesn't do it I have another trick for you.

Add a bit of soda bicarb to neutralise the acidity that naturally comes with sour fruit. The acidity of the fruit will neutralise the harsh flavour of the soda bicarb and everything will balance out perfectly!

Whenever I make cranberry sauce I definitely overuse it. One of my favourite things to serve it with is this Mushroom nut loaf, a pair made in heaven for this chilly days. 

cranberry sauce naturally sweetened top down

Prep time
5 minutes
Total time
Category: Sides
Serves: 4


  • ¼ cup date (pittet)
  • 3 cups frozen cranberries
  • 2 oranges (juiced and a bit of zest)


  1. Add the orange juice together with the dates to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and add the cranberries.
  3. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens.
  4. Let it cool down before serving, enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Please take a photo, share it on Instagram and tag it with #veganio. We love to see your photos.

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