Monday, November 16, 2009

Sugar-Free Cranberry Orange Punch

Welcome to the first stop of our Gluten Free Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Party! Today I will be serving Cranberry Orange Punch. Our dinner party will be held at eight different blogs on Monday through Friday of this week and you’re invited to attend! By the end of the week you'll have many new ideas and recipes for your gluten-free Thanksgiving day menu. Enjoy!

Today's punch recipe is very simple to prepare and only takes a few minutes. You'll need one 8-ounce bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate. I buy it from our local food co-op in the juice isle (it is not refrigerated). Simply mix the cranberry concentrate with sparkling mineral water, orange juice, and either liquid stevia or agave nectar. I like to float orange slices and cinnamon sticks in the punch bowl which add extra flavor and make for a nice presentation.

Every year I make a variation of this punch for Thanksgiving and Christmas but never measure. Last night I made this punch eight different ways to get it just right! You'd think it would be easier than that, I mean, it's just punch! Come on, I created a gluten-free, vegan, flourless (and sugar-free) chocolate chip cookie recipe the other day which came out perfect the first time. But the punch? Well, it took a little more work. Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Punch

My children love this punch; it's not too sweet and has just the right amount of cranberry zing! If you would like it sweeter then add more agave nectar. I have tried this with honey but it doesn't taste very good. I didn't have a chance to try it with maple syrup because one of my almost-2-year-old twins drank the rest of the maple syrup out of the bottle the other day! I wouldn't recommend making it with any more stevia, otherwise the stevia aftertaste really comes through. I am sure cane sugar would work too if you didn't want to use agave or stevia. I would start by mixing in 1/2 cup and go from there.

2 liters sparkling mineral water (we use Gerolsteiner)
4 cups orange juice
8 ounces cranberry juice concentrate
1/2 cup agave nectar or 64 drops liquid stevia
orange slices
cinnamon sticks

Mix the sparking mineral water, orange juice, cranberry juice concentrate, and sweetener in a large glass bowl. Add orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Serve.

Citrus-Free Variation: Replace the orange juice with apple cider. Replace the orange slices with apples sliced horizontally into thin rounds (so you get a star in the middle). Gently pop out the seeds before adding to the punch. Source:

Where to Stop Next:

Next Stop: Jean is also serving Drinks at Gluten Free Organics!

Don't forget to stop by the rest of our blogs this week for the more of our Gluten Free Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner Party. Here's the schedule:

Jean and I are serving DRINKS today, Nov. 16 at Gluten Free Organics and The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.

Karen, Jean, and Seamaiden will be serving APPETIZERS on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Cook4Seasons, Gluten Free Organics and Book of Yum.

Shirley and I will be serving the MAIN COURSE Wednesday, Nov. 18 at gfe-gluten free easily and The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.

Diane, Stephanie, Shauna, and I will be serving the SIDE DISH/SALAD on Thursday, Nov. 19 at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, A Year of Slow Cooking, Gluten Free Girl, and The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. This sounds so wonderful. I want some now. I'm headed to the store for the ingredients.

  2. Looks great to me! All of us food bloggers are too hard on ourselves with our photos and recipes. ;-) The progressive dinner party is such fun! It's putting me in a better mood than I was a few minutes ago. :-)

    Thanks, Ali! Have to go check out Jean's beverage now!


  3. This looks and sounds really delicious and refreshing. The Progressive Dinner Idea is so much fun. I will be checking all the posts, the recipes are wonderful I'm sure. Will you be posting the vegan, flourless, sugarless, cc cookie recipe?

  4. Hi Ali,
    This sounds and looks so refreshing. What a great idea for the holidays!
    Thanks so much!

  5. Ali, Thank you for changing the way your emails are delivered! I love that I can now see the recipe title in the subject line! I can't wait to make this punch for Thanksgiving, sounds great!

    I too am looking forward to your new cookie recipe. I love everything you post so I am sure it is fabulous!

  6. It's always fun to have a healthy drink at the holidays! You crack me up with the punch needing to be perfect only because I'm that way, too. I don't even like to give the 'almost just right' food to anyone.

    And, love the cinnamon and orange in this - I bet they provide great depth in flavor.

  7. I love cranberry juice! This sounds absolutely wonderful =D.

  8. OK now I'm ready to party! Just posted the appetizer so we're good to go!

  9. mmm, this sounds so tasty! I love the bubbles.
    xoxo steph

  10. Thanks everyone for your sweet comments, hope you enjoy the punch! The cookie recipe will be up either this week or next. I actually have a line of posts waiting to go up, LOL! :)

  11. I tried this really good sake drink called ginger crush that was gluten free the other day. It was made with tyku sake, ginger ale, and ice.
    So light and refreshing!

  12. The punch's juice combo sounds delicious, but carbonation doesn't sit well with me. What are your thoughts on making this with non-carbonated water and serving warm (from a crockpot) as a warm drink? Thanks!

  13. ~M - I think this recipe would work using water and a crockpot to serve warm. Actually that sounds much more appetizing with this very cold streak of weather we have now. I would simmer the cinnamon sticks in the drink for a while to create a warming, spicy drink. Thanks for this suggestion...i think I will try it w/o the carbonated water this year and serve it warm! :)


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