Dehydrated cranberries and rich macadamia nuts are the highlight in this delicious little square. Super easy, no-bake, and no added sugars!
This month’s recipe redux theme is pretty out of the box. We are using the food dehydrator! Pretty exciting, huh? Now I’m pretty sure that you don’t have a dehydrator, so I created a recipe that you could make without one. That doesn’t mean that this girl didn’t do some dehydrating, because you know I did!
I love fresh, whole cranberries. I make an awesome raw stuffing that’s tossed with whole fresh cranberries. For me, it’s that juicy tart bite of a fresh cranberry that takes the stuffing over the top! I also love dried cranberries. I use them a lot in salads, snacks and sauces. I find that the store-bought dried cranberries are too sweet. I’ve actually searched high and low for unsweetened dried cranberries. I’m pretty sure they don’t exist. So for this month’s dehydrator challenge, I set out to dry my own cranberries! I made two batches, one using a little simple sugar syrup and another without. Now I know why you can’t find unsweetened dried cranberries. Those puppies are seriously tart! They’re still tasty, but they definitely need to be added to something that’s already a bit sweet.
To make my dried cranberries I thawed some frozen cranberries overnight and then let them soak in boiling hot water for about 10 minutes, until most of them had little cracks down the center (the few that didn’t crack on their own I sliced with a small knife). Then I soaked the berries in about two tablespoons of simple syrup and spread them out on the dehydrator tray. I set the temp to 135 and let it go all day.
After about 14 hours, my berries were dehydrated! How pretty are they? I just love their plump, gorgeous red color. With my dried berries in hand, I set out to create my squares. Fall is the time of year when I crave my no-bake bites, squares ans balls! There’s something about the shift to cooler weather that makes a hot cup of tea and a homemade bar the perfect afternoon snack.
This bar is a decadent little gem. Delicious macadamia nuts, creamy almond butter, and steel cut oatmeal combine beautifully with my freshly dehydrated cranberries. I hope you’ll try them the next time you’re hankering for a creamy, nutty, sweet yet tangy little bite of deliciousness. So heat yourself a nice cup of tea and enjoy your new favorite fall snack square.
Here’s how to make them:
Cranberry Macadamia Nut Squares
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
- 1 Tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 cup quick cooking steel cut oats I use McCains
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or powder
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp date paste or about 10 Medjool dates, pitted
- dash cinnamon
- pinch salt
Dehydrate your cranberries, if using. Make date paste by soaking 10 dates in water for about 10 minutes. Then pit the dates and throw into food processor with 2 Tbsp of water. Process until a paste forms. Add to the food processor the remaining ingredients and process until a dough-like consistency. Scrape the sides of the food processor as needed.
Make bars, squares or balls with the dough and store in the refrigerator up to one week. Makes about 10 squares.