Orange Cranberry Sauce with Pecans Recipe

Our first Thanksgiving in the Okanagan, my in-laws were at our place and my BIL helped cook a turkey dinner.  It was from watching him that I learned to make cranberry sauce from scratch.  Over the years, I have tweaked his recipe and added a few flavours to match our Citrus, Herb and Garlic Turkey.  I was surprised at how amazingly simple it is to make cranberry sauce.

Orange Cranberry Sauce with Pecans Ingredients:

  • 1 package of fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, zested and de-veined
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans
  • water
Cranberries, orange zest and oranges in the pot.

Preparing the ingredients:

  1. Wash the entire package of cranberries and pick out any bad ones (I always find rotten ones in the bag) and add to a medium pot.
  2. Zest and juice the lemon and add to the pot.
  3. Zest one of the oranges and juice the other one and add to the pot.
  4. With the orange that was zested, cut about a half inch off the top and bottom.  Then cut what is left of the peel from around the outside, exposing the orange flesh.  De-vein the orange by cutting the orange flesh out from the skin by slicing just on either side of the skin for each piece (as shown below) and add to the pot.De-veining an Orange
  5. Give the pecans a rough chop to about 1/4″ sized pieces and set aside.
  6. Measure out the brown sugar and honey and set aside.

How to make Orange Cranberry Sauce with Pecans:

  1. Add the cranberries, orange zest, lemon zest, orange juice, lemon juice and orange pieces to a medium sized pot and fill with just enough water to cover the cranberries (see first photo above).
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high to get the water boiling.  As the cranberries cook down, they will literally “pop” and it will start to thicken and look like it does in the photo below.
  3. Once the cranberries have cooked down, add the pecans, sugar and honey.
  4. Boil down for a further 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. If you find the sauce too thick for your liking, add more water to thin it out.
  6. If you find the sauce to tart, add more sweetener (brown sugar and/or honey.
Cooked Orange Cranberry Sauce with Pecans

Tips:

If you plan on canning the cranberry sauce, citrus is needed to ensure the jars seal.

We had toasted almonds in our house when I made the sauce the last time and added them.  You could toast the pecans and could substitute the pecans for other nuts.

You can add more or less sweeteners and use different types to your liking:  honey, white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, fruit juices, etc.  Once you add sweetness, it cannot be taken out!

Do not buy cranberries during turkey season (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter) when they cost a premium.  Cranberries freeze very well.  I wanted to purchase a package at Thanksgiving and they were “on sale” for $2.49 a package.  I did not buy them knowing I usually pay $1.25 or less.  At the end of October, I bought four packages at .99 cents each and they were regularly priced at $3.99 a package.

Finally Made Homemade Granola

Several months ago, I came across a great looking granola recipe in the Alive magazine.  I was supposed to have made this granola to eat as I recovered from surgery.  I simply had way too much to get done before surgery in the six weeks leading up to it from when I got my surgery date.  My granola never got made.

Last night, a friend of mine posted a photo of the granola she had made and that was enough inspiration for me to start making some at 8pm last night.  A friend of theirs posted a link to ReluctantEntertainer.com – Fruit, Coconut and Nut Granola Recipe.

I thought I had all the ingredients to make the granola but ran into a few empty containers along the way and had to improvise.  I was certainly glad I decided to halve the recipe before starting.  I knew I did not want to use coconut and instead subbed out 1/3 of a cup each of pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds, added 1 cup of cranberries and 1/2 cup of raisins, and swapped the walnuts for pecans.

The wet ingredients got interesting when I found out we had no brown sugar or maple syrup.  I ended up using apple maple syrup and honey in place of the maple syrup, and used maple sugar in place of the brown sugar.  I am just realizing I never did top up that quarter cup and was trying not to use white sugar.  I melted down coconut margarine because I did not want to use extra virgin olive oil.  Then I had to heat up the concoction to get it to mix together and be able to pour it over the dry ingredients.

Homemade Granola

I was amazed at how simple it was to make granola and how great it tasted!  I will have to work on making more, swapping in/out ingredients and trying differing flavours.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to chart my ventures into cooking with more whole, nutritious and raw foods.  I am looking forward to modifying this recipe and coming up with a recipe of our own now that I know the basics.

Last night before heading to bed, I had granola, plain greek yogurt and some fresh raspberries and blackberries.  It was delicious!