Homemade Spiced Cranberry Relish

This is a come-back* recipe!

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving and, once again, I will be whipping up delicious, low-calorie, and easy-to-make cranberry relish.

This relish with its lovely undertones of orange, cinnamon, and ginger is so superior to the canned variety—taste-wise, nutrition-wise, and calorie-wise—that I decided to re-post it just in time for the Canadian holiday and well in time for American Thanksgiving.

Happy holidays to all!

*It’s original title was Dieter’s Spiced Cranberry Relish.


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Thanksgiving: A Dieter’s Suggestions

Arghhh…Thanksgiving, the dinner that just keeps on giving—weight-wise that is. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie…and the list goes on.

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and, as our Weight Watcher leader brought us through techniques for diet-managing the bounty of food, I began to think about my own strategies.

In our house, the spouse handles most of Thanksgiving. That is, he makes the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy and is not—repeat, is not—open to diet suggestions. Daughters bring salads and desserts.

I’ll have roast vegetables, probably Brussel sprouts, to ensure there’s lots for me to eat. But here are some other dishes I’ll make to keep my Thanksgiving calories down.

Dieter’s Spiced Cranberry Relish

Dieter’s Spiced Cranberry Relish: Love cranberry sauce? Don’t waste your valuable points on the canned stuff. This relish, made with cranberries, oranges, spices, and artificial sweetener, is easy to make, delicious, and 0 points!

Sweet Potato Bean Bake with Currants

Sweet Potato Bean Bake with Currants: If you can, try to avoid the white mashed potatoes and gravy; it’s just one big point-fest. This dish, on the other hand, provides protein, carbs, and great taste for only 3 points per serving. (Think 1/8 of a pie–see photo for Crustless Pumpkin Pie.) BTW, this is my favourite bean bake, and I often have a pan of it in my fridge. Bean bakes will keep for 4-5 days when refrigerated.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Crustless Pumpkin Pie: At the WW meeting, the leader passed around a recipe for a “crustless pumpkin pie.” My hopes lifted but then dashed. The recipe called for evaporated milk, and I don’t know how to replicate that with soy or another alternative milk. So…what will I substitute? Pumpkin “Pie” Bean Bake, that’s what! It looks like pumpkin pie, tastes like pumpkin pie, and is creamy like pumpkin pie. And even better? WW value: 2 points per serving unless you add coffee liqueur (optional).

Quinoa Pudding #1: With Dried Cranberries

Quinoa-Cranberry Pudding

Quinoa-Cranberry Pudding

Sick of rice in just about every dish?  Here’s an alternative, a quinoa version of rice pudding. 

This dessert provides all the comfort-food quality of milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon cooked together, but the quinoa adds more texture than rice, and the dried cranberries punctuate the dish with a chewy sweetness. 

Also, you can vary it by not using cranberries but adding other ingredients.  Recently, I used leftover pumpkin puree, and a blog reader, Rhonda, has added chocolate.  Just remember to subtract the value points of the cranberries and add in those of the new ingredient.

Update: I have posted two more versions of this pudding since its original publication: the pumpkin or squash pudding and a summer edition with banana.

Best served warm.

Printer-friendly recipe

Makes 8 ½-cup servings


  • 1 cup quinoa seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup artificial sugar
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup dried cranberries


  1. Rinse quinoa seeds if the manufacturer has not indicated that this has been done.
  2. Put 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Add quinoa and bring to boil again.
  4. Lower heat to simmer.
  5. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.  The quinoa should have absorbed all the water, and you should have approximately 2 cups.
  6. In a bowl, beat eggs with a whisk.
  7. Stir in artificial sugar, milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and cranberries.
  8. Add cooked quinoa to liquid ingredients.
  9. Bake in 325 degree oven for 45 minutes. The quinoa will not be set yet.
  10. Let stand for 15 minutes for liquid to absorbed.

For Weight Watchers: 2.5 points per ½-cup serving on the Points plan and 3.5 points per ½-cup serving on the PointsPlus plan.

Nutritional Information for a ½-cup serving:

  • Calories 108 (19 from fat)
  • Protein 5 grams
  • Fat 2 grams
  • Carbohydrate 17 grams
  • Fibre 2 grams
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 102 mg

This food is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin D, riboflavin, Vitamin B12, magnesium, and manganese.

(Adapted from “Quinoa Pudding” at Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood Blog at http://www.cookingquinoa.net/quinoa-pudding/)