It's really easy to make sugar free dried cranberries - or sugar free craisins, if you prefer to call them that - at home. I sprinkle them over salads and use them in muffins, granola and cookies. They're also delicious as a fruity, juicy snack all on their own.
When you think of the holiday season, which berry springs to mind? Cranberries, of course.
Each year, I look forward to the moment cranberries pop up in the supermarket. Then, I make a batch of my sugar free cranberry sauce - and these sugar free dried cranberries.
Regular dried cranberries recipes are made with a sugar syrup or concentrated fruit juice. Really, they are no better than raisins or dates.
Instead of making a (sugar free) syrup, I simply coat the cranberries with a mix of coconut oil and powdered sweetener.
This recipe is a hit in our house every year. Here's why:
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Juicy, soft and chewy texture.
- So much flavor! Tart and sweet taste.
- Easy to make. 3 ingredients only.
- Versatile. Use in muffins, cookies, granola and more
- Healthy. Packed with vitamin C and minerals, high in antioxidants.
- Keto friendly. 1 tablespoon is only 1.4g net carbs.
Cranberries: You can use fresh or frozen.
Powdered sweetener. I have made the recipe with both powdered erythritol and powdered allulose. I'd say that allulose is the better option if you can get hold of it. It melts like sugar and gives a smoother result.
Coconut oil. You need a little oil so the sweetener sticks better. Avocado oil or a light olive oil also works. Avoid vegetable or canola oil, they are not good for you.
(This section contains step by step instructions and photos that show how to make this recipe. Find the recipe card with ingredient amounts and nutritional information at the bottom of the post.)
Step 1: Blanch the cranberries.
If using frozen cranberries - Pour boiling water over them and leave them to thaw. Drain and squeeze out the liquid with kitchen paper. They don't need to be bone dry, just the excess taken out.
If using fresh cranberries - Put them in a saucepan with boiling water and simmer until the cranberries start to soften and the skin splits open. Drain and then press between kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture.
Step 2: Toss the berries in a bowl with coconut oil and low carb sweetener. Then spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step 3: Let the cranberries slowly dehydrate in the oven. Check regularly to ensure they don't over-brown - all ovens are different.
If not all berries pop in the hot water, pierce the skins with a fork or a toothpick. If you pierce them or the skin has popped, they will dry quicker and the sweetener can enter the berries.
You can make the sweetener stick even better by adding ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder. It's not essential to the recipe, but more similar to original (sugary) version which use sugar syrups.
I set my oven to 100 Celsius / 210 Fahrenheit electric, which turned out to be the perfect temperature to speed up the drying process as much as possible without risking the cranberries to brown. For fan assisted ovens, set to 80C / 175F.
4 ½ hours seems to be the perfect time. If your cranberries are VERY small (like red currants), about 4 hours may be sufficient. After this you NEED to turn off the oven and leave the berries inside overnight. Prop the door open with a wooden spoon. During this time they will dry out more and gain that raisin-like texture - juicy inside, but dry on the outside.
Yes. In my first try, I put them straight into the oven without blanching them first. This increased the oven time to 7 hours. I know you don't have time for that!
Yes, but they will be VERY tart. However, if you add unsweetened dried cranberries to muffins or other sweet dishes, you won't notice the difference. I used unsweetened cranberries in these orange cranberry scones and they worked really well.
Absolutely, but it will take much longer - between 12 and 14 hours. I don't own a food dehydrator, so please follow the manufacturer's instructions. The great thing about a dehydrator is that it uses less energy than an oven.
I love sugar-free dried cranberries as a simple juicy snack all on their own. Here are more ideas where they work:
Muffins. Add them into any muffin recipe to give them a festive, wintery flair. Try these keto blueberry muffins or these dairy-free keto coconut flour muffins and just replace the blueberries with cranberries.
Salads. Sprinkle over winter salads such as kale or chicory salad.
Kitchen cupboard: Store the cranberries in an airtight container at room temperature. If they are well-dried, you can keep them for a couple of months.
Fridge: If they are still very moist, you may prefer to store them in the fridge.
Freezer: It's possible to freeze them for up to 1 year.
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Sugar Free Dried Cranberriesfrom Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Preheat the oven to 100C / 210 F electric (or 80C fan).
- If using frozen cranberries, place in a bowl of boiled water to defrost. If using fresh cranberries, place in a pan with a little boiling water and simmer for 2 - 4 minutes on a low heat or until they soften slightly and the skin pops open. Drain and place on kitchen paper and press to remove the moisture.
- Pierce any berries that haven't popped with a fork. Put them in a bowl and toss them in the coconut oil and powdered sweetener.
- Pour cranberries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dehydrate in the oven for 4 ½ hours. Then, turn off the oven, prop the door open with a wooden spoon and leave the cranberries inside overnight.
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