TJ’s Fresh Cranberries (and RECIPE)


To me the greatest sin one can commit on Thanksgiving is the sin of opening a CAN of cranberry sauce.

Please don’t ever do that again, people. There is simply no comparison to MAKING YOUR OWN CRANBERRY SAUCE. It is the EASIEST thing in the world to do, and if you do, trust me everyone will say something about how wonderful the cranberry sauce is. Seriously it could not be easier to make, so you have no reason not to. Trader Joe’s has fresh cranberries today so I bought a bag and made homemade cranberry sauce.

If you’ve never made cranberry sauce from fresh berries before here’s all you need to do (and the bag has the recipe too).

“RECIPE” : Open bag. Dump cranberries in a pot. Add one cup water* and one cup of sugar. Bring to a boil.

Thats all the work, seriously. Now you let them simmer in the pot until the cranberries “pop”. This usually takes 15-20 minutes. THATS IT! DONE! You let it cool and it will thicken up as it cools down. Cranberry skin contains a great deal of natural pectin.

Want to get a tiny bit fancier and more creative?  *Add orange juice instead of water. A bit fancier? Throw in some orange peel (zest). Even more creative? This year I added a tiny bit of cayenne pepper and a pinch of fennel seeds and some lime juice.

If you’ve never made your own cranberry sauce and are used to the canned kind (yuk!) you owe it to yourself and your family to make cranberry sauce this year. It will take about 1 minute of “work” and 15 minutes to finish cooking. Make it ahead so it can be served at room temp (hint, do it at the day before, it will set up beautifully in the fridge, then take it out a few hours before eating).

You will be shocked both at how easy it is to make and how infinitely better the fresh stuff is  than the canned stuff. At the time of this writing a 12 oz. bag cost $1.99, a decent price. (UPDATE: 2018, a bag was $3.49 at TJ’s)!

You can even buy an extra bag and throw it as is in the freezer where it can keep for a few months. Once you make your own, you will realize how easy and good it is and never buy the sauce in a can again. Now go, and sin no more…

#DIY #CranberrySauce

RECIPE VARIATION: Indian Cranberry Chutney. In a saute pan, melt a tablespoon butter, and add some chopped garlic, a quarter chopped onion and saute stirring for a few minutes. Add a teaspoon of TJ’s curry powder (or more to taste) and cook one minute. Add zest of one orange and its juice with the 1/4 cup of water and 1/4-1/2 cup of brown sugar or Palm Sugar (or more or less to taste). Add package of cranberries and simmer 25-30 minutes stirring frequently. If you want heat add a few dashes of Cayenne or your favorite Hot Sauce (PeriPeri, Green Dragon.…) to taste.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CDivine
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 15:37:38

    I agree! It is truly easy and truly delicious! Throughout my NYC childhood and into my early twenties I thought I didn’t like cranberries – period. That was only because I too was reared on the red, gelatinous blob that is canned cranberries. Then a few years ago thanks to moving to Los Angeles and discovering the awesomeness of Trader Joe’s that I decided to brave the fresh cooking route. I am now a cranberry devotee. I squeeze fresh organic oranges and add that juice – using 1/3 water – 2/3 oj – I also add a pinch of Trader Joe’s Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to taste. This year I added the pink himi salt and the TJ South African smoked salt, a touch of Raw Organic blue Agave and a fresh grated TJ Cinnamon stick. That kick of smokey salt wakes up the sweetness – and just before serving I mix in a bit more fresh squeezed oj and/or lemon. It’s sublime.



  2. Gary LA
    Aug 11, 2020 @ 03:23:55

    I hope 2013 will bring more wonderful new ThanksGiving blessings of Trader Joe’s Cranberries again as well as ever before Amen!!!!



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