This real food, refined sugar-free homemade cider elderberry cranberry sauce has quickly become a favorite holiday treat at my house! And it’s healthy…
A holiday favorite.
I have to admit, while I love it now, growing up cranberry sauce was the last thing I wanted on my plate during the holidays. My mom loved it, and she would always have it out on the table. While the rest of my family devoured it, I turned up my nose in disgust.
In fact, I don’t think I liked cranberry sauce until just a few years ago! I guess your taste buds really do change as you grow, and mine have learned to love more tart things, like cranberry sauce, and homemade pickles…
Homemade is always better.
Even though my mom was crunchy before it was cool, I never remember her making cranberry sauce when I was a kid. I just remember those nasty canned versions *gracing* our table. And, of course, those are basically just cranberries and… corn.
That’s right, the ingredients in canned cranberry sauce are: cranberries, high fructose corn syrup, water, and corn syrup. Unless you’re buying some amazingly clean organic brand…
But why would you buy it, when making it is so dang easy?
This past Thanksgiving, while my mom was blessing me with her presence in my little kitchen, we came up with this recipe. Yes, I collaborated with my mommy! Cute, eh? 😉 Let me tell you, the additions of apple cider and elderberries are uh-mazing in this cranberry sauce! And instead of using *gasp* unholy corn syrups, we added in some local, delicious, honey. And a little cloves and nutmeg, ’cause they’re delicious.
In case you need a reason to make a batch of this and eat it all yourself (not that I’ve ever done that… ahem), you should know that cranberries are a wonderful source of vitamins C, E, A, ß-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and folate, and minerals like potassium and manganese. They can help lower bad cholesterol levels and increase the good ones, and they even have more antioxidants than other superfoods like blueberries and strawberries!
And then there’s the elderberries. They’re full of amino acids, flavonoids, vitamins A & B and HUGE (say that with a Donald Trump accent… or don’t, actually) amounts of vitamin C, plus they’re amazinganti-viral, antibacterial, antioxidant, and immune-boosting berries and are even capable of destroying cold and flu viruses!
Cider elderberry cranberry sauce.
While you could always just make a batch of plain ol’ cranberry sauce for your holiday table. Why would you not want to step it up a notch with the delicious additions of cider and elderberries. It’s just as easy to make, and even more nutritious. Simply boil your cranberries in cider, then add in your elderberries along with the cranberries. Et voila! Extra yumminess.
If you need more delicious cranberry inspiration, here are some of my favorites…
- Cranberry Kefir Fruit Snacks
- Cinnamon Cranberry Coffee Cake
- Cranberry Walnut Cheese Ball
- Rustic Cranberry Apple Galette
- Cranberry Coconut Daiquiri
- Cranberry Apple Switchel
- Paleo Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake
And of course, you should probably give this delicious homemade cider elderberry cranberry sauce a try… For your health.
In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
Homemade Cider Elderberry Cranberry Sauce
Free from gluten, grain, dairy, eggs, and refined sugar.
- 2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/4 cup dried elderberries
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup apple cider (I like to use my homemade cider)
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Combine everything in a small saucepan.
Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Reduce heat and allow to simmer until thickened – about 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot or chilled. Store leftovers covered in the fridge.