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.
- 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)
- Pour the cranberries into a strainer and rinse under running water
- In a 3 quart pot add the cranberries and the 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer until the berries are soft and mushy
- Pour the cooked cranberries back into the strainer with a large pot underneath
- With a firm spatula force the berries through, in order to remove the skins
- Place all the sauce back into the pot and put aside
- Chop the apples into small pieces
- Squirt the apples with the lemon juice
- Add the cinnamon stick to the pot
- Pour the apples into the pot with cranberries and place back on stove to simmer
- Cook and stir this mixture until the apples are very small chunks
- This requires a lot of stirring (wear an apron!)
- Remove from heat and cool
- Remove the cinnamon stick
- 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)
- Divide into containers
- Use within 2 weeks or freeze
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Yield: about 3 pints