10 ingredient/ Dips & Sauces/ Gluten Free/ Quick & Easy/ Sides/ Winter


A recipe for a tart, tangy cranberry sauce, balanced with wintery spices and naturally sweetened with dates.

Perfect alongside roast veggies, Thanksgiving dinner, swirled into dips, and even on top of winter porridge or Christmas Day pancakes.

Made from 5 ingredients, this sauce is ready after 15 minutes. Flavoured with fresh orange juice, dates, cardamom and star anise – my secret ingredients– it beats store bought sauces.

Ingredients in this Cranberry sauce

  • Cranberries: Fresh or frozen
  • Dates: to naturally sweeten
  • Cardamom: To add a nice warmth to the sauce
  • Cinnamon Sticks: aka THE spice of winter
  • Fresh orange juice: Freshly squeezed! Don’t use bottled, it won’t be as good.
  • Star anise: My secret ingredient
  • Cloves: All you need is a pinch!
  • Nutmeg: What cranberry sauce would be complete without it?!
  • Fresh Ginger: To add a little fire to the sauce

A better-for-you version of the classic cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce is one of those classic sauces that is on everyones table at Christmas or Thanksgiving, but store bought versions are full of sugar and stabilisers, preservatives. YUCK!

This one only takes about 20 minutes to make, it fills the house with the smell of Christmas and freezes really well too!

How to store Cranberry sauce:

This sauce freezes really well, I have used cranberry sauce about 6 months after I made it!

  • Freeze in ice-cube trays for individual portions – perfect for porridge!
  • Freeze in re-usable silicone bags.
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  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 300g approx 1x


Perfect alongside roast veggies, Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner, swirled into dips, and even on top of winter porridge or Christmas Day pancakes.


  • 1 punnet / 300g Cranberries – fresh or frozen 
  • 48 Pitted dates – depending on your preferred level of sweetness
  • 1 Orange –  Juiced and zested
  • 23 Cinnamon sticks
  • 34 Cardamon pods –  de-shelled
  • 1 Star anise 
  • 1/41/2 tsp ground cloves 
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg –  freshly grated!
  • 5 cm piece of Fresh Ginger – peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150ml – 200ml warm water


  1. Blend the dates, cardamon pods and warm water in a blender to create a paste/ sauce
  2. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange juice, spices, vanilla, cinnamon sticks and date mixture.  Let the mixture cook on medium-low heat, covered, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add a splash more water if too thick.
  3. Stir through zest at end of cooking.
  4. Once cool remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Using a potato masher or hand blender, mash or blend the sauce to your preferred texture—a little chunky or silky smooth.

Keywords: side dish, christmas, fall, holiday, thanksgiving, condiment, quick and easy, sauce, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, cranberry, refined sugar free

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