Cranberry Juice Recipe
Cranberries are good for you year round not just during the holidays. So when they start showing up in stores and go on sale, I usually buy more than my current needs so I can restock my freezer to use the rest of the year. Cranberries freeze exceptionally well when properly stored. They can be frozen in home freezers for 8-12 months and still retain their quality flavor and texture.
Converting Cranberry Juice to Hot Cranberry Cider
Cranberry juice is pretty versatile in that it can be enjoyed year round, with minor tweaks to suit the seasonal changes. Cranberry cider is great during the cooler months and ice Cranberry Juice over ice is ideal in the warmer months. You can even add a shot or two of vodka for a healthy cocktail.
To make Cranberry Juice: follow instructions below and make sure it’s completely chilled. You may add fresh mint, lemon slices, or even some frozen berries for a fun drink.
To make Cranberry Cider: follow instructions below and but do dot chill. Add a dash of cinnamon, ground clove, or nutmeg. An orange slice for garnish completes this cranberry cider. Enjoy warm.
Homemade Cranberry Juice with Lemon and Honey
This healthy cranberry juice is sweetened with honey, a much better alternative than sugar. If you are new to the real food-clean eating world, eliminating white processed sugar is one of the easiest and simplest ways to start on that journey. There are so many better options available to sweeten your treats, you can read more about them in the post Alternative Natural Sweeteners. One of our favorites is undoubtedly honey. It’s rich in minerals and nutrients and we use it often in homemade drinks, various desserts and even marshmallows.
To get the maximum benefits of raw honey, wait for the cranberry juice to cool slightly so as not to destroy the beneficial enzymes and nutrients. Generally, anything over 96 degrees Fahrenheit would change the honey’s structure. But even if used in cider, honey is still much better than regular sugar.
Alternatively, you may use other mineral rich sweeteners that are not destroyed by heat such as maple syrup or coconut sugar.
In addition to honey, lemon is added to bring out more cranberry flavor and add more vitamin C to the mix. You can omit lemon if you feel the cranberry juice would be too tart for your tastebuds.
Making Juice in the Instant Pot
Note: You can test that by pressing “Keep Warm/Cancel” button and if the light toggles off and on, you can disable the “Keep Warm” function and instead it will “cancel” automatically. As mentioned, not all Instant Pots have this ability, so either check your user manual or press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button twice to check.
For this recipe, you don’t want the Instant Pot to continue to keep warm (unless making it as cider). Alternatively, you can also simply press “Cancel” once the cooking time has concluded.
Helpful Tip to Save Time
Cooking liquids in the pressure cooker can be time-consuming because of the time it takes to build up pressure. The more liquid, the more time is needed to pressurize then the then the actual cooking time begins. For this reason, I prefer to add only 1/2 gallon of water for the cooking time. I add the remaining water after it’s strained. Doing it this way also kickstarts the cooling process.
Making Juice on Stovetop
If you don’t have a pressure cooker or want to use the stovetop for whatever reason – the recipe is still just as simple. Toss everything in a medium stock pot and bring to a rolling boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully strain and then proceed with the rest of the instructions in the recipe card.
Homemade Cranberry Juice Recipe
Cranberry Juice Recipe
- Add cranberries, cinnamon and 1/2 gallon of filtered water to pressure cooker inner pot.
- Close lid and set to sealing position.
- Press "Manual" and reduce time to 8 minutes.
- After cooking time has concluded, turn off Instant Pot by pressing "Cancel" and allow to naturally release pressure.
- When safe to do so (check for safety valve to be down), carefully open lid and remove inner pot. Set it on a cooling rack or another safe surface to cool.
- Once cooled enough to handle, strain to remove cranberry pulp and cinnamon stick.
- Add remaining water and continue to cool juice before adding lemon and honey. Or sweeten now and enjoy as a hot cider.
- When juice has cooled considerably, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and raw honey. Stir well.
- Enjoy slightly warm as a cider or iced as juice. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Need More Holiday Inspiration?
Savory Sliced Apple Appetizers (GAPS, Primal)
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Bacon (Whole30, Paleo)
Nourishing Hot Cocoa with Honey-Sweetened Marshmallows (Paleo)
Gluten-Free French Crepes Recipe (with Cassava Flour)
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This post was originally published December 2017 but has since been updated to include helpful information.