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Healthy & Delicious: Pioneer Woman's Cranberry Sauce

Editor's note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Take it away, Kristen!

Cranberry sauce has always been an afterthought on my family's holiday tables. For Grandma's sake, we'd buy a can, plop its contents on a fancy dish, and call it a day. Sometimes a chunk would be missing at the end of the meal, but usually we'd end up chucking the entire blob.

But things were different this year because we tried Pioneer Woman's recipe. And let me tell you, we aren't ambivalent anymore. We're actually more like a cult. A secret, family-only, cranberry sauce-loving cult. As cults go, it's a good time.

Instead of straight-up sugar, Ree uses a cup of maple syrup to balance the tartness of the fruit. A cup of cranberry juice ensures the essential flavor remains the focus of the dish, and a bit of citrus (in this case, orange juice), brightens the whole shebang. This is to say nothing of the texture, which to paraphrase the great Roseanne Conner, is "so far beyond canned sauce, that the light from canned sauce would take one billion years to reach the Earth." It is, in a word, awesome.

Admittedly, the high caloric content makes it a stretch for a healthy recipe. Here's the thing, though: while Pioneer Woman notes that this only serves four, I think it's actually more like eight or ten. There was enough for everyone at our Thanksgiving table, plus some leftovers.

So, this holiday, whether you're serving turkey or chicken (or anything other than lasagna, really) give cranberry sauce another go-round. You might just join the cult.

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