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Dehydrating Cranberries

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Right after the holidays, seasonal food items that we like go on clearance. There are several things that I look for and stock up on, like molasses and dried dates. This year I bought several bags of fresh cranberries for 99 each.

I especially enjoy dried cranberries on my breakfast granola when there’s no fresh fruit in season, and I thought it would be nice to make some without the stuff commercial processors like to add.
I consulted my two books on dehydrating foods to compare instructions.
Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook and
Making & Using Dried Foods by Phyllis Hobson

I always like to look at more than one source for projects, to compare notes and possibly pick up unique tips. Their directions were similar and started with popping the raw cranberries into boiling water until the skins cracked. (No pic). Then they went into a bowl where I coated them with honey.

Then it was onto the mesh dehydrator screens.
Both sources recommended a low heat for 10 to 12 hours. What I found however, was that mine still weren’t dried in that time. I had to repeat the drying several times. While it took a long time, I ran the dehydrator at night so we benefited from its little bit of heat in the kitchen come morning.

I removed the dried ones along the way and eventually got them all done! 
When I tasted them, however, I was dismayed that the honey didn’t help sweeten them at all. So when I put them into a half-gallon jar, I sprinkled with unbleached sugar. 
My final yield was 5 cups.

Because of how long it took, I doubt I’ll try these again. And I will probably save these for baking, rather than eating on cereal. But I’m glad i gave them a try anyway.


Source: https://www.5acresandadream.com/2024/01/dehydrating-cranberries.html



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