Delicious new twists on cranberry sauce

I grew up in a family that served cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving by opening a can and sliding the jelly-like tube onto a plate. I do love its jiggly goodness-I mean, how can you deny the simplicity of slicing it along the can indentions? But as an adult I've grown to appreciate homemade versions much more.

My family is (mostly) starting to come around too. Although my mom still insisted we serve canned cranberry sauce at last year's Thanksgiving, I used beautiful fresh cranberries to make Cranberry, Cherry & Walnut Marmalade. I'm happy to say that about half of each version was consumed.

Are you ready to ditch the can and try a new Thanksgiving recipe? While you might think it takes a long time to make cranberry sauce from scratch, it doesn't have to, and you can add different flavors to your sauce for an untraditional twist. Here are a few options:

Gingered Cranberry-Raspberry Relish is ready to chill in 10 minutes. It's also great to make ahead-you can cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger (choose soft nuggets over disks, if possible)
3 cups raspberries (2 pints), fresh or frozen (not thawed)

Pulse cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in sugar and crystallized ginger. Gently stir in raspberries-it's fine to crush some of them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to let the flavors combine.

Makes about 4 cups.

Per 1/4-cup serving: 58 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 2 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 53 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (15% daily value).

  • Kick things up a notch with Spicy Cranberry Chutney, seasoned with jalapenos, ginger and citrus.
  • If you find traditional cranberry sauces too sweet, try Cranberry-Onion Relish.
  • No holiday dinner would be complete without a relish or chutney, and this Dried Pear & Cranberry Chutney is especially nice because the dried fruits readily absorb the sweet, sour and spicy chutney seasonings.

By Carolyn Malcoun

When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.

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