How to make your own dried cranberries at home. An easy recipe for sugar free dried cranberries with your favorite low carb sweetener. Make them in the oven or in a dehydrator.
This dried cranberries recipe has been on my blog since a gazillion years. Or, to be more precise, since November of 2012, which really amounts to the same thing. But it was combined with another post all about stocking your low carb pantry and I decided it needed its own stand alone post to make it easier to find.
I’ve been making these sugar free dried cranberries almost every year since. It’s not easy to find this popular snack without huge amounts of added sugar. Even ones that claim no added sugar use things like apple juice to sweeten them. So I started making my own dried cranberries at home with my own sweeteners and I’ve learned a lot of good tricks about how to do it right.
And there are so many delicious ways to use them, be sure to check out all of the keto recipes below!
Making Sugar Free Dried Cranberries at Home
Cranberries are pretty tart on their own – I’d almost go as far to say that they are unpalatable. So I’d suggest sweetening them with something but you can use any sweetener you like best. I usually use 1/2 cup confectioner’s Swerve but you can increase the sweetener if you like them sweeter. A powdered or liquid sweetener is going to work best because granular varieties will be gritty.
You can make unsweetened dried cranberries as well. Once they are added to other recipes, you won’t notice the tartness as much.
You can make this recipe in the oven or in a dehydrator. It works well both ways. For several years I made them in the oven at a low temperature. But my husband bought me a dehydrator a few years ago and I’ve also made them that way. The oven method is actually faster, as a dehydrator needs to run for 8 hours or so. But using an oven also uses significantly more energy. Your choice!
You don’t need to boil them or any such thing. I used to do that but I found that they got quite mushy and it was hard to separate out the individual cranberries. It was a reader who suggested chopping them in half, and I once I tried it, I realized it worked perfectly. Simply cut each berry in half so that the moisture can escape more easily. Don’t try to do whole berries, as the tough skin of cranberries means they won’t lose moisture fast enough.
Simply toss the halved cranberries with the sweetener and oil until they are all well coated. Don’t skip the oil or your dried cranberries will be tough and crispy. They get a little crispy as it is but the oil makes a huge difference.
Store the cranberries in an airtight container. If they are well dried out, you can keep them on the counter for a few weeks. If they still have some moisture to them, they are best kept in the fridge.
That’s it, friends. See how easy it is to make dried cranberries at home?
Where can you buy unsweetened dried cranberries?
Now if you’d prefer to buy unsweetened dried cranberries, there are actually a few brands out there. Back when I started making my own, there were none. Zero, Zip, Zilch. Nada! But I guess times have changed and the demand is there so a few companies make them now and you can get them on Amazon. That’s the only place I’ve seen them thus far.
I’ve purchased these ones from Shoreline Fruits before but they come in a huge 1 pound bag. I recommend sharing with a friend!
I haven’t tried these ones from Honestly Cranberry but some of my readers have ordered them and liked them.
How to use your sugar free dried cranberries
Now that you made a big batch of dried cranberries, you need keto recipes to use them. Not to worry, I have plenty of ideas for you…
Low Carb Cranberry Muffins – this recipe uses fresh cranberries but it’s really good with the dried ones too!
Sugar Free Dried Cranberries
- 1 12 oz package fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener (more if you like them sweeter)
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- Preheat oven to 200F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut cranberries in half and toss in a bowl with sweetener and oil (this recipe has been changed from boiling the berries until they pop because cutting them is easier and not nearly as messy!).
- Spread on prepared baking pan and separate each individual berry as best you can.
- Place baking sheet in oven and let dry, 3 hours or longer.
- Remove, let cool and transfer to an airtight container. Store in refrigerator.