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Cranberry and Pomegranate Relish (raw, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free)

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Cranberry-and-Pomegranate-Relish-featureTis the season for enjoying rich and fatty foods.  I am not giving you permission to loosen that belt or put on your sweat pants.  I am here encouraging you to practice moderation and to choose the foods that you pile on your plate… wisely.   Now that the winter months with the cold temperatures are here, those cravings for rich, fatty, and heavy foods, not to mention that the holiday festivities make sure that we get our ample supply. :)

So here I am rambling on about fats (healthy ones of course) in the midst of a cranberry sauce recipe, which doesn’t have any fats… so whats my point?  Let me explain.

Did you know that sour taste in cranberries (or any sour food in general) increases bile production from the liver?   Bile breaks up fat into little tiny bits that are easier to digest, a process called emulsification, helping your body manage an overload of rich holiday yumminess.  See, I told you that you could eat your pie. :)  Cranberries in particular promote good cholesterol.  Orange zest stimulates metabolism and reduces stomach stagnation – effective for moving the ‘bomb’ in your stomach after a hearty Thanksgiving meal.

To give a little helping hand to our sour friend, the cranberry… I added some ginger to “heat” things up.  Ginger stokes the digestive fire, it whets the appetite, improves assimilation and transportation of nutrients to our body tissues.   Then, to balance the sour and heat, I mixed in some pomegranate seeds.

The seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart, throat and eyes, in addition to being used for a variety of purposes, such as stopping nose bleeds and gum bleeds, toning the skin, firming-up sagging breasts(!) and treating hemorrhoids.

So just in case you are suffering from any of those aliments during this holiday season, you can have two scoops! :)   If you are new to opening pomegranates, click here for a quick and easy tutorial.


Yields 3 cups

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp raw agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
  • 1/4 cup diced sweetened dried ginger
  • 1 tsp fresh minced mint


  1. In the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the cranberries, orange juice, agave, and coconut crystals.  Pulse until the cranberries are coarsely chopped.
    • When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).
  2. Place in a serving dish and stir in the pomegranate arils (seeds).
  3. Serve right away or for better flavor, make a day a head of time and place in the fridge.  This will give the ingredients time to meld.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

  • To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
  • Click (here) for my thoughts on raw agave nectar.
  • Raw Coconut Crystals add a “brown sugar” flavor to a recipe.  Read about it (here).

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