Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love These Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
- Ingredients & Substitutions
- How To Make Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
- Tips for Best Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
- Storage Instructions
- How to Use Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
- Tools for Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
- Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
Who says you can’t enjoy cranberries on a low-carb diet? With this homemade Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries recipe (aka “Craisins”), you’re all set to add a punch of flavor to your meals without the sugar rush. Drying cranberries at home is simpler than you might think and way healthier than the sugar-packed versions you find at stores.
This recipe is perfect for those on a keto diet or anyone trying to reduce sugar intake. We’re skipping the sugar and using a clever method to bring out the natural sweetness of cranberries. These cranberries are great for snacking, jazzing up your salads, or adding a zesty touch to your baked treats. And the best part? They’re super easy to whip up. Get ready to transform your cranberries into something special!
Why You’ll Love These Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
- Low-Carb & Sugar-Free: Perfect for a keto-friendly diet, without sacrificing sweetness.
- Easy to Make: Just a few simple steps and a bit of patience for dehydration.
- Versatile Use: Ideal for holiday recipes, snacking, or as a salad topping.
- Longer Shelf Life: Homemade and lasts longer than store-bought varieties.
- Customizable: Swap in different sweeteners or oils to suit your taste.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Heads up: For exact measurements, see the recipe card below.
Creating these Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries is a breeze with just three simple ingredients:
- Fresh Cranberries: The star of the show, bringing a natural tartness.
- Oil: Virgin coconut oil, ghee, or neutral tasting oil will add moisture and helps in the dehydration process.
- Allulose: Gives a subtle sweetness without the carbs.
Yes, absolutely! Allulose is best because it caramelizes just like sugar. But other options will work too. Erythritol or Swerve are great alternatives. Just keep in mind the taste and texture might vary slightly.
You can use ghee or any neutral-tasting oil like avocado (some brands have a strong taste though) or macadamia oil. Each will give a slightly different flavor but will work just as well for the recipe.
Definitely! Frozen cranberries can be used directly without the initial baking step. The reason we’re baking the cranberries at a higher temperature for the first 15 minutes is to release the juices. Frozen cranberries are a convenient option if fresh cranberries aren’t available.
Yes! If you use a dehydrator, you’ll need to dehydrate the cranberries for 7 to 9 hours. Don’t forget to include the initial baking step to release the juices.
How To Make Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
Preheat and Prepare Cranberries. Set your oven to 300°F (150°C) fan assisted, or 340°F (170°C) conventional. While it’s heating up, halve your fresh cranberries and get them ready for baking.
Combine with Oil. Place the halved cranberries in a mixing bowl. Melt your choice of coconut oil, ghee, or neutral tasting oil, and pour it over the cranberries. Stir well to ensure the cranberries are evenly coated.
Sweeten and Bake. Spread the cranberries out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle your chosen low-carb sweetener evenly over them. Pop the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes to release the juices. (Note: You’ll need 2 baking sheets to make 5 cups of dried cranberries.)
Dehydrate. After the initial baking, mix the cranberries with a spatula. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 160°F (70°C) fan assisted, or 200°F (90°C) conventional. Return the cranberries to the oven and dehydrate for 3 to 4 hours, allowing them to dry out slowly and retain their flavor.
Cool and Store. Once done, take the cranberries out of the oven and let them cool down completely. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months. For the best taste, let them return to room temperature before serving.
Tips for Best Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
Making homemade Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries is simple, but here are a few tips to ensure they turn out just right:
- Even Coating is Key: Make sure the cranberries are evenly coated with oil. This helps them dehydrate properly without drying out.
- Sweetener Distribution: When sprinkling sweetener, aim for an even distribution over the cranberries. This ensures a consistent flavor throughout.
- Regular Checks: During the dehydration process, check the cranberries occasionally. This helps prevent over-drying and ensures an ideal texture. If your oven bakes unevenly, make sure to turn the tray once or twice.
- Cooling Time: Allow the cranberries to cool completely before storing. This step is crucial for texture and flavor development.
Once completely cooled, store the cranberries in an airtight container. Keep them in the fridge for freshness, where they’ll last for 2 to 3 weeks. Let them sit at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes before using, or add them to baked goods. This helps bring back their texture and flavor.
Yes, you can freeze them. Place the cooled cranberries in a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just thaw at room temperature before using.
How to Use Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
- In Baked Goods: Replace raisins or traditional dried cranberries in recipes like muffins, bread, panettone, or cookies for a sugar-free twist.
- As a Snack Mix Add-In: Toss them into your favorite nut and seed mix for a quick, healthy snack.
- In Breakfast Dishes: Sprinkle over oatmeal, yogurt, or keto granola for a burst of flavor.
- In Salads: Add a handful to your green salads for a sweet and tart contrast.
- For Festive Recipes: Use them in holiday dishes like keto mince pies or a sugar-free version of rum and raisin ice cream.
- As a Topping: They’re great on top of smoothie bowls or as a garnish for keto desserts.
Tools for Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
- Parchment Paper: Helps prevent sticking and ensures easy cleanup.
- Airtight Container: For storing the dried cranberries in the fridge or freezer.
Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
- 2.6 lbs fresh cranberries (halved)
- 4 tbsp virgin coconut oil (or ghee, or neutral tasting oil)
- 1.5 cups granulated low-carb sweetener (ideally Allulose)
- Preheat your oven to 300 °F (150 °C), or 340 °F (170 °C).
- Halve the fresh cranberries and place them in a mixing bowl.
- Melt the coconut oil, and pour it over the cranberries, stirring to combine.
- Arrange the cranberries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and evenly sprinkle with the low-carb sweetener. (Note: You'll need 2 baking sheets to make 5 cups of dried cranberries.)
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes to release the juices.
- After 15 minutes, mix the cranberries with a spatula and reduce the oven temperature to 160 °F (70 °C), or 200 °F (90 °C). Return the cranberries to the oven and dehydrate for 3 to 4 hours, checking occasionally.
- Once dehydrated, remove from the oven and let them cool down completely.
- Serving Size: About 3 tbsp (21 g), or as needed. Nutrition facts per 3 tbsp.
- Check Dehydration: Keep an eye on the cranberries during the dehydration process to achieve the perfect texture. If your oven bakes unevenly, make sure to turn the tray once or twice.
- Storage: Store the dried cranberries in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks for best freshness. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months – just thaw at room temperature before using.
- Versatile Usage: Remember, these cranberries are great not just for snacking but also as additions to salads, baked goods, and breakfast dishes.