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unsweetened dried cranberries?

Hi Everyone!

I really love dried cranberries, but they all seem so sweet to me. Have any of you ever encountered unsweetened (or even less-sweetened) dried cranberries? I realize they would be very tart, but I'm quite curious to try them anyway. Thoughts?

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  1. The least sweet ones I have found at the Whole Foods market. This version is sweetened with apple juice instead of a more processed sugar. I much prefer them.

    I have never found a dried cranberry without any sweetener, even though I look every year before Thanksgiving.

    1. unfortunately, completely unsweetened dried cranberries aren't available for retail purchase by consumers - you can only get them directly from orchards or industry suppliers if you're in the food manufacturing business.

      the organic ones that are sweetened with fruit juice are usually less cloying than the conventional...and as gg said, you can make your own.

      1. I'm puckering at just the sight of the words "unsweetened dried cranberries".

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          i've had 'em - not as bad as you'd think. besides, i think the guy who munches on raw ginger - a practice that would bring most Hounds to tears - can handle a tart little berry or two ;)

        2. A bitter reminder of the Trader Joe's unsweetened cranberry juice just flashed before my very eyes. Does anyone know if perhaps Trader Joe's has unsweetened cranberries for the OP ?? They'd be found right near the nuts aisle of course.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cheese Boy

            they don't...but that was a good thought :)

            1. re: Cheese Boy

              Am I the only one who likes the TJ's unsweetened cranberry juice?

            2. Agree on the craisin far-too-sweetness.

              I did try dehydrating my own this past fall but it involved much more finicky processing than I wanted (pissy slicing, very controlled and yet unpredictable pre-boiling/cooking, etc.) and results were inconsistent and unsatisfying. The tartness was certainly present in my unsweetened versions but the texture wasn't pleasing like commercial craisins (too chewy/jerkylike/sometimes crunchy). I was so bummed, I gave up after four pounds and four different configurations (and I love dehydrating).

              Shoreline Fruit seems your best bet -- except they don't sell their unsweetened craznos online. The second link gives phone # and e-mail, perhaps they could guide you to a retail source or make an arrangement. Good luck!

              http://www.shorelinefruit.com/unsweet...
              http://www.cherrybayorchards.com/our-...

              2 Replies
              1. re: DuchessNukem

                I've not had Shoreline's dried cranberries but will vouch for the goodness and quality of their dried cherries. Definitely the best I've found

                1. re: coney with everything

                  i can vouch for the quality of Shoreline's cranberries as well - i got some samples at an industry trade show a few years ago.

                1. I like Eden Food's dried cranberries, and blueberries and cherries. The cranberries are sweetened with apple juice. They taste great just the way they are. But when I use them for baking, I add them to the maple syrup/vanilla/apple juice etc. liquid mix, while I put the dry ingredients together, and it seems to mellow the bitterness or tartness. What's great about these dried fruits is they're big, plump, and moist. They really taste the best of all I've tried.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: J.e.m.

                    Eden are really good, they're just expensive! they only come in those small bags...but it's so hard to find juice-sweetened ones in bulk or for a good price.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I hear ya. I bought a bag for the holidays, and I just use a little bit at a time. Using less isn't really that fun! But it makes me realize how dear fruits and other expensive items are. One trick I tried for some biscuits I made was I added anise seeds, currants, raisins, and candied lemon rind, tangerine rind, and orange rind I made myself, in addition to the dried cranberries to bring out all the flavors, and they were really good. Currants are pretty inexpensive; I buy a container of them from the bulk section. I think if I ever buy any more dried cranberries, I'll slice them really thin and I bet that would make the muffins or granola more cranberry-y. If you like using cranberries a lot, I bet you'd be happy to have a food dehydrator and dry your own! Do you make a lot of dishes with dried cranberries in them?

                      1. re: J.e.m.

                        before my last cross-country move i decided to get rid of a ton of stuff to simplify things...i foolishly chose to give away my dehydrator and i've been regretting it ever since!

                        i use dried cranberries in granola, muffins, cranberry sauce, chutney, biscotti...so yes, you could say i make a lot of things with them :) i tend to combine them with fresh for most uses (except granola). slicing or chopping the dried ones does help you do more with less.

                  2. how about freeze dried ones. A different thing texturally, but unsweetened

                    1. I dried cranberries in my dehydrator but if your oven goes down to 150F you could do them in it, keeping a close eye on them. Unless you grow your own cranberries you won't save money but you'll end up with what you want.

                      Directions here: http://eatingfloyd.blogspot.com/2010/...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: morwen

                        Hey everyone, I found unsweetened dried cranberries at Cherry Bay Orchards. You can go directly to their website or go through Amazon. Just found them and ordering them today.

                      2. in baked recipes that call for dried, i just chop some fresh ones in the food pro and use those in the batter. there is always sufficient sugar in the finished product and i like the bits of super-tart in there as contrast.

                        1. You can buy a pound of them at Amazon. They're not cheap, but they're awfully good for lots of cooking, baking.