CranApple Sauce: Sugar-Free, SCD/GAPS

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce, SCD/GAPS

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I am starting to think about what I can prepare ahead of time. Homemade cranberry sauce is one of those condiments that really add to the festive meal and it freezes well! This cranapple sauce recipe is a huge hit with those used to conventional canned cranberries that are made with huge amounts of high fructose corn syrup. It is also much healthier when you choose organic cranberries and organic apples.

Indigenous people have used cranberries for medicinal purposes for ages. Cranberries are especially used for urinary tract infections. Research has shown that the unique proanthocyanidins (PACs) in the cranberry actually inhibit the adhesion of bacteria, including E. coli, to the urinary tract epithelium.  These antioxidant compounds specific to the cranberry are critical in the prevention of UTI rather than the acidification of the urine as was previously hypothesized.

Additionally, cranberries are being studied for their beneficial effects on the heart, the gums and teeth, gastric ulcers and protection of the brain.

This is the time of the year to hoard organic cranberries as they are harder to come by than conventional berries. I buy many bags of these organic berries and freeze them for holidays in the spring and even early fall of the next year. They seem to stay indefinitely in the freezer.

CranApple Sauce


  • Two 12 ounce bags of organic cranberries
  • 3 large organic apples that have been peeled (a sweet variety)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • One cinnamon stick
  • Lemon juice – a few squirts from a fresh lemon
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (where to buy)



  1. Pour the cranberries into a strainer and rinse under running water
  2. In a 3 quart pot add the cranberries and the 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until the berries are soft and mushy
  4. Pour the cooked cranberries back into the strainer with a large pot underneath
  5. With a firm spatula force the berries through, in order to remove the skins
  6. Place all the sauce back into the pot and put aside
  7. Chop the apples into small pieces
  8. Squirt the apples with the lemon juice
  9. Add the cinnamon stick to the pot
  10. Pour the apples into the pot with cranberries and place back on stove to simmer
  11. Cook and stir this mixture until the apples are very small chunks
  12. This requires a lot of stirring (wear an apron!)
  13. Remove from heat and cool
  14. Remove the cinnamon stick
  15. Add the honey (be sure to wait until the mixture has cooled before adding raw honey) to taste (it may take more than 1/4 cup)
  16. Divide into containers
  17. Use within 2 weeks or freeze

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Yield: about 3 pints

This post is linked to: Sugar-Free Sunday, Savory Sunday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Sunday School, Monday Mania, Homestead Barnhop, Mangia Monday, Meatless Monday, Homemaker Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Tuesday at the Table, Hearth & Soul Hop, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Mommy Club, Real Food Wednesday, Health 2Day Wednesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday,Pennywise Platter, Creative Juice Thursday, Turning the Table Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Friday Food, Foodie Friday, Fight Back Friday, Real Food Holidays Thanksgiving, Hearth & Soul Hop

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Leave a Comment

  • Chaya November 7, 2011, 3:39 am

    A beautiful dish.  What a color.  I would imagine that the cranberries and apples match up to give a super flavor.  Thanks for sharing this.

  • Beyondthepeel November 7, 2011, 8:07 pm

    Hi Jill, What a nice recipe. Perfect for the holiday that’s coming up. You always have such great ideas for twists on traditional recipes made healthy.

  • Jenna November 10, 2011, 2:59 am

    This sounds delicious – I love cranberries!

  • Swathi November 10, 2011, 3:04 am

    Delicious sauce nice recipe for thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop. 

  • Linda Etherton November 10, 2011, 3:26 am

    That looks so delicious and festive! The cran-apple combination sounds great.

  • Willom November 11, 2011, 11:56 am

    Why do you remove the cranberry skins? You didn’t peel the apples?

    • Jill November 11, 2011, 1:46 pm

      Hi Willom,
      I don’t like skins and they are hard to digest for some people. I do peel the apples and will fix that on the instructions right now!

  • Miz Helen November 12, 2011, 2:11 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week end and please come back soon.
    Miz Helen

  • Anonymous November 13, 2011, 4:29 am

    I would love to try this.  I have some awesome honey.  

  • JoAnn Ryan November 13, 2011, 2:05 pm

    A great recipe for the holidays!
    Thanks for posting it to Food Blog: Post of the Day.


  • Alea Milham November 13, 2011, 7:09 pm

    This recipe sounds delicious! I always sweeten my applesauce with applejuice concentrate, but I bet the honey adds a unique and delicious flavor to balance the crnaberries. Thank you for sharing your recipes with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  • April Harris November 15, 2011, 9:14 am

    Cranberries are such a lovely seasonal treat and so good for you too! Thank you for sharing this post, and a great recipe, with the Hearth and Soul hop. I’ve chosen it as one of my highlights from last week’s hop and linked to it from my post this week.

    • Jill November 15, 2011, 6:59 pm

      Hi April,
      Thanks so much for highlighting my cranapple sauce!

  • Lisa November 21, 2011, 4:25 pm

    I love the combination of apples and cranberries – thanks for linking this to the “Real Food Holidays” Thanksgiving recipe share!

  • Ariel November 12, 2012, 5:04 pm

    Jill, this looks like a delicious recipe. Could I use it at the end of an article on cranberries? I’d credit you of course and link to your website. The article will be on a site that has an audience of vegans, vegetarians, and health conscious people. Please let me know, I’d love to share this recipe!

  • Megan November 21, 2012, 12:25 am

    Hi Jill,

    I just made this for my family Thanksgiving on Thursday. The instructions don’t say when to *add* the cinnamon stick. I assume it’s when you add the apples?

    Thanks! Love your work!

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