Great Holiday Tricks and Tips:
Who doesn't love fresh or dry fruits? Why spend your fortune in buying store bought dry fruits, When you can dry it at the comfort of your home. Why spent money in buying expensive food dehydrators, when you can just do it yourself in your home installed oven. I am not trying to cut off somebody's livelyhood either. There are lot of innovators out there who come up with great ideas and there are manufacturers who manufacture them. Great job! Thumbs up to them.
I am not saying be cheap, frugal, stingy or miser. All I am saying is think economically. Why be broke.com? when you can be, why not be economically.com ? People invest in expensive gadgets and get caught up in all marketing tactics and gimmicks. It is just to get you in and you get lured by it.
I usually buy store cranberries. If you read the label will say, "fat free", no added prservative or color. But if you see the amount of sugar loaded per serving size. 25gms of sugar. it is a no, no...
So with some trial and error, I came up with drying my own cranberry. During holiday seasons, I purchased 2 bags, 1 pound each. Buy when they are on sale.
Procedure: In a pot of boiling water, add 2 tblsp salt. Dunk your pre-washed cranberries into a pot of boiling water and then dunk into ice cold freezing water, or just put into few zip-lock bags and freeze it for atleast an hour or so or overnight. This process is called blanching. It retains the red color of the fruit and at the same time keeps the nutrients intact.
Dehydrating or low setting drying fruits: If you have sun shine 365 days, hey you are in business. Dry fruits naturally in the sun. Then you have to worry about bugs, insects, termites and birds. You can always use solar energy, natural sunlight.
Preheat oven at 130 degree F. At the comfort of your home, place those frozen cranberries on a baking sheet. Please don't cluster them. Segregate your fruits in the baking sheet evenly. The drying process takes 7-8 hrs depending on the type of oven you have.
WHEN THE CRANBERRIES ARE COOL and dry, store them in an airtight container or any jars available.