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Cranberry Sauce with Pistachios and Pomegranate

Nov 17, 2010


Thanksgiving is the time for cranberries in the United States and Canada. They are harvested in the fall months and bags of the bright red berries appear in the market just in time for holiday menus. The Native Americans were the first to use this festive red berry as food and probably introduced it to the English settlers who incorporated cranberries into their traditional Thanksgiving menu. Cranberries are one of Nature’s “super fruits” and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Rich in phytochemicals, they are a good source of polyphenol antioxidants. They are deterrents to cancer as well as disorders of the cardiovascular and immune systems. Cranberry juice (unsweetened) is great at reducing dental plaque and works to prevent kidney stones from forming.
Aside from being gluten-free and vegan, this recipe has no processed sugars in it, and all the ingredients can be organic, except the pomegranate molasses. The pistachios and the pomegranate seeds give an extra sweetness to the dish. I know it will make a nice addition to your holiday table this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Makes 3 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes


1 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
½ cup brown sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange, preferably organic
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses* (optional)
¼ cup coarsely ground pistachios, plus a few to sprinkle on top
¼ cup pomegranate seeds, plus a few to sprinkle on top


1 Wash the orange well (especially if not organic) to remove any harmful pesticides that are concentrated on the skin of the fruit, and dry well. Grate the zest, cover and set aside.

2 Rinse the cranberries very well (discarding any bad ones) with cold water.

3 Mix all the ingredients, except the pistachios and pomegranate seeds, together in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. The skin of most of the cranberries will pop when they are cooked; some will remain whole.

4 Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

5 Stir in the ground pistachios and pomegranate seeds transfer the sauce to a serving bowl.

6 Sprinkle a few ground pistachios and pomegranate seeds on top for presentation and serve.

Note: The orange juice and the optional pomegranate molasses will make the sauce sweet, but if you like it even sweeter, add more brown sugar to your taste.
*Pomegranate molasses (a mixture of pomegranate juice and lemon juice) is available at specialty grocery stores and online. I prefer the Cortas brand from Lebanon.

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