Thanksgiving Dinner Skill-School Day #2: Crazy-Simple Cranberry Sauce + Vegan Cashew “Cheese” & Chive Dip!

Yay! We’re so glad you dropped in to take a peek in our kitchen! If you are just joining us, you may want to check out our first two posts in this series before we get cookin’!

COLOR is what’s cookin’ today!! Bold and bossy red cranberries, fresh and flavorful green herbs, and bright and happy lemons!

First up . . .

Crazy-Simple, Three-Ingredient Cranberry Sauce

*about 30 minutes start to finish with kids*

This Thanksgiving cooking task is a breeze to tackle with kids! It’s easy, it’s fast, it’s fun, it’s fragrant, and it’s super bright-red-festive. It may not be everyone’s favorite Turkey-Day dish, but it is sure to be the most vibrant accessory on your Thanksgiving table!


*Adapted from Allrecipes*

Why adapt a three-ingredient recipe? To make it healthier of course! All we changed was to swap out the sugar for maple syrup which we also reduced by half because we think it’s plenty sweet enough that way!


  • 12 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup 100% orange juice

Let’s get Cookin’!

*click here to check out our tips for kicking it with kids in the kitchen*

1.) Take frozen cranberries out of freezer a half hour prior to cooking, or wash fresh cranberries (ages 2 and up)

2.) Place all ingredients in a cold sauce pan (ages 2 and up with help)

3.) Turn on heat to medium high, and stir at a simmer until cranberries start to “pop” or split and/or until they start to break down, about 15-20 minutes (ages 5 and up with help/best judgment)

4.) Remove from heat, transfer to a container when cooled, and refrigerate (up to 5 days) or freeze until Thanksgiving day

And here it is! Ruby-Red Sassy Sauce!

Next up . . .

Vegan Cashew “Cheese” & Chive Dip

*about 1 hour start to finish with kids*

Kids are sure to want to help make this recipe if for no other reason than to get to push the buttons on the food processor! My only problem for this kitchen project was monitoring the turns taking for pulsing the cashew mixture. This creamy, chivy, cheese-less dip is a staple in our usually plant-based (not on Turkey-day, of course) family. It’s very easy to make, incredibly scrummy, and totally guilt-free (unlike our Herb-Butter Turkey Rub & Bread-Spread)! I love serving this dip as an appetizer with fresh veggies and crackers to munch on before the heavy and unhealthy Thanksgiving feast.

Also, it is worth noting that both of our kids ate parsley today, and the littlest asked for “moe”! You may recall from our herb-butter post yesterday, that we are not usually a parsley family. We do like it in this dip, however. It gives it a real Ranch dressing sort of flavor . . . but plain parsley by itself??? Just more support for my very fervent belief that kids will eat anything if they grow it or cook it.


*this one is our family’s personal creation*

  • 16 oz cashews
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 4-6 large cloves of raw garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups plain, unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 2 tb nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped chives, or 1/4 cup dried chives
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley leaves (stalks removed) or 1/4 cup dried parsley (optional)

Let’s get Cookin’!

*click here to check out our tips for kicking it with kids in the kitchen*

1.) Place the cashews in a large bowl, cover generously with water, and let sit covered at least 6 hours or overnight

2.) Strain the cashews and rinse well (ages 2 and up with help)

3.) Wash, dry, and chop fresh chives and optional parsley (ages 2 and up for washing & drying, ages 6 and up for chopping according to best judgment by child)

4.) Juice lemons (ages 4 and up with help)

*babies and toddlers will love to explore and maybe even taste the juiced lemon rinds while you work with an older child!

5.) Place cashews, almond milk, lemon juice, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper into food processor and blend until very smooth and creamy (about 5 minutes)

6.) Add your chopped chives and optional parsley and pulse until just combined (ages 2 and up with help)

7.) Store in the fridge for up to 7 days, or in freezer until the night before you plan to serve it.

Serve with veggies and crackers!

Thanks for Kickin’ it in the Kitchen with us! Join us this weekend for Make-Ahead Pumpkin Pie Filling and Freezer Pie Crust!

Thanks for reading!

Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~

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