The Best Fresh Cranberry Relish Recipe

The Best Fresh Cranberry Relish Recipe

The Best Cranberry Relish Ever:


  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 bag fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • ¾ to 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 to 1 ½  cups of water

Cut the orange into pieces and remove seeds. Combine with the other ingredients in a thick-bottomed, stainless-steel saucepan. Cook over medium heat until most berries finish popping. Taste test for sweetness and, if needed, add more sugar. Remove from heat and grind in a food mill or food processor. Chill thoroughly. This is something that you can prepare a few days in advance.

Cranberries Are So Good For You!

I grew up with this relish always on the Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. I loved heaping it on a slice of turkey breast before popping it into my mouth and looked forward to the holidays each year just so we could have it again. Little did I know how good it was for me. Cranberries are high in vitamin C and contain proanthocyanidins, catechins, polyphenols and flavonoids. Native to eastern North American and northern Asia, this tart little berry has incredible anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

This fruit is a classic remedy for ailments of the urinary tract. Taken in just about any form, it will work to prevent and treat problems such as cystitis, urethritis, and poor urinary output due to an enlarged prostrate. “Cranberries are the natural treatment of choice for the bladder and kidneys,” said Rosemary Gladstar in her book Family Herbal.

Certain constituents in cranberries prevent bacteria (including E. coli) from adhering to the lining of the bladder and urinary tract wall. If the bacteria cannot remain there, an infection cannot form. Because of this characteristic, cranberry may be taken long-term (without fear of side effects) as a preventative for women prone to chronic urinary tract infections and to prevent the formation of urinary stones.

You can purchase cranberry in a standardized form that is quite effective. However, many people have had positive results simply by drinking 12 to 32 ounces of pure cranberry juice daily. You must read labels carefully. Manufacturers now blend different fruit juices, add sugar or corn syrup and call it cranberry “punch” or “cocktail.” For best results, use the unsweetened variety and sweeten it with a little apple or grape juice. If you prefer to take a pill, James Duke, PhD in his Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook recommends “Two or three 505-milligram capsules” with a meal.

For an acute infection, many herbalists recommend using cranberry in a combination formula with buchu, cornsilk, bearberry, or uva ursi. Those with kidney disease should consult their physician before using cranberry.

What are some additional benefits of cranberries?

  • Arbutin, a compound found in cranberries, has been found to help treat candida (yeast) infections.
  • Physicians in the 19th century used it to treat inflammation.
  • According to James Duke, PhD, cranberry has “anti-fever reputations.”
  • Since they are high in vitamin C, cranberry can be used to treat bleeding gums.
  • Cranberries have an ingredient similar to those in asthma fighting drugs. A few sips of a strong cranberry elixir can help to dilate the bronchial tubes and assist one in overcoming an asthma attack.

Go ahead. Make some cranberry relish this holiday season. Keep it in the fridge and add it to your every day meals. It’s especially good on leftover turkey sandwiches.

Photo by jillmotts


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