Hi! It’s been a while, I know. Things got a little crazy for a few weeks and I wasn’t doing a whole lot of cooking (except for Thanksgiving), but I’m back with an extra delicious recipe to make up for it.
So, this Thanksgiving, my boyfriend’s family came down to spend the holiday at our house. I was pretty excited to be cooking a Thanksgiving feast for more than two people, so I went all-out. I was asking my boyfriend what dishes his family liked, and he mentioned cranberry relish. I’ve never been into cranberry relish, mostly because I’ve never tried it and somehow had it in my head since childhood that it would be disgusting. However, when I told my mom I’d be making it, she sent me my grandma’s recipe. Unsurprisingly, I ended up loving it. I mean, I became a little obsessed. It’s so dang delicious and I missed out on years of eating this stuff. Needless to say, it was a big hit and as you can tell, it’s over a week after Thanksgiving, and I just made it again.
This time, I made a few adjustments to add my own spin to it, including the addition of pomegranate. I love love love pomegranates, and they were on sale this morning, so I picked up a couple and decided to throw some in this relish—a wonderful addition if I do say so myself. It adds an extra layer of crunch and a burst of tart, juicy flavor, which fits in perfectly with the rest of the elements. You can, of course, leave them out if you’re not a fan or don’t have them readily available.
I couldn’t care less that this is supposed to be a “holiday-only” dish. It’s so yummy and there’s so many things you can do with it! Eat it plain, top your oatmeal or yogurt with it, bake it into muffins, use it as a sandwich spread, eat it on salad—the possibilities are endless. It also freezes really well so you can have it any time of year! It’s also super easy to make, so let’s do it!
Your cast of characters: a 12 oz. bag of cranberries (fresh if possible—they’re the bee’s knees), red grapes, a pomegranate (you’ll need a cup of the arils), a small orange, walnuts, sugar, and a box of sugar-free orange Jell-O.
First rinse your cranberries and grapes. It’s important to wait until you’re ready to use the cranberries to rinse them or they’ll spoil.
First halve your grapes (I quartered mine because they were really large) and quarter your orange so it’ll be easier for your food processor to grind. Also, this is a good time to chop your walnuts. I just gave mine a large, rough chop because I like larger pieces, but you can chop them finely if you prefer.
Grind up your cranberries and orange together in the food processor. You’ll probably have to do this in two batches.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in your grapes.
Next extract 1 cup of arils from your pomegranate. The easiest way to do this is to cut it in half or in quarters and then place it underwater while pulling the arils from the rind. All the rind will float to the top of the water and the arils will sink, allowing you to skim off all the inedible stuff with a spoon. Google it and you’ll come across a lot of instructional articles and videos.
Aren’t pomegranates crazy? I love ‘em!
Now finish off the whole thing by combining your pomegranate arils, cranberry mixture, chopped walnuts, sugar, and Jell-O powder in a bowl and stirring together.
And serve! I probably got a good 14 to 16 servings out of this—you don’t need a giant, heaping helping of the stuff. It’s super sweet and satisfying and you can serve it any number of ways, whether it’s as part of a big turkey dinner or not. Plus, this relish might be the only part of your big holiday meal that’s actually good for you. It’s all fruit and nuts (both good things), so it’s low-fat, no-cholesterol, low-sodium, high in vitamins and all that good, natural stuff, etc. But that also means it’s pretty sugary (although most of it is natural sugars from the fruit, which isn’t bad for you by any means). I reduced the sugar by 1/3 cup from the recipe my mom uses, and she already reduced it by 1/2 cup from my grandma’s original recipe (I can’t imagine! Too sweet!!). So, the moral of the story is, if you’re a sugar-watcher, feel free to reduce the sugar even more or use Splenda.
I love the texture of this stuff. There are several different textural elements doing their thing here: crisp yet small, ground cranberries; crunchy walnuts; crisp, juicy grapes; the snap of the pomegranate seeds; and the juicy mixture encompassing the whole thing. The flavor is incredible too—the tart cranberries and pomegranate combined with the sweet grapes, nutty walnuts, and bright citrus flavor from the orange. Perfect! It just gets better every day too—the flavors just become stronger and more intertwined. Try this relish at any of your upcoming holiday get-togethers—or right now. For no reason at all. Just do it.
Cranberry Orange Pomegranate Relish
Serves anywhere from 12 to 16 (depending on how much you eat)
1 12-oz. bag fresh cranberries
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
1 cup pomegranate arils
1 small orange, quartered
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 box powdered orange Jell-O mix (sugar-free if you like)
2/3 cup sugar
Grind cranberries and orange in food processor. Combine cranberry mixture and remaining ingredients in bowl, stir. Keep refrigerated; best when allowed time to rest before serving.
*Note: I’m not exactly sure how many servings I got from this, nor how many you’re actually supposed to get, so I’m estimating this based on 14 servings. Please adjust accordingly.
Protein 1.6 g