Homemade Dried Cranberries
There are so many fresh cranberries in the shops at the moment. I have been making lots of pots of cranberry and orange sauce to give as gifts this year but also wanted some dried cranberries to make my water kefir, add to our homemade muesli, crockpot oatmeal, to make cranberry energy balls and cranberry and orange cookies/muffins for my kids snacks. I had no idea I would be creating so many recipes from such a simple ingredient!
Cranberries are rich in anti-oxidants but are probably best known for containing proanthocyanidins (also found in apples, cacao, cinnamon, green/black tea, bilberries, blackberries, grape seed and acai). This nutrient is a tannin and supposedly acts as a barrier to help to prevent too many certain bacteria’s from sticking to the walls of the uterus and bladder hence why cranberries are often recommended in UTI infections. However it will also prevent the same thing happening in the stomach lining so can also be very useful in digestive healing and strengthening.
However the proanthocyanidins have many other important roles such supporting the production of collagen to maintain elastin. These are the main components of connective tissue which makes up skin, organs (stomach and intestines for example), joints, blood vessels, and skeletal and smooth muscles. Cranberries have also been seen to be very active against cancer in terms of tumour growth and proliferation as it is seen to activate the natural inbuilt cell-death function.
Here is a great link to find more info on cranberries health benefits Drying the cranberries in the dehydrator helps to retain many of these health boosting nutrients whilst maintaining the complex flavour and goodness of the fruits in their natural form.
How to make Homemade Dried Cranberries
Packet of fresh cranberries (you could also use thawed frozen cranberries)
I simple cut the fresh cranberries in half (just to increase yield!) and added to my dehydrator tray. I dehydrated at 100 degrees F for 24 hours.
Use them as snacks in themselves or to make my water kefir, add to our homemade muesli, crockpot oatmeal, to make cranberry energy balls and cranberry and orange cookies/muffins for my kids snacks. What do you use them for?