Lower Sugar Cranberry Sauce

Happy [almost] Thanksgiving, everyone!


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays mainly because of the flavors! Pass me the sweet potato casserole, cornbread dressing, and my personal fave–cranberry sauce!

Growing up, every year I’d help my mom make our family’s traditional “Cranberry Salad” which consisted of cranberries, raspberry jello, mandarin oranges, apples, crushed pineapple, and pecans–delish!

While I still enjoy that dish from time to time, I enjoy this healthier version just as much, AND I can enjoy it all cranberry-season long, which lasts from mid-September to mid-November.

Cranberry Facts:

Have you ever heard that drinking cranberry juice can help treat UTI’s? According to US News dietitian Julie Upton,   cranberries contain a special polyphenol called  proanthocyanidins that interfere with certain strains of bacteria–meaning they may help treat urinary tract infections. In addition to that, cranberries are also a great source of antioxidants and fiber, making them great for digestion!

Cranberries are also naturally low in sugar (which is why they are so dang bitter!). Most products require some sort of sweetener to make these berries palatable. In my recipe inspired by Cookie + Kate, I use 1/3 cup of maple syrup, chopped apple, and fresh orange juice to sweeten it up a bit.

Ways to enjoy cranberry sauce:

  • Toast with cream cheese + cranberry sauce
  • Top yogurt + cranberry sauce
  • Mix in oatmeal
  • Eat it by the spoonful!


Lower Sugar Cranberry Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 chopped apple (I used Pink Lady)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 zest of an orange
  • Juice of a whole orange


  1. Pick through and wash cranberries.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan, add cranberries, maple syrup and water. Bring to boil. Cook berries for 5-10 minutes until all berries have popped.
  3. Add in chopped apple, cinnamon, orange zest and orange juice. Stir together.
  4. Allow to cool. Cranberry sauce will thicken the more it cools.


What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Let me know in the comments!


Be sure to tag me on social media in all of your creations using #livebetterwithkatdetter or @live.better.with.katdetter.

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*What is this Monthly Newsletter? Every month is different, but they are all nutrition based and wellness oriented including in season foods, past relevant blog posts, fun food finds, and spiritual insight. 🙂



Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @live.better.with.katdetter
Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter








2 thoughts on “Lower Sugar Cranberry Sauce

    • Katrina Detter, RD, LDN December 18, 2019 / 11:24 am

      yes! It’s a great replacement, and it still tastes delicious!

      Liked by 1 person

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