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Cranberries: Canned Sauce or Fresh Relish

posted Dec 16, 2016, 6:14 AM by Tracy Ducker, MS, RDN

As we continue our discussion on ways to lighten up holiday foods, cranberries come to mind. They are a staple on many holiday tables. Nutritionally, 1 cup of fresh cranberries is high in the antioxidant vitamin C and a good source of fiber.  But not many people eat fresh cranberries due to their tartness. So, we either consume canned cranberry sauce or homemade cranberry relish. But are they as nutritious as fresh cranberries? It depends. Canned cranberry sauce contains a lot of sugar, 22 grams per ¼ cup and not as much fiber, but for many the holidays aren’t the same without a slice or two. One way to decrease the sugar content and retain much of the fiber content is to make a cranberry relish.

Cranberrrelish can take on many forms from chunky to pureed, and the addition of virtually any fruit or nuts. The best part of making homemade cranberry relish is the creativity you can incorporate into the recipe. Cranberry relish can made a few days ahead and is relatively easy to prepare. Try this Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce which has 17 grams of sugar per ¼ cup or for an even better option try this Cranberry Pear Sauce which has only 13 grams of sugar per ¼ cup. Cranberries are a nutritious addition to your holiday table and by making your own relish or sauce you can enjoy them without all the added sugar and calories.