Have you eaten the shiny pink, small berries whose flavor is acidic before? Yes, that’s Cranberries. Cranberries are a type of seasonal fruit as an outgrowth of evergreen shrubs. Because it is seasonal, you may find it difficult to get them all-year-round. The shelf life of dried cranberries is, however, longer and you can find it readily all-year-round.
Though the shelf life of dried cranberries is longer as compared to fresh cranberries, it does not mean they don’t get spoilt over time. This brings us to the question of what you can do with your cranberries pack that has been opened and you wouldn’t like them to get spoilt before you will use them.
Can dried cranberries be frozen? Dried cranberries can be frozen and the freezing process is a simple one without any complicated tricks or tips. All you need to do is to first flash-freeze the dried cranberries and then put them inside a freezable container to ensure they are safe.
The best thing to do to ensure that the shelf-life of dried cranberries is longer is to freeze them. You need to keep reading if you want to learn everything about the best manner you should freeze your dried cranberries.
The Best Way to Freeze your Dried Cranberries
You will find it easy to just grab your cranberries from your freezer and add them to oats, desserts, or smoothies. You have to ensure that when you want to freeze cranberries, they are not allowed to be frozen solid and then stick together. It will make it a difficult thing to use some without thawing all of them. You have to find a solution to this and the only thing is to first flash freeze the dried cranberries.
Check below for how you can flash-freeze your dried cranberries so that they can be kept safely within your freezer:
- The first step is to pour your dried cranberries on an already prepared baking sheet. Spread them evenly, ensuring that they are not layered over each other. The process should be repeated if there are lots of cranberries.
- Put your baking sheet containing the cranberries inside your freezer.
- Leave them to freeze for about 45 minutes.
- Once they have become frozen solid, put them inside a freezer-friendly storage container and place it into your freezer.
- The container should be labeled with the freezing date and what is contained inside the container. This is to ensure that you can easily identify it and also know their use-by date.
Choosing A Storage Container
It is also very important to select the perfect storage container for freezing your dried cranberries so that they will be safe within the freezer. Your dried cranberries should not be allowed to be exposed to moisture or air that could ruin the taste and texture. Once they are frozen, there is the formation of ice crystals within the frozen fried cranberries which will over time ensure their cell walls are broken down. This will cause them to lose the firm texture, becoming mushy and soggy.
You can also use a glass jar to store your dried cranberries and they are very practical. You need to make sure that the glass jar can be safely placed into the freezer when you want to use it to store your dried cranberries. One excellent thing about glass containers that have been discovered is that they can be used to store your cranberries in your freezer and then in the pantry or fridge when you are ready to make use of them. A glass jar has a lid that can be tightly shut to prevent any moisture or air from entering the content within.
Plastic freezer bag
Sealable plastic freezable bags are also excellent for freezing dried cranberries. You can use a standard freezer bag or use smaller ones for portions of single-serving of your dried cranberries. Putting a name and a date on each of the plastic bags is also very easy by using a marker. If the space within the freezer is not too big, freezer bags will also serve as a wonderful option because you can store them flat and stack them on top of one another.
An excellent choice to use for freezing dried cranberries is a plastic freezable container. An entire bag of dried cranberries can be stored inside one container depending on how big it is. Ensure the container is tightly sealed and it must also be resistant to air and moisture so that the quality of your dried cranberries will not be affected. Putting labels on plastic containers is also easy so that you can quickly identify them with the freezer.
How Long Will Your Dried Cranberries Last Inside The Freezer?
Dried cranberries could last for about one year within the freezer if you have stored them correctly inside an air-tight container. You can still safely eat them after this stipulated time, but there will be deterioration in the quality and their color and taste will no longer be as strong as when you just stored them.
If you keep your dried cranberries inside the pantry, it will last only for about 4 weeks. You need to store them inside a neat mason jar and the lid must be tightly shut. You could also use a plastic sealable bag to store them. Ensure you label either of the storage containers you choose with the name and storage date. It should be stored in a cool and dry place, out of direct sunlight. Ensure the dried cranberries are used within some weeks.
Dried cranberries could stay for the same amount of time they can stay inside the freezer if you keep them inside the refrigerator. The environment within a fridge is chilled and with very low humidity. A plastic sealable bag, a plastic container, or a mason jar can be used to store your dried cranberries inside the refrigerator. If you keep them properly, they can remain inside the refrigerator for about 8 months.
How To Tell If Your Dried Cranberries Have Spoiled
We most times believe that our dried fruit seldom get spoilt, however, that is not true. The drying and dehydrating processes truly extend the shelf-life of the fruit drastically, but that doesn’t indicate that they can be kept safe indefinitely. What you need to do is to always ensure to check out any sign of spoilage on the dried cranberries so that you can ascertain that you can safely eat them.
The best method to use to know if your cranberries have gotten spoilt is to look and smell them. Once you notice a strange shriveled appearance or their smell is off, then you should just throw them away. You may also find mold on dried cranberries, just discard them if you see such.
Benefits of the Dried Cranberries
Typically, they are very common in the festive period when they are used for Christmas and thanksgiving. Cranberries should, however, be a regular part of the diet because of their various nutritional benefits. Dried cranberries house a high content of fiber with 8% of the recommended daily fiber consumption and 6% of the recommended daily vitamin E consumption found in ¼ cup serving size of dried cranberries.
Dried cranberries contain a lot of vitamins, including vitamin K, B-complex, and vitamin A. They also have different minerals like copper, manganese, and iron in small amounts. The only downside of dried cranberries has to be that they have a lot of sugar and you have to ensure you do not eat too many. Eat just enough for the daily nutrients and vitamins requirement.
Let’s check out some frequently asked questions about how to freeze-dried cranberries:
Can you eat expired dried cranberries?
Just like every other food, the label on dried fruit is the best-by date. It is an indication of when your dried cranberries should be consumed to enjoy the best quality and flavor. However, it is not an indication of expiration or when they will get spoilt. Examine the dried cranberries if you realize that the best-by date has passed and once you notice an off appearance or smell, just throw them all away. You could also bite into one of them, if it tastes abnormal, just throw them all away to ensure your safety.
How do you keep dried cranberries moist?
If you want some moisture back in the dried cranberries, get a bowl and place your dried fruit in it, and then pour boiling water on them in a way that they are covered. Allow it to remain for about 15 minutes before you drain your fruit and pour the water away. Your dried cranberries will become juicier, softer, and plumper. You could also steep them into fruit juice, brandy, bourbon, or rum for an additional flavor instead of water. If you want to infuse your cranberries into fruit puddings or for making a sauce, this is the way to do it.