What Are Craisins?

We’re in the midst of a cranissaince. And it’s all thanks to craisins! A convenient, portable, healthy-ish snack and versatile ingredient, craisins are popular in salads, trail mixes, baked goods, and more. But, how do we get these delicious little dried delights? Join us today as we delve deeper into the world of craisins, a snack that has become so popular, the word isn’t listed as a spelling error in the Google doc I’m typing this in! What a world we live in! Let’s find out more, shall we? 

Are craisins dried cranberries?

Yes, craisins are indeed dried cranberries—kinda like how raisins are dried grapes, hence the name. Does that mean that dried strawberries would be called straisins? And dried blueberries would be called blaisins? Make it happen, dried fruit industry. 

What are craisins made of?

Craisins are made from fresh cranberries, but most big brands also add sugar or, if you’re buying reduced sugar craisins, you’ll also see sugar substitutes like sucralose on the label. 

How are craisins made?

To make your own craisins, you grab some fresh cranberries, then clean them and sort them to make sure they’re only of the highest quality. Cut the berries in half, toss them with sugar (if you want) and just a touch of neutral oil to keep them from sticking. Spread the cranberries onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and dry at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about three hours. Ta-da! Homemade craisins. 

If you are wondering how the big companies like Ocean Spray make craisins, well, that’s a different story. According to an interview in Saveur, craisins are actually made from spent cranberry hulls after they are juiced! Producers actually add some sweetened cranberry juice back into the used cranberries to plump them up a bit, then dry them. It’s a pretty smart way to reduce food waste. Though, apparently, Americans are now eating more dried cranberries than ever, resulting in a glut of cranberry juice. So, if you want to be helpful, you’ll drink more cranberry juice

Do craisins go bad?

Like many dried fruits, craisins have a much longer shelf life than their fresh counterparts. Properly stored in a cool, dry place, craisins generally have a shelf life of several months to even a year past their expiration date. However, they can eventually go bad, losing flavor, texture, and nutritional value over time.

So, the next time you want to take the raisins in your cupboard down a few notches (they’ve had it good for far too long!) grab a bag of craisins and profess your allegiance to a new dried fruit. You’re under the thumb of “big raisin” no longer.

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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