Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe

By Dr. Theresa Nicassio

I’ve always loved this delicious holiday side dish, which I also think of as a treat, and it is strongly associated with the holiday in our family. There’s something about the orange and the touch of cinnamon that takes this recipe to a whole new level. Who knows, it could become one of your family favourites!

Orange Cranberry Sauce

Serves: 3 ½ cups


  • 2 ½ cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 orange
  • water
  • ¼ tsp orange zest, packed
  • ½ cup xylitol, coconut sugar or other favourite sweetener, to taste. (If you use Chicory-Root Inulin with Stevia, use only a very small amount and add to desired sweetness.)
  • 4 tsp agar agar flakes (optional, for a thicker jelly)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp Himalayan salt


  1. Peel the orange and purée the sections in a blender.
  2. Add enough water to the orange purée to make 2½ cups liquid.
  3. Pour into a large saucepan and add all of the remaining ingredients, stir and heat on high until it reaches a rolling boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and boil for another 7 minutes, stirring very frequently to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and mash the cranberries with a potato masher to your desired consistency.
  5. You can serve immediately while hot or refrigerate for a chilled dish later. If you’ve used the agar agar and would like an extra special presentation, pour the hot orange cranberry sauce into decorative silicone molds and chill in the refrigerator to set.

Bev’s Bit

Cranberries have delicious anti-cancer properties! To reap the most benefit from cranberries, eat them in their whole form, rather than dried or as juice.

Theresa’s Tip

Xylitol is usually made from birch bark or corn cobs and is a low-calorie, low-glycemic (low GI) option that is an ingredient that many individuals wanting to better manage their blood sugar like to use. It is best to choose a brand that is birch-derived. I like to use Xyla when I cook and appreciate their approach to extraction and that their product is pure, with no fillers or other additives.

Xylitol is a wonderful ingredient if you are able to enjoy it (some individuals are sensitive to it) and there is some interesting research around other uses of it, such as around dental health and ear infections that you might like to discuss with your healthcare professional, if this is of interest to you. If you are unsure whether it is a food you are sensitive to, like anything new, start with using just a little at first to make sure!




In 1997, Dr. Theresa Nicassio, a Registered Psychologist and author, found herself confronted with significant personal health challenges that she discovered 12 years later were related to gluten and other food sensitivities. Determined to find a solution to her challenges, Theresa became a Certified Integrative Energy Healing Practitioner, as well as a Certified Gourmet Raw Food Chef, Instructor, and Raw Food Nutrition Educator. In addition to providing psychological counseling since 1987, Theresa has written YUM: plant-based recipes for a gluten-free diet and contributes to public awareness of holistic health through her blog Yum Food for Living, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media outlets.

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