Whole berry cranberry sauce is one of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving. This AIP cranberry sauce uses Honeycrisp apples, fresh apple juice and a touch of maple syrup for the perfect slightly sweet and tart side dish. Refined sugar-free, vegan, paleo, and AIP-compliant, this recipe is healthy and will be appropriate for almost any dinner guest!
What Makes This Recipe Paleo?
Cranberry sauce usually is made from simple ingredients. Usually the only non-compliant ingredient in homemade cranberry sauce is the white sugar. This recipe uses maple syrup as the sweetener in place of processed sugar which makes it appropriate for a paleo diet. If you are not comfortable with including fruit juice in your diet, you can always substitute water for the fresh apple juice.
This recipe is also appropriate for the Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) Protocol!
How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Making cranberry sauce is super simple and takes a minimal time commitment. There is really no reason to choke down can-shaped cranberry flavored gel during the holiday season.
Cranberry sauce requires whole cranberries, a cooking liquid and a sweetener. In this recipe we use apple juice as the cooking liquid and maple syrup as the sweetener of choice. We add a peeled and diced Honeycrisp apple for some extra fall flavor.
Making this paleo apple cranberry sauce is so, so simple. It only takes three easy steps!
- Warm the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir frequently.
- As the sauce begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- Continue to simmer until all the berries break down and the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Easy as that.
What Type Of Apple Juice Should I Use?
Are all apple juices created equally? Not really. Is it going to make or break this recipe? Probably not. While any apple juice would technically work in this recipe, I would recommend sourcing the freshest apple juice you can find. This will produce a superior flavor and have more nutritional value. And, make sure it's 100% juice!
If you have a juicer at home, juicing some Honeycrisp apples is a great option. Otherwise, if you can locate some fresh pressed or unfiltered apple juice that will wonderfully. Using conventional apple juice (you know, the kind who looks like really dehydrated urine) is probably the lowest tier and I would try to avoid this.
Water can also be substituted in place of juice, you just may need to add a bit more maple syrup if the cranberry sauce is too tart for your tastes.
Tips For Serving Cranberry Sauce
Homemade cranberry sauce can be served hot, cold or even room temperature! It is all preference. If you like to serve your cranberry sauce cold, simply transfer to a container with a lid and store in the fridge until dinner is ready. It will take about an hour to cool.
Cranberry sauce can be used as a sauce for meat or eaten as a side dish.
How To Store Cranberry Sauce
Store any leftover cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Enjoy with turkey leftovers, on sandwiches or by itself throughout the next two weeks.
Other AIP-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes
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AIP Cranberry Sauce
- Cutting board
- 12 ounces Cranberries
- 3/4 cup Honeycrisp apple juice Fresh
- 1/4 cup Maple syrup
- 1 Honeycrisp apple
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- Peel, core and dice apple.
- Pour apple juice in to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add all ingredients to pot and reduce heat.
- Allow cranberry sauce to simmer and thicken, siring occasionally. Apples should begin to soften. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.