Cranberry sauce has been a staple of the Thanksgiving feast for generations … and for good reason. Its sweet and tart flavors balance out a heavy holiday meal. Plus, the tradition dates back to at LEAST the 1600s.1 And who am I to mess with tradition? (Stay tuned for my cranberry sauce recipe below.)
Now, I love cranberries for another reason too – they’re loaded with polyphenols.2
And polyphenols play a HUGE role when it comes to your health. They can:
- Help protect your body against certain diseases.
- Minimizes potential for free radical damage.
- Improve brain health.
- Protect and balance your gut.3,4,5
However, when it comes to the traditional cranberry sauce recipe, there’s a problem:
It’s LOADED with sugar.
In fact, a quarter-cup serving of canned cranberry sauce has a whopping 22 grams of sugar.6
That’s about as much sugar as a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in just a tiny bit of a condiment.7 Insane.
So what should you do? Skip the canned stuff – and even the sugar-loaded homemade version. Make my healthy cranberry sauce recipe instead.
It’s loaded with polyphenols from both the cranberries and pomegranates. And of course, adds that refreshing tang to your meal – WITHOUT all the added sugar.
Polyphenol-Packed Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
- 3 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2-3 medium purple carrots (use orange ones if you can’t find purple)
- 2 small beets, cut into quarters
- 1 cup raw cranberries
- 1/2 medium head red cabbage, cut into wedges
- 1 cup pomegranate arils (approximately 1 whole pomegranate worth.)
- ¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Stevia, to taste**
- First, make the dressing: In a large bowl whisk together the pomegranate molasses, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper until well combined.
- Grate the beets, carrots, cabbage in a food processor using the shredding blade, or with a box grater.
- Grate the cranberries in the food processor, or finely dice by hand.
- Add the shredded vegetables and cranberries to a large bowl with the dressing and toss well to coat. Let the salad stand for at least 15-20 minutes before serving or make ahead and store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Right before serving, toss gently to combine, then top with pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts.
- Taste, and add a few drops of stevia, if it’s too sour for you.
*Pomegranate Molasses is a sweet-tart syrup made from reduced pomegranate juice. It’s available in most middle eastern stores, well-stocked grocery stores, and online HERE, but if you can’t find it, simply reduce pomegranate juice over low heat until thick and syrupy, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
** I honestly like this recipe just the way it is – it’s meant to be a tangier, more savory take on cranberry sauce. But if it’s TOO tangy for you, feel free to add a few drops of liquid stevia. Just remember – a little goes a long way!
Looking out for you,
Want help stocking your pantry with Gundry-approved foods? Visit the online grocery shop for Dr. G’s personally curated products for the lectin-free lifestyle. Click the image to shop now:
Want more healthy holiday tips and recipes? Check these out:
1 Partakers of Our Plenty | Plimoth Plantation. Plimothorg. 2016. Accessed November 16, 2016.
2 Aubrey A. Bow Down To The Medicinal Power Of Cranberries. NPRorg. 2010. Accessed November 16, 2016.
3 Vauzour D, Rodriguez-Mateos A, Corona G, Oruna-Concha M, Spencer J. Polyphenols and Human Health: Prevention of Disease and Mechanisms of Action. Nutrients. 2010;2(11):1106-1131. doi:10.3390/nu2111106.
4 Cardona F, Andrés-Lacueva C, Tulipani S, Tinahones F, Queipo-Ortuño M. Benefits of polyphenols on gut microbiota and implications in human health. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2013;24(8):1415-1422. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.05.001.
5 Scalbert A, Johnson I, Saltmarsh M. Polyphenols: antioxidants and beyond. Ajcnnutritionorg. 2005. Accessed November 16, 2016.