When selecting cranberries, many people wonder about the pros and cons of purchasing dried cranberries. On the "pro" side, dried cranberries are highly convenient to handle and store and can provide some of the nutrient benefits available from fresh cranberries. They also typically retain some of the distinctly delightful cranberry taste. On the "con" side, commercially dried cranberries can sometimes be difficult to find except in pre-sweetened form, and they can undergo significant nutrient losses during processing.
Here are some details to show you how selecting presweetened dried cranberries can pose nutritional challenges. In terms of calories, the content for 100 grams of fresh cranberries is approximately 45—50 calories while for the same amount of dried sweetened cranberries, the calorie content is approximately 300 calories. In terms of vitamin C content, 100 grams of fresh cranberries typically features between 10-15 milligrams of this nutrient while with dried sweetened cranberries this vitamin C content may decrease to 1 milligram or less.
As a very general rule, if you are seeking to get a little bit of that unique cranberry flavor but aren't considering the purchase of fresh cranberries, we recommend keeping your intake of presweetened, dried cranberries to a small but flavor-enhancing amount: in the range of 1—2 teaspoons. It is also important to add, however, that some specialty producers sell unsweetened dried cranberries to which other ingredients have not been added. Many people enjoy these unsweetened dried versions "as is," while others prefer to use them when baking or in the preparation of sauces and other recipes.
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