Several of our favorite holiday recipes call for citrus zest for that extra little burst of flavor. Zest is the outer skin of a citrus fruit. It contains the essential oils of the fruit so it adds nice concentrated flavor to recipes. If zesting is something you haven’t done yet, here are some instructions. I like to zest any organic citrus I have and keep it in the freezer for when I need it.

Tip: Another great way to add flavor to recipes is to use food grade essential oils!

How To Zest Citrus

My favorite tool for zesting is a Microplane zester.

1) Wash and dry the citrus fruit

2) Slide the Zester across the skin, taking care to scrape just the outer color of the skin. The inner layers are more bitter.

3) Store in a small glass jar in the freezer


Cranberry Sauce Finished

Phase 2 Cranberry Sauce

Chef Dawn Ludwig
Cranberry Sauce is a holiday staple in many households, but the canned variety is often loaded with sugar and lacks the substance and delicate flavors available in whole cranberries. This simple sauce recipe can be drizzled over your holiday favorites or used as a fruity dessert. My family eats it straight off the spoon!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Dips and Sauces
Cuisine American


  • cup raisins
  • ½ medium Fuji or other sweet apple or pear, cored, and diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1⅓ cup whole, fresh cranberries
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp tangerine or orange zest, and/or a squeeze of tangerine juice to taste
  • ¼-½ tsp ginger juice, optional


  • Place raisins, apples, and water in a pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat down to a simmer, and cook for ten minutes or until raisins are soft.
  • Add cranberries, salt, honey, and maple syrup.
  • Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cranberries have popped.
  • Simmer another 10 minutes to fully soften the cranberries.
  • Add tangerine zest and optional ginger juice to taste. Pulse with an immersion blender to create chunky sauce. Refrigerate to set before serving.


What to do with leftovers?

Mix with pear slices and bake the mixture in a pie shell for a delicious fruit pie or serve as a Pear Chutney side dish.


For Phase 3: replace apple chunks and water with ½ cup apple juice and ¼ cup applesauce. Boil raisins with the apple juice and add the applesauce when the cranberries are added.

Nutrition (Per Serving -- 8 Servings)

Fat: 0g
Carbohydrates: 15g
Protein: 1g
Calories: 59
Keyword Dips and Sauces, Phase 2