How To Make Dried Cranberries Using A Dehydrator

If you’re like me, you stock up on cranberries when they’re in season and on sale. After buying, cooking, and canning multiple jars of cranberry sauce, you’d think when I went to the grocery store again just before Thanksgiving that I’d leave them be. I had enough, right? Well I couldn’t pass up the sale price so I bought a few more bags and decided to dehydrate these.

Tip: in addition to eating the cranberry sauce as a side dish, or slathering it on pancakes as a preserve, my favorite use for the canned whole cranberry sauce is to place a large dollop in a glass, then top with club soda and maybe a squeeze of orange or lemon. It’s a delightful mocktail!

But back to dehydrating cranberries…

I personally don’t like the high amount of sugar in most cranberry recipes so I use less than called for in my recipes. For the dehydrated cranberries, I made two trays, one lightly sprinkled with sugar, the other sprinkled with a monkfruit/erythritol blend sugar substitute. They’re both delicious!

Here are both trays about 8 hours into the dehydration process. The monkfruit sweetened berries are on the top row and you can see they have gotten more granular but less dehydrated than the ones with sugar.

Although I started with a Nesco dehydrator — I loved the price and it was perfect for getting started — I now use the ChefWave model with 10 racks, temperature control, and timer.

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Dehydrating Cranberries

Ingredients:

1 bag cranberries

1/8-1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute

Instructions:

1: Rinse and drain cranberries in a colander. Bring 2 quarts water to boil. Add cranberries, turn off heat, and let sit for 7-10 minutes until skins pop.

2: Drain cranberries in colander then sprinkle lightly with preferred sweetener. Let sit for a few minutes so the sugar can help dry the berries. Spread on dehydrator racks, well dispersed with space between them.

3: Place racks in dehydrator. Set temperature to 140 degrees. Rotate occasionally for even drying. Dry for 14-24 hours until the consistency of raisins. Pack in airtight jar or baggie, or freeze.

Uses:

Dried cranberries are great in trail mix, served on oatmeal, added to chicken salad, and mixed into a cheese ball. Or try Taste of Home’s Cranberry Blue Cheese Salad recipe.

Benefits of Cranberries:

High in antioxidants, and loaded with fiber, these powerhouse berries also have numerous health benefits.

Here’s another article about dehydrating cranberries written by a friend who visited cranberry growers in Wisconsin.

Check out these 4 pound packages of dried cranberries from Traverse Bay Fruit.

Don’t want to bother with dehydrating foods yourself? Check out my new Etsy store. I’ll be adding additional products, but for now, choose from Taco Seasoning or Salsa Mix.

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