Flash in the Pan: Sugar Free Oven Dried Cranberries

[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].

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  1. What a great idea. I had no idea that you couldn’t do dried fruit because of molds. I assumed it was the concentrated sugars. Learn something new every day. But, yah, I hate that craisins are so sugary. I heard a story about a new strain of cranberry that was supposed to be not so ridiculously tart and able to be used without sugar in dried preparations, but I’ve not found them. Here’s the article about them:


    • Well, that’s what the ACD diet tells me, anyway. And no peanuts, melon, and a million other things. . . But ALSO the concentrated sugars!! 😉 Thanks for the link–sounds interesting! Hope they become available soon. 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness Ricki…you know my love of cranberries and of course I have a bag (or two) in my freezer right this moment. I am totally making these tomorrow! Thank you SO much for sharing the recipe. I swear, you are brilliant!


  3. Great idea. Of course I have bags of cranberries in the freezer!

  4. Ricki, thank you! I love dried cranberries, but I hate how sweet they are, yet it never occurred to me to dry my own in the oven. You’re a life saver 🙂

  5. You are so smart! I want to try these just out of curiosity. I just bought a bag of frozen organic cranberries. By the way, you and Shirley are the busiest bloggers I know! You’re on fire!

  6. I love that you dried your own cranberries, they must be 10x better than store-bought, no chemicals too!

  7. As someone who can’t eat pre-packaged dried cranberries, I understand the frustration. I’ve actually been making my own for a couple of months now, setting the oven to 140 F (as low as mine will go), mixing the cranberries with 1 tsp of stevia, and then leaving them in the oven for a few hours. They’re delicious, but I bet yours are better because of the agave and coconut oil (more things on my can’t eat list).

  8. I’ve never thought of making my own dried cranberries, but I go through them like crazy if they’re around. This sounds like a great homemade version!

  9. Look yummy. Could you tell me a little about ACD?

  10. This is a great idea! Do you suppose it could work for “dried” blueberries, cherries, etc.? I love dried blueberries, but being on the ACD has curtailed my using those in recipes.

    • Yes, I’m sure it would work for those other berries, too! But don’t expect the same dry, chewy texture–these are actually a bit moist inside, and slightly papery skin (not rubbery like the store-bought kind). Still massively delicious, though. 🙂

  11. Homemade Dried Cranberries! Yay – I can make them myself and control the amount of sweetener in them. Thank you!

  12. Yum! Could these be made in a dehydrator too? Thank you!

    • I’m guessing they’d be even better in a dehydrator, as the texture would eventually become that of the more conventional type. Since I sold my dehydrator years ago (hmmm. . .rethinking that move, now), I used my oven.

  13. Oooh, Ricki, what a great idea! Love this recipe and your Flash in the Pan series. Really, so much of cooking fabulously is just that–a flash in the pan! It’s wonderful when you can repeat it time and time again though. 😉

    Thanks for this one, dear! 🙂

  14. those biscuits look truly yummy Ricki. Such a good idea to dry your own cranberries 🙂

  15. such a fabulous idea!! i definitely need to try this 🙂

  16. oh dear does that mean I am eating mouldy dried fruit 🙁 that darned stuff really does get everywhere – well that would be a good excuse to try the recipe – I am sure that fresh dried fruit must taste great

  17. This is fantastic- It’s simply impossible to find dried cranberries that aren’t doused in sugar. I’ll definitely keep this one filed away for when I have to bake for sugar-sensitive folk. 🙂

  18. Fresh cranberries just went on the grocery shopping list – Craisins have been a pantry staple for many years but this recipe sounds so much tastier. Corn syrup is what I call ‘food glue’ and thanks to you in the last couple of years I am learning healthier and tastier options.

  19. i was JUST thinking i needed cranberries for a cranberry & kale tart (Elana’s Pantry) but how would i get them without added refined sugar! Thanks for posting this!

  20. Love the idea of homemade dried cranberries!

  21. Okay, I tried it! It worked! Yum. I got a huge bag of cranberries from Costco and did one tray as with oil and honey (I subbed for the stevia since I’m trying to avoid it) and one tray of just plain cranberries. Two points of learning– (1) I found some of the berries burst and dried as they should, but others stayed intact, and just sort of steamed themselves into cranberry sauce mush. Finally after hours of drying, I just took them out and ate those ones! This was much more of an issue for the plain berries, but a few of the sweetened ones, had this trouble, too. When I do it again I will cut the berries first. (2) I washed them berries and then added the sweetened oil. Didn’t think about oil not sticking to wet cranberries. It still worked, but if you plan to wash the berries, do it ahead of time! I used them in your stuffing, and it was super tasty. Thanks for some great ideas. Btw, I also dried frozen corn in this way, tossed with cumin and roasted at a slightly higher temp. Delicious! I just added organic corn back into my diet, and this was such a treat.

    • Thanks for the tips, Annalisa! I did try cutting the berries, but found the juices all just oozed out onto the tray, so I just put up with a few that don’t wrinkle and stay whole. 😉 And I LOVE your idea for prepping corn this way–sounds totally scrumptious!


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