It’s the perfect time to try making your own dehydrated cranberries if you own a dehydrator. Cranberries are in season making them cheaper than other times of the year. This recipe will only work if you have a dehydrator as using the oven will require a very long time which makes it expensive. I personally own a 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator. I have found it convenient although I find myself tempted to upgrade to a 9 tray one, to prepare a larger batches in order to maximise energy efficiency. Excalibur is the best brand that you will find around, and I would recommend it since I found it good and reliable. My favourite dehydrator recipes are dried pineapple, beef jerky, cracker bread and fruit roll-ups. I like to save dehydrated food in air tight container, or in vacuum bags for longer storage. I use a food sealer and store dehydrated food in a dry place.
Do not expect homemade dried cranberries to turn out sweet, cranberries are sour. Also do not compare them to pre-conventional store bought dried cranberries as these often, if not always, contain some type of added sugar and oils. Regardless, these home dehydrated cranberries are great to use in recipes like these cranberry biscotti or in homemade granola. They are also great on their own or mixed with nuts for a healthy snack.
Below is a picture of how the cranberries will look like after they have “popped” in hot water.
Then you just need to press the cranberries with your fingers and layer them onto a dehydrator tray.
After dehydrating, the cranberries will look like this:
- 500g fresh cranberries
- Clean cranberries in a mixture of water and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Then rinse under running water.
- Start by boiling up around 1 litre of water in a kettle or in a pan. When the water has boiled, remove from the heat and pour over the fresh cranberries. Don't worry if they float. Use a plate as a weight on top so that all cranberries are immersed in water.
- Allow the cranberries to soak for around 5 minutes. The skins will pop and this will allow the cranberries to be flattened.
- Next layer the cranberries on to the dehydrator tray and gently press each cranberry so that it has "popped". This will allow the cranberries to dry inside out, and also to dry out quicker. I had 3 trays and layered the last tray with sliced oranges.
- Dehydrate at 180 degrees Celsius for at least 15 hours.