Cranberry Sauce without the Calories

Cranberry Sauce can be mostly sugar - but NOT this one.   Mary Jones of radio fame had me doing this one  on the air, - in 2014 - Thank you Mary!  
Essentially, all that is involved is buying, cleaning and sorting the berries - boiling them  till it is sauce - Sweeten to taste, with ZERO CALORIE Sweetener - cool and serve.  DONE !   All the fun, not much work or guilt!



  • Bring home Fresh cranberry from the market.   One small bag and one batch for your first try at it.  You can always make more - it is 15 minutes, start to finish.  Check that the berries are firm and healthy - no fun at all, if you get them home and they are not good.

  • Bring water to boil in a GLASS or stainless steel pan* ; a bit more than the volume of the berries.  *A metal pan may corrode and ruin the sauce - trash ruined berries and start over .

  • SORT the berries into a bowl, then  add them and one sprinkle of salt to the boiled water.  A few bad berries can ruin the sauce. Test for firmness and good looks before adding to the water.  Mush ones are bad.  Firm/hard ones are good, unless you spy some other faux.  

  • COOK :  Stirring constantly with a gentle spoon to prevent sticking;  the boiling water will stop, when you add the berries , then resume.   Once the boil resumes,  lower the heat to medium-high and add any good zero-calorie sweetener to taste.  NOT too much - you can Add more later if the result is not sweet enough but much more work to fix it if it is too sweet.  

  • DANGER of hot splashing - keep children and YOU safe in this.

  • SKIM AND HAVE FUN - the berries pop like popcorn - can be enjoyed from a safe distance !    Sometimes a froth will form - leave it and stir it in, or skim it off and discard it - your choice.

  • REDUCE  - keep stirring till all the berries are popped and the sauce has boiled down/ reduced to a nice thick business that LOOKS like proper whole berry cranberry sauce.  It thickens a bit when cooled , so keep this in mind.  

  • REMOVE  and COOL -  when the sauce IS sauce, slide it off the heat and let it cool a bit - do not cover it.  Mixture is HOT - if there are children near, do not let them near the hot sauce. Serious burns result.

  • TEST SWEETNESS - at serving time, with sauce having cooled and rested, taste again to be sure the sweetness is right - add more if needed - if it is too sweet, some dry wine will cut that a bit.

  • OPTIONS - add things!    flavorings if you like at this point - liqueurs, juices,  extracts like almond.   FRUITS , like  live mandarin sections , or sliced apples, Pomegranate or raspberries or other berry....or even a little wine.  

  • SERVE WITH -  the classic Thanksgiving Turkey - or as a dessert sauce; with cakes , or puddings;  with greek yoghurt or whipped cream or over ice cream.   

  • REJOICE - the calories are negligible in this sauce, though the ice cream and whipped cream and cakes run the tally upward.     if the sauce seems  too thick later:  Add juice or boiled water and stir. heat in microwave to a bubble for a moment, to thin it.   

    The cranberry sauce itself is fresh, wholesome and very tasty  -  One more for your "all of the fun / none of the guilt" cookbook.