Last year was my first vegan Thanksgiving and it was also the first year I hosted the holiday. I didn’t yet trust my plant-based cooking skills, so I ordered the food from Whole Foods Market. I’m hosting again this year, but this time I’m cooking!
I’ve been practicing side dishes, and I’m ready with those. I’m making Creamy Kale Salad with Marinated Onions, which I chose because I want my family and friends to see how delicious kale can be when it’s prepared properly. I don’t have to worry about stuffing and gravy because my sis and her partner are bringing those and my blogger buddy Ivonne is bringing candied sweet potatoes. So the only other side I need to prepare is cranberry sauce.
I planned on making the Ginger Cranberry Sauce I posted in 10 Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes, but when I started making it I couldn’t find my ginger. A year ago, this would have thrown me. I used to be such a poor cook that I didn’t trust myself not to follow a recipe exactly.
I’ve come a long way, however; and can now “play with my food.” This doesn’t always work out, but often it does. I’ve created a few yummy recipes in my time, and I’d say my cranberry sauce is one of my best creations. My husband told me that this is the best cranberry sauce he’s ever tasted. I thought it was pretty darn delicious too!
Gourmet Cherry Cranberry Rum Sauce (sugar-free)
4 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries (I don’t think it’s possible to find dried cranberries that haven’t been sweetened, so you can replace these with raisins to make this recipe sugar-free)
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice, filtered
1 cup and ¼ cup of water, separated
11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup rum
14 large medjool dates, pitted
Bring the fresh cranberries, dried cranberries, dried cherries, orange juice and 1 cup of water to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about ten minutes stirring occasionally.
While cranberries are simmering, add the dates and ¼ cup of water to a high-speed blender and mix until it forms a smooth paste.
After the cranberries have simmered for 10 minutes, add the blended date mixture, cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest and rum. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving. This can be served warm or cold. My husband and I can’t decide which way we like it best. 🙂
Please note that this is not my photo. As delicious as my cranberry sauce is, my photo looked crappy. This photo is courtesy of closetcooking.com.