Add another vegetable to your holiday table with this low sugar cranberry sauce recipe that has a surprise ingredient: parsnips! It’s the best way to enjoy cranberry sauce, with added nutrition from fiber-rich parsnips and without tons of refined sugar.
Ok, I know what you might be thinking. Did she really add a vegetable to cranberry sauce?! Why yes, yes I did. And it turned out to be a great addition!
If you have eaten fresh cranberries before, then you probably know that they have a tart, sour flavor. Dried cranberries, on the other hand, tend to have added sugar and taste sweeter. Seriously, almost all dried cranberries have added sugar if you check the ingredients list!
This is because a little sugar makes cranberries much more palatable for some people, including me. So when I sat down to think of a fun recipe for Thanksgiving, I decided to make a homemade cranberry sauce that did not contain refined sugar but instead featured a sweet veggie.
That’s when parsnips came to mind! These pale yellow root vegetables have a naturally sweet taste, and get even sweeter when you cook them. This makes them the perfect addition to tart cranberries.
So, if you’re looking for a unique way to serve up a Thanksgiving classic (or if you need a reduced sugar cranberry sauce, made with maple syrup), this one’s for you!
How to Make Low Sugar Cranberry Sauce
You only need four ingredients to make this cranberry sauce. Not bad at all, huh? Plus, you can get people to try parsnips (an amazing, underrated veggie), maybe without even knowing!
The process goes like this:
- Add everything to a pot. Boil and then bring to a simmer until you hear the cranberries pop (photo 1 above).
- Smash the mixture gently with a spoon (photo 2 above).
- Let it cool and eat it up!
Keep in mind that this is a chunky cranberry sauce, and will not be as smooth as the kind you buy in the can!
Tips for Serving and Storing
Of course, you can serve this recipe on Thanksgiving or another holiday. But it also tastes great in the following ways:
- Mixed into hot oatmeal
- Added to yogurt
- Eaten on top of pork chops or fish (yum!)
- Added to a baked potato! (recommendation from Will)
Homemade low sugar cranberry sauce can last in the fridge for 5-7 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze this recipe and thaw in the fridge before you want to eat it. This makes it a great make ahead recipe for the holidays!
For other holiday side dishes, check out the Beet and Carrot Veggie Applesauce, Savory Roasted Root Vegetables, and Healthier Green Bean Casserole with Almonds.
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to let me know how you like it by rating and reviewing in the comments below!
Low Sugar Cranberry Sauce with Parsnips
- cutting board and knife
- large pot and spoon
- 3 cups cranberries
- 2 parsnips - diced, about 1 cup
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup water
- In a large pot, combine cranberries, diced parsnips, maple syrup, and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until all of the cranberries have "popped."
- Use a large spoon to gently pop the rest of the cranberries and stir the sauce. It should be pretty thick by the time you take it off the stove, and it will thicken up a bit more as it cools. The parsnips should be fairly tender, but you can keep the sauce on the stove until they cook a little more if desired.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Serve with Thanksgiving turkey, or mix into oatmeal and yogurt and serve with pork or fish.
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