Recipe: Easy Fresh Cranberry Relish

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I am known as the Cranberry Woman in my family.

I love all kinds of cranberry foods and believe that virtually every recipe could benefit from the addition of real or dried cranberries (not really, but almost).

Cranberries certainly can add color and pizzazz to quick breads, cookies, cheesecake, salads, vegetable dishes, egg casseroles, and trail mix, just to name a few food items.

Did you know that the cranberry is one of only a few fruits native to North America and that legend says it may have been served at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts?

Recipes using cranberries, which are a good source of Vitamin C, have been discovered going back to the 1700’s, and American sailors used to take these berries on long sea voyages to help fight scurvy.

German and Dutch settlers called this fruit “crane berry.” When its vines bloom in the late spring and the flowers’ light pink petals twist back, they look like the head and bill of a crane. Over time, the name “crane berry” was shortened to “cranberry.”

Gotta love an all-American fruit like this one!

Even though I hardly consider myself to be a master cook, I have actually thought of compiling a cranberry cookbook. When I look through magazines, I always rip out recipes featuring cranberries and throw them in a file to try. I try to keep a bag or two of fresh cranberries in my freezer, so I can use them out of season.

I discovered this particular cranberry relish recipe many years ago and have been making it for the Thanksgiving family feast every year since. One or two times I’ve been asked to bring something else to the buffet potluck, but I still made the relish to bring along just because I love it.

If you have only had the jellied cranberry sauce or the whole berry sauce, try this for a fresh-tasting change of pace. It is tart and crunchy and cold. It takes only a few minutes more to make this from scratch, than it does to open the canned sauce. And those minutes are well-spent!

Cranberry-Orange Relish

Delicious with turkey, chicken and ham. Terrific on turkey sandwiches, too!

1 cup fresh cranberries

2 tablespoons thawed frozen concentrated orange juice   (no sugar added)

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon orange marmalade (you can use the sugar-free kind if you like)

2 teaspoons granulated sugar (you can use an artificial sweetener if you like) You can add more sugar for more sweetness as needed.

In blender container or food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until finely chopped, scraping down sides of container as necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes 4 servings of about 3 tablespoons each. You can double or triple this recipe very easily. I frequently make double triple batches for our large Thanksgiving gathering.

From the Weight Watchers Fast and Fabulous Cookbook,
Available on Amazon

P.S. And now you know why the sofa in my family room is that shade of red–I’m crazy for cranberry!

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