15 November 2010

No Meat Zone Recipes: Homemade Dried Cranberries


Homemade Dried Cranberries

These are great because you can control the amount of sweetener yourself, and omit the sugar entirely. If you have a dehydrator, so much the better, but they worked great for me in the oven. Use these anywhere you’d use raisins or conventional dried cranberries. Because these do retain some moisture, however, they can’t be stored at room temperature like the regular kind or they’ll develop mold. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days, or freeze in an airtight container.

  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) agave nectar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil, preferably organic
  • 10 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid
  • 12 ounces (340 g) fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed

Preheat oven to 225F (105 C). Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment.

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the agave, oil and stevia. Add the berries and toss well to coat them all as much as possible. Spread the mixture evenly on the cookie sheet, taking care that the berries are in a single layer and don’t overlap.

Bake for 45 minutes, then check. The berries will puff up and then begin to wrinkle like raisins. If necessary, continue to bake (it will depend on the size and moisture content of the berries), stirring every 30 minutes or so, until desired texture is reached. They should still be soft in the middle, but slightly shrivelled and smaller than when you began. (NOTE: If you set your oven temperature lower, there is less risk of the berries browning or drying out too quickly, but it takes longer for them to be ready. I was just too impatient–but feel free to use a lower temperature!).

Allow to cool before using. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze for later use.

Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN | @RickiHeller
Formerly the owner of a vegan bakery, Ricki adapted those recipes for her cookbook, Sweet Freedom: Desserts You'll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar. She also writes articles about food for various publications and online sites. Find Ricki posting delicious, healthy recipes on her blog, Diet, Dessert and Dogs.

Photo credit: Ricki Heller