As preparations for a vegan Thanksgiving begin, I thought I would throw a new recipe into the mix. I love cranberries, so I wanted to try making my own cranberry sauce this year. It turned out really well and was easier to make than I thought it would be. After minimal prep time, you just need to occasionally stir this sauce as it reduces on the stove. It really takes very little effort for a yummy addition to your Thanksgiving meal. You can also make it a day ahead and let it cool in the fridge overnight, so it’s one less thing you need to make on Thanksgiving day.
If you want some other ideas for vegan Thanksgiving recipes, check out some of my past recipes. I would really recommend the stuffing recipe. It’s my mom’s recipe and a family favorite!
2 12-ounce bags of fresh cranberries
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 orange (zest and juice) + about 1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
- Rinse the cranberries. Finely grate the ginger. Zest and juice the orange. Add enough orange juice to total 1 cup of juice. I used bottled orange juice, but you could use more fresh oranges if you have them on hand.
- In a large enough saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange zest and juice, ginger, water, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon sticks, pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine the ingredients and coat the cranberries.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce it to a simmer and allow it to simmer for 20-25 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, take out the cinnamon sticks, and cool. Serve cool or at room temperature.
Maybe you’ve noticed that I like cranberry orange as a flavor combo. There’s something about these flavors together that just tastes like fall and Thanksgiving. Add chocolate into that mix and it’s even better! If you’re looking for a vegan dessert to make for Thanksgiving this year, try out these Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Sure, apple, pecan, or pumpkin pie might be more traditional, but if you have to travel to your Thanksgiving destination, pies aren’t the easiest thing to transport. These cookies are easy to pack up and take with you. You can even make them a couple days ahead of time so you have less to prepare on Thanksgiving day. They’ll keep well if you can keep yourself from snacking on them, which I must say is pretty difficult.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of vegan butter (softened)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 brown sugar
1 Tbsp EnerG egg replacer powder mixed with 4 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange extract
zest of one orange
3/4 cup of dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 375°.
- In a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Zest the orange into a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened vegan butter with the sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Use a whisk if by hand or medium speed if using an electric mixer.
- Mix 1 tbsp of egg replacer powder with 4 tbsp of water and stir well until there aren’t lumps.
- Add the vanilla, orange extract, orange zest and egg replacer mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Stir until well combined. Use low speed if using an electric mixer.
- Blend in the dry ingredients adding a little at a time and stirring in between. Once all of the dry ingredients are combined with the wet ingredients, stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries with a wooden spoon.
- Drop evenly sized balls of dough (about 1-2 tbsp per cookie) onto ungreased nonstick cookie sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes and check. Bake longer if needed. Mine needed to be in for about 15 minutes, but all ovens vary.
Here’s another recipe for you to try at Thanksgiving. It’s one that vegans and non-vegans will both enjoy! I came up with this recipe after having something similar at the National Museum of the American Indian. They actually have a pretty good cafe called the Mitsitam Cafe. Mitsitam translates to “Let’s eat!” in the language of the Delaware and Piscataway natives. All the foods in the cafe are indigenous Native American foods from different regions. They even have a cookbook, though it’s not all vegan. If you ever go to the museum, you should stop by the cafe to try it out!
Cranberry Citrus Wild Rice
6 cups of water
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of uncooked wild rice
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 green apple
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of pumpkin pie spice
- Add a pinch of salt to the water and bring it to a boil. Add wild rice and cook for 45 minutes. All the water should be absorbed, but if there’s still some left you can drain it off. Stir the rice and place it in the fridge to cool down.
- Zest the orange and the lemon and then juice them both. Add the zest to the juice. Stir in 3 Tbsp of brown sugar until it dissolves. You can use less if you want it less sweet. You can also substitute agave if you want. Set the mixture aside.
- Chop the green apple into small chunks. You can peel it first if you want, but I don’t. I don’t mind the skin and it adds some color.
- Once the rice is cool, add the juice and zest mixture, the apple chunks, and the dried cranberries. Add the cinnamon and just a dash of pumpkin pie spice. Stir well so the juice coats the rice and the spices are well distributed.
- Transfer to a bowl for serving.