Whether you’re a cranberry sauce or cranberry relish person, this fresh tasting low carb cranberry recipe will help you make a keto Thanksgiving possible.
Making a good low carb cranberry relish is very easy. Although cranberries are tart, many people following low carb diets have adjusted their taste buds to enjoy much less sugar than they once did. I know that I can eat raw cranberries – with out sugar, and they almost seem sweet!
To make a low carb cooked cranberry sauce, or low carb stove-top cranberry sauce, one only needs fresh or frozen cranberries, water, and a low carb sugar alternative like erythritol. Just boil the ingredients together and the natural pectin in the cranberries will thicken it up. If your low carb cranberry sauce needs more sweetness, consider adding a little stevia (I like stevia glycerite). To add a little variation to your low carb cranberry sauce, adding a little almond extract or nutmeg can dress it up nicely. Look at my recipe for low carb cranberry walnut crumb bars to get an idea.
As a child, I looked forward to my mother’s cranberry relish every Thanksgiving. Its tart-sweet flavor provided a punch of mouth awakening acidity; a counterpoint to the richness of a plate piled with gravy-covered-everything. I remember repeatedly walking past her beautifully laid dining table bedecked with Thanksgiving finery, eyeing the good china, polished silver and sparkling glasses, and guessing where she would put the banana bread (or zucchini bread), sweet potatoes and cranberry relish. You have to have #foodpriorities and I had mine even at a young age.
Mom always made her cranberry relish from fresh cranberries, not frozen, which she put into the food processor with oranges and sugar. Then, she gave the ingredients a whir. That’s it. So, if you’re into easy thanksgiving side dishes this one’s for you. But mom’s version, as tasty as it was, contained lots of sugar – not the ideal recipe for a low carb Thanksgiving menu.
Because I grew up with mom’s fresh cranberry relish, I decided to prepare cooked cranberry sauce for holidays for many years. This year, though, I’m revisiting my childhood and making a cranberry relish just like my mom’s – only much lower in sugar! I’m replacing the sugar with a natural low carb sugar alternative (erythritol) and subtracting an orange from her recipe. Although it’s not a completely sugar-free recipe, it is a recipe with no added sugar and low carb enough to be part of a ketogenic Thanksgiving menu, if not over-eaten.
[NOTE] The color becomes deeper after sitting over-night and the flavors mingle nicely. Any leftover relish can be added to low carb muffins, low carb cupcakes and even to sugar-free cream cheese frosting to bump up the flavor.
This Low Carb Cranberry Relish is 3 net carbs per 1/4 cup serving.
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Low Carb Cranberry Relish (keto)
- 12 ounces fresh Ocean Spray cranberries washed
- 1 medium orange 4 oz
- 2/3 cup low carb sugar powdered, or Swerve Granulated
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice (1 inch piece of fresh ginger chopped, squeeze in garlic press)
- 3 pinches ground cloves
- Wash the cranberries and discard any small stones or soft berries. Cut the stem and blossom end of the orange to the flesh, then quarter it and cut each quarter in half. Do not peel the orange. Discard any seeds. Roughly chop a 1 inch piece of ginger. Powder the sweetener in a coffee or spice grinder.
- Layer the cranberries and orange pieces in the processor and add the sweetener, spice and ginger juice. (Put the chopped ginger in a garlic press and squeeze to extract as much of the juice as you can. You can't really taste it, but it surely adds to the over-all flavor.)
- Using the pulse button, run the food processor until the cranberries and orange are chopped into roughly the same sized pieces. Taste. If you would like it sweeter, add your favorite stevia sweetener or more powdered Sukrin 1 (or Swerve Granulated). It should taste both tart and sweet.
- Refrigerate up to two days before needing and for 5-7 days total. Makes approximately 3 cups with 1/4 cup per serving.
- Leftover cranberry relish is great on cheesecake or mixed into muffin and cake batters.