Dried cranberries are the fruits of a creeping plant, prepared using a special technology. Such a treat is used not only as a light snack, but also as a component of sauces, pastries, and various drinks.
You can cook dried cranberries at home without much difficulty. The main thing is to observe the technology and choose the right fruits. It is worth considering that the finished product, despite the fact that it has a number of useful properties, can be contraindicated in certain pathologies.
Dried Cranberry Recipe: Key Rules
Consider the most common way to prepare a product - in the oven. To make dried cranberries at home, you must follow a number of rules:
- Only ripe fruits should be selected without damage and without rot. They should be bright and juicy.
- Before preparing the berries, it is recommended to rinse under running water, removing dirt and debris.
- The temperature in the oven during drying should not exceed 60 ° C.
How to cook
Now it is worth listing the stages of preparation:
- Sugar syrup should be made. To do this, pour 0.5 l of pure water into the container, heat it and add 2 cups of white sugar. The contents must be brought to a boil, constantly stirring. Otherwise, the sugar will stick to the bottom of the container and may burn.
- 1 kg of prepared cranberries should be poured with ready-made sugar syrup and put on the stove. You need to cook the fruits at a minimum heating temperature until they begin to burst.
- The container should be removed from the fire and left until its contents have cooled completely. In conclusion, cranberries should be laid out on a baking sheet previously covered with parchment.
- The pan must be placed in a preheated oven. Stewing cranberries is recommended for 4-5 hours.
- After the specified time, it is necessary to replace parchment paper and continue languishing. After 4-5 hours, the dried stick will be ready.
By the way, the syrup that is formed as a result of boiling berries is not worth pouring. It can be used to soak cakes.
The use of special equipment
Probably many housewives have a dryer for vegetables, fruits and berries. It can also be used to make dried cranberries. In the dryer, this process is much faster and takes less free time from the hostess.
For starters, it is recommended to sprinkle cranberries with sugar and slightly crush, but do not grind. In this form, the fruits should be left for the whole night or for 8 hours. After the specified time, the syrup from the berries is drained, and the cranberries are sent to the dryer. It takes no more than 2 hours to cook it.
As you can see, the dried cranberry recipe is not expensive. It remains to consider the benefits and harms of such a product.
What is the use
The properties of dried cranberries are determined by its unique composition. Such a product contains many vitamins, including B1, AT2, AT5, AT6, PP, K, E, C, as well as choline. After heat treatment, all beneficial substances in the fruits can be preserved with benzoic acid. It is a strong enough antioxidant that can protect body cells from harmful radicals. In addition, it prevents aging.
The use of dried cranberries is known to many healers. Thanks to potassium, as well as vitamin C, the regular use of this product avoids the development of infectious and colds. In addition, PP contributes to normal blood circulation, which prevents the occurrence of blood clots, varicose veins and plaques.
With regular use of cranberries, mental performance improves. The beneficial components that make up the berries normalize blood coagulation. It is worth noting that the product can improve the condition of nails, hair and skin.
There is good news for the strong half of humanity. Regular consumption of cranberries improves potency thanks to its enzymes.
Can it hurt
Speaking about the benefits of dried cranberries, it is worth mentioning the possible harm of the product. First of all, it consists in the fact that the composition of the fruit includes potent components. If used too much, you can harm your body. Therefore, you need to remember the golden rule: everything is good in moderation.
Of course, do not forget about contraindications. Dried cranberries should be discarded with:
- individual intolerance to any component,
- gastritis with a high content of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice,
- duodenal ulcer or stomach,
- certain liver diseases
It is worth noting that such a product is not recommended for children under 3 years of age. To avoid unpleasant consequences, before using dried cranberries, you should consult your doctor.
Combination with other products
You can serve dried fruits separately from other products, for tea, for example. However, the best taste of berries is revealed in combination with rice and granola. Also, the product can be added to pastries, fruit salads and desserts. Perfectly dried cranberries are combined with couscous and buckwheat. It can be added to cottage cheese and vegetable casseroles. Very unusual taste acquires meat, sprinkled with cranberry sauce.
The benefits and harms of dried cranberries
Nutritionists believe that dried cranberry berries retain all its beneficial properties, provided that the drying process is carried out correctly. The loss of water at the same time increases the quantitative content of vitamins and minerals: potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium. The vitamin composition of dried cranberries is quite rich in a qualitative sense. It contains vitamins of group B, ascorbic acid, vitamins K and E, beta-carotene and vitamin A. Their number is not large and covers only a small fraction of the daily requirement of the human body for them.
But the main value of the berry is not in them. Cranberries contain powerful antioxidants that can fight the free radicals that form in the body during the oxidation of various substances. They are especially needed by a person during infectious and other diseases. Proanthocyanidins, which are also abundant in both fresh and dried cranberries, do not allow bacteria to concentrate on the walls of the urinary system and on tooth enamel.
The positive effect of this berry on the body can not be overestimated:
- oncoprotective effect - inactivating free radicals, antioxidants prevent the formation of tumors,
- flavonoids help remove harmful cholesterol from the body by cleansing and strengthening blood vessels,
- dried cranberry berries help in the treatment of inflammation of the urinary tract, they are especially effective for cystitis,
- dietary fiber helps to improve the functioning of the digestive tract.
