DIY Canned Cranberry Sauce

Because you don’t need high fructose corn syrup to make a quintessential Thanksgiving statement!


Last week I was checking out at Paper Source when an adorable Thanksgiving card caught my eye. It had a water color of canned cranberry sauce, plated wholly with its glorious ridges.

I don’t know about you, but canned cranberry sauce sends a pulse of nostalgia through my veins. I actually like the fact that it’s shaped like a tin can. A bowl of goo just doesn’t honor my childhood memories the same way. But how do you feed the sentiment without feeding yourself high fructose corn syrup?

Don’t worry, I got you! And I promise it’s almost as easy as popping open a can of Ocean Spray. (Who, by the way, is gliding by on their first-ever parade float as I write this during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade!)

Fun fact: Did you know Americans consume roughly 800 million pounds of cranberries per year? Holy moly! Not sure how many pounds get squeezed down into a 32 oz jar of juice, but here you go:

DIY Canned Paleo Cranberry Sauce


  • (1) 32-oz jar 100% cranberry juice blend, such as Lakewood Organic brand
  • 8 T. unflavored beef gelatin, such as Great Lakes brand
  • Empty BPA-free cans – (2) 15-oz or (5) 5-oz
  1. Heat juice in saucepan on medium-high heat and whisk in gelatin. Bring to a low boil to fully dissolve the gelatin.
  2. Turn off heat and allow gelatin to cool for roughly 5 minutes. This will add a little shine to your cranberry sauce.
  3. Use a mesh colander as needed to filter out any gelatin clumps as you pour the hot juice mixture into your empty cans.
  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
  5. Run hot water over the outside of the can to loosen the gelatin onto a plate or cutting board.
  6. Slice cranberry sauce and serve.

Now, I have to admit, much like the Grandfather in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation who points out, “The little lights are not twinkling,” my cranberry sauce has no ridges. That was a surprise at 8pm last night when I was unloading my little 5 oz cans (which happened to be from coconut cream). But I assure you that you can use large ridged cans to make this quintessential dish – paleo style!

Gratitude and blessings to all of you this holiday season!

xo Rachel


Stuffed Acorn Squash

Kale gets all the love when it comes to the cute t-shirts and catchphrases. But if you ask me, squash is the MVP. Talk about versatility!

Last week From the Farmer asked me to contribute a recipe for their weekly newsletter, which is so fun. It’s reminiscent of an Iron Chef competition in that 2 or 3 of the ingredients must be on their delivery list for the week.

As I waited for the distribution list I may have crossed my fingers, closed my eyes and whispered, “Please be squash, please be squash, please be squash…”

Acorn – score!

Here’s what happened next.

Stuffed Acorn Squash


  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 bunch chard, stems and leaves separated
  • 1 T. avocado or coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb (approximately 8) breakfast sausages, casings removed*
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 c. slivered almonds
  • salt and pepper

*Substitute with cooked lentils for vegetarian/vegan option.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line roasting pan with parchment. Place squash cut side down and roast for 35-40 minutes, until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Finely chop chard stems and add to garlic. Continue to stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add sausage to pan mixture and continue cooking over medium heat. As it begins to brown, use spoon to break sausage into bitesized pieces.
  4. Once sausage is browned, add chopped apple. Stir to combine, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally until apples soften, about 4 minutes.
  5. While apples are cooking, finely chop half of chard leaves (reserve remaining half for other use). Add to pan mixture along with slivered almonds. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  6. When squash is done roasting, relocate the squash to a casserole dish, cut side up. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Spoon sausage mixture into center of acorn squash and bake for another 10 minutes to allow apples to soften and flavors to combine.

There are certainly a variety of ways you can customize this recipe. If you put your own spin on it be sure to let us know in the comments so we can share in the inspiration. Variety is the spice of life!

I’m also taking submissions for the squash cousin of the Eat More Kale t-shirt. Something clearly original. We don’t want a Cease and Desist letter from any fast food giants.