Making cranberry sauce with Florida cranberries

- The Florida cranberry looks nothing like a regular cranberry, but they do taste pretty similar.

The FOX 13 Good Day Garden grew Florida cranberries, which are part of the okra family with cranberry-colored edible leaves that could be used in a variety of dishes.

This Thanksgiving, FOX 13's Vanessa Ruffes was tasked with preparing a cranberry sauce from the plants, which taste fresh and tart. In order to stick with the Florida theme, she used ingredients local to the Tampa Bay area.

You can learn more about Florida cranberries -- also known as roselle or Jamaican sorrel -- on the University of Florida's website or from the Florida Cranberry Alliance.

The plant is not one you can find at any grocery store. David Whitwam of Whitwam Organics suggested poking around at various farmer's markets, such as the ones listed on Tampa Bay Markets' website.

The following recipe yields one cup of sauce, so adjust measurements as necessary. And remember, you can always find more recipes over at


- 2 cups Florida orange juice
- 2 cups of Florida cranberry calyces, chopped (remove and discard seed pods, chop up the calyces, which are the red part. I found that about a dozen "berries" yield about a cup when chopped.)
- 7 tbsp. Florida honey
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom


In a pot, on high heat, bring orange juice to a boil.

Add spices, honey, and Florida cranberries. Be sure the seed pods are removed and the calyces are chopped.

Once mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until sauce is thick (about 15 minutes), stirring frequently.

Transfer to serving dish and chill in the fridge.

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