This weekend, I had a good old rummage through my baking cupboard to drag out things that had been lurking at the back and find recipes to use them up. I uncovered not one but two bags of dried cranberries from Natural Selection. We received them quite some time ago and, I must admit, I've been putting off using them because I didn't think they'd go down too well. While we all love cranberry sauce with roast chicken and sometimes drink cranberry juice mixed with orange juice, dried cranberries are often very sharp so I didn't think their tartness would appeal to the Madhouse Mini-testers. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong for these little ruby red beauties, as the picture above shows !
The first packet that I opened was for Cape Cod Premium Cranberries that are dusted with sugar and cinnamon.
You can see the little grains of crunchy sugar sitting on the top of the berries which nicely offsets the acidity of the fruit. The cinnamon adds a nice extra flavour level, without overpowering the natural taste of the cranberries. These are lovely eaten as a healthy snack, to make a change from mini packs of raisins in lunchboxes, or can be incorporated into cooking.
As half of the bag had already disappeared into the Mini-Testers' mouths, I decided to open the second bag of classic Dried Cranberries to see how they would compare.
The berries seemed bigger and a brighter red but they were equally sweet and juicy with only a slight sharpness. The kids loved these ones too and I had a job filtering off enough of them to make my Healthy Apple & Cranberry Flapjacks that I told you about over the weekend !
All three of the Madhouse Mini-testers sat happily munching the rest of the "red currants" (as Pierre called them !) out of little bowls, declaring them totally delicious and asking if we can buy some more. They seemed to love them as much as sweets so they're definitely a healthier option and are a great way of upping everyone's vitamin C intake over the winter months to help stave off colds.
If you've always avoided dried cranberries, thinking they'd be too tart, don't be fooled - they're lovely !
star rating : 5/5
RRP : cinnamon-dusted cranberries £1.99 for 150g, dried cranberries £1.12 for 170g
for more information : http://naturalselectionfoods.co.uk
Disclosure : We received a selection of dried fruits from Natural Selection to cook up a storm and show you what we came up with !
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