Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

“Let food be your medicine.” –Hippocrates

When I was growing up we had cranberries approximately two days a year.

Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The cranberries we ate were slurped out of a can, sliced and then plopped on a plate. I can’t say they were my favorite. Now that I have grown up and do my own shopping I realize that not all cranberries come in a can and you can make your own homemade cranberry sauce.

Cranberries are native to North America and are a large food crop for the United States. They grow in acidic bogs located in both the eastern and western shores of North America and are at their peak from October to December.

When eaten fresh these astringent and sour fruits have a wide array of health benefits.

This recipe proclaims that cranberries deserve to be eaten more than simply two days a year!

Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

In the herbal world, cranberries are best known for their ability to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Cranberries are diuretic, as they increase urine output and also have mechanisms to prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall. These tart fruits have also been shown to reduce kidney inflammation. This makes them very effective at keeping the urinary tract healthy.

But their health benefits don’t stop there!

Cranberries are really high in flavonoids and vitamin C. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that protect the body from oxidation and inflammation that can lead to premature aging. These flavonoids have been shown to promote a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. By reducing inflammation they reduce plaque build-up in arteries, prevent platelets from sticking together and normalize cholesterol levels.

Cranberries are astringent, meaning they can tighten and tone tissues. This can be helpful for promoting healthy gums and teeth and for stopping excessive diarrhea. Historically, cranberries were used to cure scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C that often presents with bleeding gums. Cranberries may even reduce the presence of gingivitis.

We are going to show you a new spin on making your own herbal homemade cranberry sauce. Remember, cranberries are not just for the holidays anymore!

Besides using cranberries we’ll also use the following ingredients in our homemade cranberry sauce…

Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)

Horseradish is a pungent root that most people have eaten in the form of wasabi sauce. Simply try one bite of horseradish and I don’t have to tell you that it clears sinuses, FAST! Like cranberries, horseradish can also address a variety of urinary complaints, including bladder infections and kidney ailments.

Herbalists also commonly use it for respiratory infections like bronchitis and sinus infections.

It can even be used externally on wounds and muscle and joint pain. Careful though, in some people external use can cause a rash.

I bought a fresh horseradish root at the grocery store. If your local store doesn’t carry horseradish root ask if they can order it in. If not you could also use prepared horseradish root.

Orange Peel and Orange Juice

When I was growing up I always found an orange in the bottom of my Christmas stocking and so oranges always remind me of the holidays. Both the orange zest and the juice add a wonderful taste to this recipe.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.)

At one time in history cinnamon used to be more valuable than silver. Today people use it for colds and the flu, diarrhea, and to help balance blood sugar levels. Many of us simply use it because it tastes so darn good!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

What you’ll need…

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries (you can use frozen ones if fresh aren’t available)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated horseradish (see instructions below)
  • Zest and juice from 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup honey, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  1. Begin by rinsing the cranberries and then place them in a medium pan.


  1. Next you’ll grate the horseradish using a cheese grater. One word of caution here. You know that when you chop onions your eyes start to sting and you might start to tear up. Well, multiply that by ten for horseradish! You might want to grate this outside with plenty of fresh air or place a little of the sliced root in a food processor. It’s intense!


  1. Remove the zest from the orange. (You can use a cheese grater for this.) After you remove the zest, cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice out. When I did this I had about 3/4 cup of orange juice.


  1. Place the cranberries, grated horseradish root and orange zest and juice into the pan and turn it to medium high heat. There should be enough orange juice to have some juice in the entire bottom of the pan. You can add some water if you need more liquid.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  1. Stir frequently. As the orange juice starts to simmer you’ll hear the cranberries popping. Turn the heat to medium and continue stirring until the juice has evaporated and the cranberries have popped. Remove from heat.

Cranberry Sauce

  1. Add the honey (to taste).

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  1. And then add the sour cream and stir well.

sour cream

  1. Lastly add the cinnamon powder.


  1. The tartness of cranberries goes really well with salty foods like roasted meats or roasted vegetables. We like to make up a batch and have a little with each of our meals. This homemade cranberry sauce is very forgiving so feel free to experiment to come up with your personal favorite recipe.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

At LearningHerbs we believe healthy foods are paramount to a person’s path to wellness. Including a variety of different foods throughout the seasons is a great way to get a variety of nutrients to keep you and your family strong and healthy.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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