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Thankful for Cranberries

Thankful for Cranberries

As the leaves change colour and the first hint of chill in the evening air announces that fall is here, BC’s cranberry farmers are finishing their harvest to put lovely local cranberries on our Thanksgiving tables. Last fall my curiosity about cranberries peaked when my brother started working on a Vancouver Island cranberry farm. I learned that cranberries are native to North America and that BC farmers produce over half of Canada’s cranberries!I was excited to work this local fruit into my fall menu, so I started experimenting with recipes. Guess what? I love the tart flavour. Surprisingly, I didn’t have to add much sweetness to my new dishes. The sour taste seemed to compliment almost everything.

If you’re not already a cranberry fan, I have three excellent reasons why you might consider adding cranberries to your fall menu:

  1. choosing local and seasonal produce supports our farmers
  2. they bring new and different flavour to your kitchen, and
  3. they offer one more way to boost your fruit consumption.

I’m passing along my Thanksgiving cranberry sauce recipe for you to try. My family pairs this chunky cranberry sauce with our Thanksgiving turkey, roasted yams and pearled onions. It also tastes great on left over mashed potato pancakes, or on a cold turkey sandwich.

Here are a few other ideas for adding cranberries to your fall menu.

  • Add fresh cranberries to your favorite whole grain bread, biscuit or muffin recipe
  • Substitute cranberries for 1/3 of the fruit in a pie or fruit crisp
  • Add whole cranberries when roasting yams or winter squash

Zesty Cranberry Sauce Recipe:


400 g (4 cups) fresh or frozen whole cranberries
50 g (¼ cup) sugar
40 g (¼ cup) raisins
250 mL (1 cup) orange juice (This is about two fresh oranges. You can add water to make a full cup if necessary.)
Zest of one orange
5 mL (1 tsp.) finely grated ginger


Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan or pot and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and reduce the heat to achieve a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until almost all of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat.

Serve the cranberry sauce immediately or cover and refrigerate up to three days. For more information on food storage, see the article “Food Storage” on the Healthy Canadians website.

Related blogs:

How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

Recommended resources:

Healthy Canadians: Safe Food Storage



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