[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now. I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]
[Here’s how the cranberries look straight out of the oven.]
As you know, I love baking. (I know, I can almost hear you say, “NO WAY!). But what I miss these days, since the ACD vetoes all dried fruit, is baking with. . . dried fruit. Raisins, currants, dried cherries, dried cranberries, even goji berries–I just love adding them to baked treats and desserts.
But infirmity is the mother of invention (or something like that). Ever since embarking on the ACD, I’ve been forced to find innovative ways to reproduce common ingredients. I came up with a homemade substitute for sundried tomatoes (since they’re not permitted, either), based on Martha Stewart’s Oven Dried Tomatoes. Since they’re used basically straight from the oven, my premise is that they don’t have time to develop mold. And they are truly yummy.
Well, I thought I could apply the same principle to cranberries. Why not just bake up my own, made with agave and stevia, in place of the sugar-laden ones you get in stores? Bags of cranberries abound in the markets these days, and I even had a couple in my freezer. And I’d bet that several Vegan MoFo participants this month have some at home, too!
I used these very berries in the sweet potato biscuits I baked up for My Little Biscuit the HH the other day. And I’m so glad I did. Even if the biscuits themselves could have been better, at least the berries tasted great. 😉
[And here’s how they looked in some Sweet Potato Biscuits].
Homemade Sugar Free Oven Dried Cranberries (suitable for ACD Phase 2)
Use these anywhere you’d use raisins or conventional dried cranberries. Because these do retain some moisture, however, they can’t be stored at room temperature like the regular kind or they’ll develop mold. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days, or freeze in an airtight container.
1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut nectar or sugar-free vanilla syrup
2 tsp (10 ml) extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil, preferably organic
10 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid
12 ounces (340 g) fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed
Preheat oven to 225F (105 C). Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment.
In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the agave, oil and stevia. Add the berries and toss well to coat them all as much as possible. Spread the mixture evenly on the cookie sheet, taking care that the berries are in a single layer and don’t overlap.
Bake for 45 minutes, then check. The berries will puff up and then begin to wrinkle like raisins. If necessary, continue to bake (it will depend on the size and moisture content of the berries), stirring every 30 minutes or so, until desired texture is reached. They should still be soft in the middle, but slightly shrivelled and smaller than when you began. (NOTE: If you set your oven temperature lower, there is less risk of the berries browning or drying out too quickly, but it takes longer for them to be ready. I was just too impatient–but feel free to use a lower temperature!).
Allow to cool before using. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze for later use.
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