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Cooking with fresh Wisconsin cranberries at Festival Foods



We’re officially in cranberry harvesting season in Wisconsin, which means you’ll find these versatile tart treats on the shelves of our stores throughout the state. We visited our grower partner in the central part of the state, Twin Lake Cranberry in Vesper, to check out the harvesting process. Twin Lake is a family-owned company that has been doing business for 20 years.

Any time you can watch berries pulled from a bog is a good time, right?

We know people often think “Thanksgiving” when it comes to cranberries, but you don’t have to wait to take advantage of this seasonal addition to our Produce Department! We’ve got a great recipe for cranberry sauce from whole cranberries. It pairs perfectly with a fresh-out-of-the-oven turkey and only takes a few minutes of preparation.

Cranberries are very tart, so the sauce typically requires quite a bit of sugar. This recipe, however, calls for Tropicana 100% OJ and a can of crushed pineapple. The natural sugars in these ingredients offset the tartness of the cranberries.  We will also add Stevia, which is an all-natural 0 calorie sweetener, or sugar, to balance the flavor of the cranberry sauce.


First, rinse cranberries with water and drop into a medium sauce pot.  Stir in crushed pineapple and orange juice.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium-high heat and allow to simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the cranberries burst, smash them with the back of a fork or spoon to create a chunky paste.  Add sweetener, to taste and cook for 10-12 more minutes.  Remove from heat, dump sauce in a glass bowl with a cover and allow to cool in the refrigerator while you continue cooking.


The delicious, fresh cranberry sauce is ready!  Seriously, that’s it!  And the whole family will be impressed by your amazing scratch-cooking skills.  Enjoy!


Tip: Cranberry sauce will stay good in the fridge for about 5 days. Go ahead and cook it a few days in advance to save yourself time on Thanksgiving morning.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

8 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
8 oz. crushed pineapple
½ cup 100% orange juice
Stevia sweetener (or sugar), to taste


  1. Rinse cranberries under running water.
  2. Place cranberries, crushed pineapple and orange juice in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-high heat, and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. When cranberries burst, use the back of a fork or spoon to smash about ½ of them, so you create a chunky paste.
  4. Add the sweetener, to taste, and allow to cook 10-12 more minutes.
  5. Transfer sauce to a glass bowl with a lid and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

{*Tip: Cranberry sauce stays good in the refrigerator for about 5 days, so it can be made in advance}

Yield: 8 servings

Per Serving*: Calories 60, Total Fat 0g (Saturated 0g, Trans 0g), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 0mg, Total Carbohydrate 15g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 5g), Protein 0g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 15%, Calcium 2%, Iron 2%

*Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.

Julie Andrews is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.


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