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Clean Eating Cranberry Sauce

Begin the avalanche of clean Thanksgiving recipes.

Trader Joe's cranberries

And memories of that one time I thought I’d eat a bowl of fresh cranberries like a fruit salad. Don’t ever do that.

Aren’t they pretty?


While I definitely think there’s a time and place for splurging and saving, Thanksgiving is high on the live-it-up factor. I look forward to cornucopia of pie offerings, fluffy mashed potato, and savory turkey. I thought I’d share some of my favorite homemade, clean Thanksgiving recipes over the next week. This isn’t an attempt to cover up the full goodness glory of the holiday, but rather to provide whole homemade options instead of the usual store-bought stuff. While I’ll be the first to tell you I like when my cranberry sauce has ridges from the can, there’s something truly amazing about homemade sauce.

Homemade cranberry sauce

No funky ingredients, and a bright flavor from orange zest. It’s super easy to make, and while it’s delicious on protein for a sweet/savory kick, it’s especially wonderful on pumpkin pancakes.

cranberry sauce with pancakes

Here’s how to make it.

clean eating cranberry sauce


Clean Eating Cranberry Sauce



  • 2 bags fresh cranberries (8oz each)
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Sweetener of choice (Stevia, honey, maple syrup, canned crushed pineapple, sucanat)


  1. Rinse cranberries.
  2. Zest orange and set zest aside.
  3. Place cranberries in a large pot on medium low heat.
  4. Juice orange over cranberries.
  5. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of water, vanilla extract, salt and orange zest.
  6. Cook for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the berries pop and soften.
  7. Wait until you have the texture you like–I like some whole cranberries still–then add your sweetener of choice.
  8. Just like any sauce, it tastes better the next day! Store covered in the fridge.


Squeezing an orange over cranberries


To serve this with pancakes, either try this traditional recipe (the Pilot’s favorite) or my favorite protein pancakes with 1 large tablespoon pumpkin puree and 1/2 t pumpkin spice mixed in.

Hope you enjoy!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving or comfort food? Any clean versions of classic favorites that you love? Please link away in the comments section!

For me, it’s all about the stuffing. I loooove this cranberry quinoa version.

Hope you have a wonderful day <3

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