Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries

This recipe is low carb, sugar free, gluten free and wheat free.

Don't be afraid to squish them down in the first phase, or they won't fully dry - the soluble fiber in them "gels" and retains water unless it's exposed to the air.

These are great as part of a low carb trail mix.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: ~8 hours,

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag (12 oz) fresh whole cranberries
  • 1 C sugar substitute of your choice (can vary to taste)
  • 1/2 C water

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 200 F.

1. Put cranberries in large skillet, and pick through to remove soft and/or brown ones.

2. If sweetener is powdered, dissolve in water. (comparison of sources of "liquid Splenda"). Pour over cranberries and stir.

3. Heat on medium high until cranberries pop, about 4-5 minutes. Stir every minute or two. When all seem popped, turn off the burner and let them cool for 10 minutes.

4. Squish them down with the back of a large spoon. Don't worry if it seems they are melding together. Let cool another 5 minutes or so.

5. Cover baking sheet with three layers of paper towels and a piece of parchment paper. (I'm sure this would work great in a food dehydrator, but I don't have one.)

6. Spread cranberries on the parchment. Have faith -- they will mostly "individuate" again as they dry. If unpopped ones remain, squish them down now.

7. Put in oven and turn heat down to 150 F.

8. In 2-4 hours, replace parchment and flip paper towels over. (You don't have to do this, but it speeds up the process.)

9. Start checking after 6 hours. Total time depends upon humidity and other factors. It usually takes me about 8 hours. It also depends on whether you want to dry them to the point where they still have some "give" or whether you like them "crispier".

10. Separate them, and store covered (zip-type bags work well).

Carb Count:The whole recipe has 25 grams of effective carbohydrate and 16 grams of fiber.

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Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.