Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Simple whole food cranberry sauce - cooked cranberry relish

Fresh real food cranberry sauce take 2!

Several years ago I developed/perfected a super basic recipe for fresh cranberry relish. No processed sugars, just sweetened with dates, apple, and orange. I love the fresh taste and no sugary aftertaste, and I can feel better about eating it.

I've made my fresh cranberry relish for the past few Thanksgivings, but this year I wanted to try something a little softer, less tangy... I looked into a few recipes, but I really liked how mine was SO basic and used no concentrated sweeteners.

I wondered, could I just cook my old favorite recipe? What would happen? Cooked cranberries? Good. Cooked apple? Good. Cooked oranges and dates? Not sure, but sounds okay!

I did find some other examples of fresh fruit cooked cranberry sauces, so I figured it would probably work out okay texture-wise. I went for it!!

It's really like a cooked cranberry relish, which I understand is an oxymoron (cranberry sauce vs. relish here). But it's not saucy and liquid/gel-ey like the basic sugar and cranberry recipe. I think of it like a cooked relish, still.

Simple Chunky Cranberry Sauce


  • 3/4 c. - 1 c. whole dates 
  • 1 bag of cranberries 
  • 1 orange, peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped


    1. Blend dates in food processor to chop them finely.
    2. Combine cranberries, orange, and apple into food processor and blend until combined.
    3. Cook in saucepan until berries and apples darken and become opaque.

    Serve warm or cold on turkey or other festive foods!

    When I made the raw version, I would add a handful walnuts when the mix was mostly blended. I'm not sure how good the nuts would be in this cooked version, but if you really like chunky relish, I guess it could be okay... let me know if you try it!

    P.S. The lovely oven mitts and cocktail napkins in these photos were a gift from Hen House Linens. They have adorable stuff perfect for the holidays! This one is the Greek Key Licorice pattern. So pretty and their quality is excellent, really nice 100% cotton and durable printing.

    And thanks to Macey for the photo help, and Jenni for the styling help! We had a fun day of holiday cooking and decorating this weekend.


    1. This is a recipe I need to try. It sounds so good. Thanks for sharing it.

    2. This looks so delicious!!!! I'm having to resist licking the screen. :o) I've been making my oatmeal with fresh cranberries, I need to try adding dates to sweeten it next time! I've been using a little local honey and ceylon cinnamon.


    3. You know Im not sure I ever really really tried Cranberry sauce! I've had a little bit but not too much, might have to give this a go though :)


    4. Hello there, You’ve done an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this web site.

    5. I tried this tonight and it was great! Couldn't even tell it was sugar free. I will make it again. If I have some left over i may add it to muffins, I think it would be a good alternative to apple sauce for a holiday recipe.



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