Cranberries were a big hit this year thanks to their inclusion in many holiday meals and treats.
If you’re looking to add cranberry sauce to your holiday meal, be sure to keep it fresh until you’re ready to enjoy it.
You may have noticed that while cranberry sauce tends to go on sale frequently, it also goes bad quickly.
Here’s what you need to know about how long cranberry sauce lasts and how to prolong the flavor of your favorite sauce.
How long does cranberry sauce last?
Cranberry sauce will typically stay good for around two weeks once it’s opened.
While you can freeze it, you should eat it right away because freezing it will reduce the quality of the product.
The longer you leave cranberry sauce out, the shorter its shelf life becomes.
So if you want to enjoy it as soon as possible, buy it when you see it on sale so you don’t waste money by buying cranberry sauce that you won’t be able to eat in time.
You can also use cranberry sauce to add extra color and sweetness to other foods.
It even works well with meats like turkey and ham (and sometimes beef).
If you plan ahead and cook these types of foods with cranberry sauce, they’ll taste better than they would otherwise.
How do you store cranberry sauce?
One key way to ensure that your cranberry sauce remains tasty is to keep it refrigerated.
Refrigeration prevents bacteria from growing and slowing down the rate at which the sauce spoils.
However, you shouldn’t place too much stock into storing your cranberry sauce in the fridge.
Even though it’s not recommended, you can keep it unrefrigerated for up to two months.
This is a general guideline, however, so you might want to check the packaging yourself before deciding whether to skip the fridge.
If you choose to keep your cranberry sauce refrigerated, make sure you rotate it often.
Cranberry sauce isn’t very heavy, but it can still get stuck in one spot.
That means you need to move it every couple days to prevent it from getting stale.
How do you make cranberry sauce?
If you want to make your own cranberry sauce, there are a few different ways you can do it.
One option is to simply boil the berries in water, then strain them and stir in sugar (and spices) until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.
Another method involves cooking the whole cranberries in sugar until they become mushy.
Then you can either let them sit overnight or puree them in an electric blender.
What is in cranberry sauce?
The primary ingredient in cranberry sauce is cranberries.
These little fruits contain high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help to fight off free radicals in the body.
In addition to cranberries, cranberry sauce contains a wide variety of other ingredients.
Many people like to add orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice, and cardamom to their cranberry sauce to enhance the flavors.
Is cranberry sauce healthy?
Cranberry sauce has tons of health benefits.
According to WebMD, it can improve your heart health, help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and provide protection against urinary tract infections.
It’s also been shown to prevent infection after surgery and may help women manage symptoms associated with menopause.
What are the benefits of cranberry sauce?
Like most food items, cranberry sauce has a variety of uses beyond just being enjoyed as a side dish.
A simple recipe for homemade cranberry sauce includes 2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of butter, and ½ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg.
Once you combine those ingredients, you can serve the sauce on toast, fruit, or anything else that calls for sweetened fruit.
How can you use cranberry sauce?
Cranberry sauce can really go anywhere you want to put it.
It’s delicious stirred into oatmeal, added to pancakes, and served alongside chicken or ribs.
It’s also great on top of baked potatoes or as a dip for veggies and crackers.
It’s a versatile condiment that can be used anywhere you think of adding it.
What are some recipes that include cranberry sauce?
Here are a few recipes you can try using cranberry sauce as a base.
- Roasted Turkey Breast with Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- Baked Ham with Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- Chicken Wings with Cranberry Sauce Recipe
What are some tips for making cranberry sauce?
To ensure that your cranberry sauce tastes fresh, follow these steps:
- Make sure your cranberries are as ripe as possible. Ripe cranberries aren’t too soft, just plump enough to hold together without falling apart.
- Don’t wash your cranberries. Wash them only if they’ve gotten dirty during storage. Otherwise, leave them alone.
- Keep your cranberries in a tightly sealed container. When you open the container, you’ll notice that the air inside has a tendency to expand. Don’t worry—that’s normal. But if you keep it closed, you’ll avoid losing any of the juice from your cranberries.
How can you make sure cranberry sauce is fresh?
If you’re worried that your cranberry sauce isn’t fresh, take a look at the expiration date.
Look for the words “Best if Used By” or “Shelf Life” followed by a number.
This is a general guideline, however, so you may find that some brands say “Use By Date” or “Best if Used Before.”
How can I tell if my cranberry sauce is spoiled?
When you first open your jar of cranberry sauce, you may notice that it looks clear.
As time passes, the colors of your sauce will start to fade.
Once your sauce starts to turn brown, your cranberry sauce is likely no longer safe to consume.
Is cranberry sauce gluten-free?
Cranberry sauce can contain traces of gluten.
Even though it doesn’t seem like it, there’s the possibility that your cranberry sauce could cause an adverse reaction in someone who suffers from celiac disease.
To avoid potential issues, make sure to read labels carefully.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
- 1 cranberries
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 Orange juice
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- In a slow cooker with a capacity of 2 or 3 quarts, place the cranberries.
- Add orange juice, sugar, and salt to taste.
- Combine the cinnamon stick and orange peel in a bowl.
- To blend, stir everything together.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, stirring once during the cooking time.
- Remove the top and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, for another 30 minutes or until the cranberry sauce has thickened significantly.
- Serve right away or keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- Cranberry sauce thickens considerably more when refrigerated.
- It’s possible to prepare it up to three days ahead of time.