Homemade Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

This homemade sugar free cranberry sauce is wonderfully fruity and tart. This sauce is the perfect addition to your Christmas dinner, turkey sandwiches and even on your cheeseboard. It is also a handy swap to help with your overall diabetes management at only 1.5g per 30g serving.


homemade sugar free cranberry sauce in a jar

It is that time of year when it’s all about the extra additions for your festive roasts. And this homemade cranberry sauce is a must. Full of fruity and slightly tart cranberries, this sauce is perfect with turkey and in fact any other cooked meat.

However, if it’s a vegetarian roast like my VEGETARIAN HAGGIS STUFFED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, then a big dollop of this cranberry sauce will also work to elevate the flavours.

The use of sugar alternatives or natural sweeteners makes this cranberry sauce a healthier option compared to traditional recipes loaded with refined sugars. It caters to individuals with dietary restrictions as its gluten free and suitable for vegans along with being ideal for those managing diabetes.


Why this homemade sugar free Cranberry Sauce is worth the effort

Now I am sure some of you think what an unnecessary faff! But I am a total homemade sauce and jam convert. They really are so easy to make and takes no time at all. All you have to do is pop your three ingredients into a pan and let the heat work its magic.

Making a homemade cranberry sauce not only means that all the extra hidden nasties are avoided but it can be made refined sugar free. Using a sugar alternative just means it is one less element of a meal to carb count for and you can have a bit more freedom in the quantities you want to enjoy.

We have found that making ingredient changes like using sugar alternatives helps us to support our daughter’s overall type 1 diabetes management. This is because it not only results in less dramatic blood glucose spikes but it helps to reduce the error rate in the insulin given.

If you would like to read more about some of the changes we have made then why not check out my blog posts, THE BENEFITS OF A WHOLE FOOD DIET AND DIABETES and TYPE 1 DIABETES AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD 

homemade sugar free cranberry sauce on a spoon

What you will need to make low carb cranberry sauce

  • Fresh cranberries
    • A sharp and sour berry
    • They are a rich source of several vitamins and minerals,  including manganese, copper, and vitamins C, E, and K1
  • Orange
    • Adds a deliciously tasty zing to complement the cranberries.
  • Xylitol or Erythritol
    • Both are a 1:1 substitute for sugar
    • We have found that neither substitute causes a rise in blood sugar level
  • Nutmeg
    • A Christmas spice staple
    • Adds a nutty, warm, and slightly sweet kick

Note on sweeteners

In this recipe, I use a white sweetener which could be either xylitol or erythritol. Both are a 1:1 substitute for sugar and work brilliantly in cakes.

See my Shop page for my recommendations

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different sweeteners and the quantities in sweet recipes. It may take a few attempts to find your preference as we all have a different palate.


Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

As I said earlier this really couldn’t be easier to make. In no time at all you can enjoy a deliciously festive homemade cranberry sauce by following these step-by-step instructions:

cranberries and orange zest in a pan

Step 1

Add your fresh cranberries, sweetener, nutmeg, orange zest and 2 tablespoons of orange juice to a small pan. Turn the heat up and boil vigorously for 10 minutes.

TOP TIPS – Stir the sauce regularly so that it doesn’t burn at the bottom. You may also want to add a little extra water if you feel it’s a little too thick.

homemade sugar free cranberry sauce in a jar

Step 2

Spoon the hot Cranberry sauce into a sterilised jar and cover it with the lid. Leave to cool and then store in the fridge.

See below for tips on storing and sterilising


How to store your homemade cranberry sauce


Storing your homemade sugar-free cranberry sauce properly is crucial to maintain its freshness and flavour. Here are some guidelines for storing sugar-free cranberry sauce:

Refrigerator

  • Transfer the cranberry sauce to a sterile, airtight container once it has cooled to room temperature.
  • Store the container in the refrigerator.
  • Sugar-free cranberry sauce can typically be refrigerated for up to 10- 14 days.

Avoid Contamination

Avoid the Refrigerator Door

  • Store your cranberry sauce towards the back of the refrigerator rather than in the door. The door is subject to temperature fluctuations, which may affect the quality of your sauce over time.
  • Use clean utensils to scoop out the cranberry sauce to avoid contamination.
  • If you’re storing leftover sauce after serving, make sure no utensils that have touched other foods are introduced into the container.

Check for Signs of Spoilage

  • Before serving, check the cranberry sauce for any signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or unusual discolouration. If in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of caution and discard.

By following these storage tips, you can enjoy your sugar-free cranberry sauce for an extended period without compromising its taste and quality.

How to sterilise your jars

To sterilise your jars simply wash them in the dishwasher at a high temperature. Alternatively, I always like to heat my clean jars in the oven at 120C / 100C fan for 15 minutes.


What to do with any leftover Cranberry Sauce

If you are lucky enough to have any leftover cranberry sauce from your Christmas lunch then simply continue to store it in the fridge. Then you can enjoy it again on your sandwiches as a topping on your porridge or even with some cheese and crackers.

Why not try some of this sauce with some cheese and some EASY SAVOURY CHEESE BISCUITS 

homemade sugar free cranberry sauce on a spoon

Diabetes Note

We have found making some switches to reduce the net carb count can help to avoid blood glucose spikes. For instance, as in this recipe switching out the sugar for a sugar alternative

We have found that we only need to count for the fruit in this sauce recipe. However, when considering your carb-counting requirements, you know best what ingredients to carb count for.

Carbs in Cranberry Sauce

The overall carb count for this based on the ingredients we would count for is:

  • 300g of Cranberries = 10.2 g of carbs
  • Orange Zest and Juice = 1.5g + 2.6 = 4.1g of carbs
  • Total countable carbs = 10.2 + 4.1 = 14.3g

Then to accurately carb count by weight, you need to know the total weight of the cranberry sauce

The total weight = 300g

Finally to work out a 30g portion (a generous heaped teaspoon) of cranberry sauce, use the following formula:

So for this recipe, the total carbs per 30g portion is 1.5g and this was calculated in the following way:

  • Total countable carbs = 14.3g
  • Total food weight = 300g
  • 14.3 / 300 x 30 = 1.5g of carbs

Please note this carb count amount per portion is based on the standard ingredients listed above and may differ depending on what you use and how much you choose to eat.


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Homemade Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

Recipe by Michelle

This homemade sugar free cranberry sauce is wonderfully fruity and tart. And only 1.5g of countable carbs per 30g serving

Course: SaucesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Very Easy
5.0 from 1 vote
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes
Total time

15

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 300 g fresh cranberries

  • 75 g xylitol

  • 1 medium orange, zest and 2tbsp of juice

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions

  • Add your fresh cranberries, sweetener, nutmeg, orange zest and 2 tablespoons of orange juice to a small pan. Stir well then turn the heat up and boil vigorously for 10 minutes.
    Keep stirring the sauce regularly so that it doesn’t burn at the bottom. You may also want to add a little extra water if you feel it’s a little too thick.
  • Finally, spoon the hot cranberry sauce into a sterilised jar and cover it with the lid. Leave to cool and then store in the fridge.

Equipment

Tips and Notes

  • Add a little extra water if you feel it’s a little too thick.
  • Diabetes Note – We only need to count for the fruit in this sauce. However, when considering your carb-counting requirements, you know best what ingredients to carb count for. The total carbs per 30g portion is 1.5g. See above for more details
Michelle Rorke avatar

AUTHOR

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