Cranberries are a big part of holiday treats and feasts, and there are plenty of fun uses for freeze dried cranberries in your festive culinary endeavors.
Sara Wells of the fantastic food blog Our Best Bites passed along how one company is now using freeze dried cranberries in chocolate bars:
My favorite brand of chocolate always comes out with new holiday flavors. I figured this one would have dried cranberries in it, but they’re freeze-dried! Tangy and airy and amazing with the sweet chocolate. What a great idea to make your own cranberry chocolate treats with freeze dried cranberries. – Sarah Wells, Our Best Bites food blogger
Homemade chocolate bars and candies are easy to make. Pick up a mold online or at your local kitchen or craft store, melt good quality chocolate in a double boiler (or in the microwave), add freeze-dried cranberries and pour into the mold. Once the chocolate has cooled, just pop your bars or candies out and enjoy.
If you’re ready to embrace the potential of freeze-dried cranberries, below is a great description from one customer how she successfully freeze dried cranberries in a Harvest Right home freeze dryer:
Put 4 cups of fresh whole cranberries and 3 cups of water in a blender and blend for 3 seconds. Drain the cranberries through a sieve and return the water to the blender each time, reusing the same water for 6 pounds of cranberries and adding an additional cup of fresh water to maintain 3 cups of liquid in the blender.
After draining the liquid, place the shredded cranberries onto parchment paper lined trays. Using a dinner fork, press the cranberry mash down to ensure that all cranberries are broken open (whole cranberries won’t freeze dry well).
With four drying trays filled with cranberries, after about 32 hours in the Harvest Right freeze dryer you will have a big, wonderful batch of freeze dried cranberries! You can see the results in the photo below — they’re as colorful and fresh tasting as before they went into the freeze dryer.
Throw a handful of these tangy morsels into your next batch of holiday baked goods, or make quick, fresh cranberry sauce with your freeze-dried cranberries by mixing them with water, sugar and other flavorings!