Like any other product, dried cranberries should be consumed in moderation. It is absolutely contraindicated only for those who are allergic to this berry. It is not necessary to give it to small children, patients in the stage of exacerbation of peptic ulcer, with gastritis with high acidity of gastric juice.
So that the berries, dried or dried, bring only benefit and do not lose their properties, they must be properly prepared.
How to dry cranberries
There are several ways to dry this healing berry:
- in the open air
- in the oven with or without preliminary blanching,
- in special dryers
- in the microwave.
Whatever method is chosen for drying or drying, the berries are pre-sorted, washed and dried on a paper towel.
Consider each drying method in more detail.
- Natural drying. It will require a warm, dry and well-ventilated room: attic or balcony, subject to good weather. Simply lay the prepared berries on paper in a thin layer and mix them from time to time. The process is quite lengthy, but the benefits of such dried cranberries are maximum.
- In the oven. This method allows you to get dried cranberries faster, but it is more time consuming. On a baking sheet covered with parchment, berries are laid and sent to the oven with a temperature of 45 ° C. Once the cranberries have dried, you can increase the temperature to 60-70 ° C, but for the benefit of the product it is better not to do this.
Cooking in steps:
So, in order to dry cranberries, take fresh, fully ripe berries. I took exactly 1 kilogram, then to calculate how much cranberries turn out after drying.
We sort out cranberries, discarding spoiled berries, forest debris, stems and leaves. We collect cold water in a bowl with a berry and carefully wash the cranberries with our fingers. Sand and other litter will settle to the bottom. Using a sieve, we take out the berries and transfer them to a towel or paper napkins. Cranberries should dry completely. Some culinary specialists still blanch in addition (briefly boiled in boiling water or sugar syrup) cranberries before drying, but I do not.
Cranberries can be dried not only with a household dryer, but also in the oven. The main thing is not to let the berries burn, so the temperature is important - no higher than 100 degrees. Since the berries will be of different calibrations (i.e. size). they will dry at different times. In other words, you will need to constantly monitor the process and remove dry, smaller berries, otherwise they will simply burn until the larger ones dry. I have 1 kilogram of fresh cranberries fit in 3 levels of the dryer.
My cranberries died within 4 hours, and about once every 15 minutes I changed the levels in places so that the process of drying the berries went evenly. When you see that some berries are already dry, remove them and put them in a separate bowl. So gradually from 3 pallets I had only one left.
Well-dried cranberries should not break or rub into dust. It is not sticky, flexible, bends well. But at the same time, the liquid in it should remain to a minimum, otherwise the berries will simply be covered with mold during storage.
Store dried cranberries in an airtight container or tightly knotted bag in a dry place. If you did everything right and dried the berries well, cranberries in this form will easily survive until the next harvest.
The peculiar sour taste of berries dictates the ways of their use for cooking. First of all, these are drinks: fruit drinks, teas, jelly, stewed fruit, kvass. It is very appropriate in confectionery, especially in baking. This sour berry is also good for meat in the form of sauce or stewing additives. It will make the original taste of vegetable or fruit salad, cereal or granola.
One recipe for using dried cranberries is presented in the video:
The benefits of dried cranberries
Cranberries can not only be dried, but also dried. The use of dried berries is the same as that of dried, but sugar in it is much greater. Therefore, patients with diabetes should use dried cranberries with caution.
How to wilt cranberries
Cooking dried cranberries requires special preparation. To do this, choose dense fleshy berries.
- Prepare sugar syrup from an equal amount of sugar and water.
- After boiling, it is boiled for 2-3 minutes and added and washed cranberries. Its ratio with sugar syrup is 1: 1.
- You can boil the berries in it until they burst. But when cooked “with proof” they are soaked in sugar much better. To do this, boil the berries on low heat for only 2 minutes. Allow to cool for 3 hours. Cooking-cooling cycles should be 3.
- The strained berries (do not pour the syrup!) Are placed on a baking sheet with baking paper. Then dried cranberries are prepared in the same way as dried cranberries. The temperature in the oven should be around 60 ° C. The process of preparing dried cranberries takes from 8 to 10 hours.
Dried cranberries on their own are a delicious dessert. On its basis, you can prepare a variety of drinks, add it to baking, decorate any sweet dish. A good dried cranberry with porridge or cottage cheese casserole is suitable as a filling for pies in combination with apples or other fruits. You can put dried cranberries to a baked pumpkin, it will add a “twist” to gourmet salads.
Dried cranberries are well stored in paper bags, canvas bags or in glass jars under plastic covers. The main thing is that the storage room is not wet, then the product is guaranteed not to deteriorate during the year, but usually longer. Dried cranberries are less persistent. But when stored in the dark and at a temperature not exceeding 25 ° C, it remains suitable for a year. And if you put a container with dried berries at the bottom of the refrigerator, this period increases to 2 years.
Dry jam or candied fruit can be made from any berries and fruits, cranberries are no exception. Cooking them resembles the preparation of dried berries, but with its own nuances.
- 2 kg of berries with dense pulp,
- 1400 g of sugar
- 400 ml of water
- 1 lemon.
- Mix sugar with water and bring the syrup to a boil.
Store in a glass bowl, sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Contraindications and harm
This product contains a lot of sugar, so patients with diabetes should better abstain from it. Do not use it for people with excess weight - calorie candied fruit is high. If the acidity of the gastric juice is increased, they can be harmful, only exacerbating the situation. Caution to use this delicacy is necessary for people with a sick liver, with problems with the gall bladder.