Drying Cranberries…

I’ve acquired a taste for dried fruit.  I’d like to say it’s for all the wonderful health reasons of the vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants the chewy treats provide, but let’s be honest:  I don’t feel AS guilty eating a handful of golden raisins than I do when I consumer jelly beans like Ronald Reagan trying to kick his nicotine habit.  Before I left Seattle, my grandma was kind enough to give me her food dehydrator.  It was packaged neatly in a box in her basement for years, so it was no trouble to load it in my U-Haul on that overcast August day.  A few months ago, I tried my hand at drying apples (my parents had brought a bag of Gamy’s Granny Smiths when then visited).  It was annoying and tedious work to peel, core and slice them, even with the help of the food processor.  Yes, it was fun to experiment with the different spices and sugars for flavoring, but overall, a lot of work. Aside from welcoming my friend Jamie and her husband (fly fisher and hunter extraordinaire) to its use for making jerky (a BIG overture coming from a vegetarian), the unassuming machine has been sitting quietly at the top shelf of the closet.  A few days ago I was was inspired at the grocery store by the bags and bags of fresh cranberries.  Voila – my next “semi-homemade” adventure. 

First, I washed and rinsed 2 bags of cranberries:

Washing the cranberries

Washing the cranberries

Then I distributed them in the classy 1980’s era food dehydrator:

Layer one

Layer one

Such a lovely color... I can just imagine them floating in a bog

Such a lovely color... I can just imagine them floating in a bog

Now it’s time to plug it in, and let electricity to its magic.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll try to make the candied orange peel so I can make holiday bark on Saturday (white chocolate + dried cranberries + candied orange peel = YUM!)

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2 thoughts on “Drying Cranberries…

  1. I love dried cranberries too. I wonder if it’s cost-effective to do it this way? I wonder if they will taste significantly different than the store bought ones which seem to be sweetened so frequently.

    I have recently scaled back my purchases of dried turkish figs. At 5$ a package, they are a bit of a luxury. Sadly figs are so delicate that’s the cheapest way to buy them.

    • I’ll let you know. I bought 2 bags of cranberries for $5, so we’ll see what that yields. I think you can also “treat” them in juice or sweetened water beforehand to achieve the sweetness factor. I didn’t do it this time which also means it’s taking a lot longer than 8 hours to try.

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