Harvest Cranberry Sauce

Native to North America, cranberries grow in abundance here in British Columbia and come into season in the fall, adding a gorgeous hue of ruby red colour to our holiday meals and tables. Most canned or homemade cranberry sauces are full of added sugar to balance the tartness of the cranberries. This recipe brings sweetness naturally from pureed dates. Use this sauce on your holiday tables alongside turkey or a plant-based protein. Or for a festive snack, put a dollop on a whole grain pita chip, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and pop under the broiler for just a minute to melt the cheese.

Be sure to engage children about how cranberries grow in bogs on woody vines. These bogs which are then flooded at harvest time to allow the fruit to float to the surface for easy collection . Check out this video for more information.

12 child size portions
Preparation Time
15 minutes
Cooking Time
Common Allergens
Equipment List
Small heat proof bowls
Food processor
pitted Medjool dates
2 cups
fresh or frozen cranberries
orange or lemon, zested

1.    Place pitted dates in a small heat proof bowl and just cover with boiling water. Place a lid or plate on top and let sit 15 minutes to soak.
2.    Place soaked dates and the soaking water in the food processor then blend into a smooth paste. 
3.    Add the paste to a small pot on the stove then add the cranberries. Heat on low, stirring often, until cranberries start popping and the mixture is thick.
4.     Add orange or lemon zest and turn off heat. Allow to cool.
5.    Serve immediately for Thanksgiving dinner or use in all sorts of ways, like a topping for pancakes or yogurt. Can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.


Source: Nicole Fetterly, RD
Childcare facilities with 8+ children should check with their Licensing Officer about what is needed to serve food.

Harvest Cranberry Sauce
Harvest Cranberry Sauce