Growing up, along with Grandpa’s Green Beans, I loved my mom’s (or was it my Grandma’s?) sweet and creamy cranberry salad served every Thanksgiving. My cousin and I would scoop out large cupfuls of the leftovers for a snack the next day – so good. In this cranberry salad, fresh cranberries are mixed with apples, pineapple, and chopped nuts, and then sweetened and dolled up with whipped cream. In this version, I used coconut cream for a dairy-free version, but I also gave an option for whipped cream too.
There are two types of cranberry salads. One is tarter and simple, usually used as a condiment to go with the turkey. Another is more like a dessert. This one is definitely more like a dessert – which is why I loved it even as a child. But grown-ups like it too!
I do use a food processor for this recipe. I am not sure how it would work without it. You could try hand-cutting the cranberries really small and hand-shredding the apples. You will also need a fine sieve to drain the fruit in. Growing up my mom didn’t have a fine sieve, so we just used a regular colander, which worked fine, the only disadvantage being that you lose a bit of fruit through the larger holes.
Creamy Cranberry Salad
1 pound of cranberries
3-4 apples (Use your favorite. I like a tart apple here)
1 32 ounce can of crushed pineapple( in pineapple juice)
1 cup of walnuts (or almonds)
1 16 ounce can of full fat coconut milk, such as Thai Coconut Milk (or one cup of whipping cream).
1/4-1/2 cup of coconut sugar, rapadura, sucanat, maple sugar, or organic sugar
1-Wash the cranberries and apples and place the can of coconut milk into the refrigerator. In a food processor, finely chop the cranberries. Remove the cranberries to a bowl and take out the blade and place the grater blade in. Seed and quarter the apples and shred. Mix the apples and cranberries together. Drain the pineapple well and add to the apples and cranberries.
2-Now pour all of the fruit into a large sieve or colander (see note above) over a bowl. We will need to drain some of the juice out of the fruit so that the salad isn’t too moist. To get it started grab large handfuls of the mixed fruit and squeeze over the sieve. Then take a bowl and gently press down on top of the fruit mixture in the sieve. This will help press out the juices. You can drain for an hour, or even put in the refrigerator and drain overnight.
3-Meanwhile. remove the grater from the food processor and put the chopping blade back in and process the nuts to a medium chop. Once the fruit is drained, mix the fruit and the nuts together in a large bowl. Take out the can of coconut milk and open it without mixing it up. Scoop off all of the creamy part off of the top. Fold this into the fruit and nut mixture. Now all you have to do is sweeten to taste. Start with 1/4 of a cup (which was perfect for me, but my husband thought it a bit tart still) and work yourself up until you reach the sweetness you want. Chill and serve.
Whipped Cream Variation: Instead of using the cream from the coconut milk, use one cup of whipping cream. Whip it with a hand mixer until it is thick and forming peaks and then fold it into the fruit.