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-   -   Homemade Sugar Free Cranberry Juice (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/low-carb-recipe-help-suggestions/698763-homemade-sugar-free-cranberry-juice.html)

Charski 11-16-2010 03:57 PM

Homemade Sugar Free Cranberry Juice
This is really good!

1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
1 quart filtered water
Sweetener to taste

Add the cranberries to the water in a pot large enough to hold them at a boil. You can do this stovetop, but personally, I use a 2 quart Pyrex batter bowl and do this in the microwave.

Bring to a boil and cook til the cranberries pop. Let cool. (I hurried this part along by putting the batter bowl in the sink and filling the sink with cold water up to the level of the berries/water inside the bowl.)

Pour through a fine sieve, you can line a colander with cheesecloth or a coffee filter if you don't have a fine sieve. I sieved the juice right into a 2 quart serving pitcher.

Sweeten to taste - I used about 1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals NuStevia NoCarb blend powder.

Chill and serve over ice, or put in a mug and warm it up, or use as a base for a nice holiday cocktail!

Makes just about a quart.

NOW - you have a bunch of beautiful, leftover cooked cranberries. Not being able to bear throwing them out, I plunked them back into the 2 quart batter bowl, added 1/2 cup powdered erythritol and 1/2 tsp. of the NuStevia to the remaining berries, microwaved on High 2 minutes, stirred and microwaved another 2 minutes, til it was a nice thick jam. Refrigerate. This could be used on a 1 minute muffin, as a cheesecake topping, on LC toast or scones, as part of a ham glaze....

I have NO idea how many carbs the juice might have - if anyone has a reasonable way of figuring it out I'd love to hear it! :D

Jennifer Eloff 11-16-2010 04:38 PM

Sounds lovely, Char, and I especially like your ingenuity in saving the cranberries afterwards. :)

Charski 11-16-2010 05:25 PM

Thanks Jen!

If I had my compost pile going I MIGHT have chucked them, but they're really yummy as this "jam" - I might just do it again, got double duty out of that pound of berries! :laugh:

I'm sure Splenda would work for this too, but my main purpose in making the juice was I had a feeling that a UTI was trying to get me and didn't want to introduce any artificial sweeteners into the mix.

I just had my second glass of the juice, and I was thinking, mmmm, this would be really good if you poured a champagne flute about 1/3 full with this and then topped it with some nice champagne!

Pam 11-16-2010 08:37 PM

Thanks, Char.....You are so clever! Cranberry jam sounds really good!

BikerAng 11-18-2010 10:09 AM

Yum, sounds great (both juice and jam)! Perfect for this time of year too! Thanks Char!

Charski 11-18-2010 12:21 PM

I finished off the juice - it was so good I'm gonna make some more. It doesn't seem to be affecting me weight or hunger-wise so it must not be TOO carby.

The resulting juice from the above recipe is pretty concentrated, I drank some of it as-is to get rid of the UTI I felt I was getting, but diluted the rest about 1 to 1 with water and it's a nice refreshing drink like that.

Think I'll just save the berries THIS time to use in my cranberry sauce for Turkey Day! :D

pooticus 11-20-2010 08:48 AM

Char I'm making this for our family get together. My sissy and I talked about trying to drink this instead of wine! :D Thanks for the recipe!!!


Charski 11-20-2010 10:06 AM

Poot, I'm gonna make cranberry coolers, 1/3 juice to 2/3 chilled champagne. MMMM can't wait!

rosethorns 11-20-2010 10:27 AM

This is great stuff TY. I love the cooler idea.

pooticus 11-20-2010 11:25 AM

Yum! I just made this with club soda and lime - from berries I had frozen for 2 years :eek: :eek: :eek:

I just washed em and put em on to simmer! I put the pulp away to make your jalapeno chutney later this week. :)


The cranberry coolers would be great with even a tsp of the jam put in the bottom of the glass too! Sounds like fun!

Hey do you have a recipe for pumpkin custard?

Charski 11-20-2010 04:37 PM

Pooti, the only pumpkin custard I ever make is exactly like the pumpkin pie filling sans the crust.

If you're gonna use pumpkin bread for the bread part, how about a regular custard, and just cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg it up a little? That way the pumpkin bread itself will be the pumpkin part....

crazywoman-n-wy 01-06-2011 02:24 PM

Char, I made this this morning. I got about 1 quart of very weak & very sweet juice. I just reread your post, and realized why mine was so sweet. I didn't notice that you said NuNaturals NO CARB stevia!!! I used 1/16 tsp NuNaturals stevia pure extract, and 1/16 tsp pure sucralose pwd AND 1 TBsp Erythritol!! I figured I would want it sweeter than most, but this is SWEET!!!!
As I said above, it is also very weak.
I have the berries soaking in 1/4 cup of this juice with 1 Tbsp Erythritol added. I drained them for a while over the dish I have my juice in. Then I put them in my Food Saver marinade bowl along with the 1/4 c sweetened juice. I vaced the air our. Then I remembered I wanted to try adding a little cherry flavoring to it. So I opened it up, added 1/2 tsp flavoring (I had no idea how much to add), stirred well, covered, and vaced again. They are marinading now. Later I'll drain, and put it in my dehydrator. We'll see what turns out. Hopefully something good, and not just an expensive mess.
Think I'll go cook another batch of berries, and make more juice (no sweetener this time), and add to the other juice. I may try leaving the berries in for a little longer this time to see if they will leach more flavor out, and make jam from those berries maybe.

Grace 01-06-2011 03:18 PM

This juice reminds me of jamaica water we drink in Mexico. Jamaica is Spanish for hibiscus flower. You can buy the dried flowers in Mexican grocers or the Mexican section of large supermarkets. You throw a handful of flowers into a pot of boiling water and turn it off and let it steep for an hour or so. It will need sweetner as it's quite tart. Depending on how many flowers you used it could need more water - just do it to taste. I'm sure this would have very very few carbs if any! If you remember Celestial Seasonings herbal tea called "Red Zinger" hibiscus is what it was made from.

Charski 01-06-2011 03:24 PM

Wow, Billie, not sure why yours was weak - I actually have been adding water to mine, so I get nearly 2 quarts from a pound of berries. Is your package a POUND, or 12 ounces? Most packs nowdays are just 12 ounces. I buy the 3 pound bag at Costco and use 1/3 of it for this recipe. And yikes, yeah, I guess it WOULD be sweet! :eek: :laugh:

Grace, I love jamaica. We make it all summer long. It's very refreshing, AND high in vitamin C too!

I do the old "sun tea" method - I put 1/2 cup dried jamaica flowers in a 2 quart mason jar, cover with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band, and just set it in the sun for an hour or two, until it's very dark colored. Then I strain it off and sweeten to taste.

My other method is to use my french coffee press - put 1/2 cup jamaica in the glass container, add water, and nuke til hot (not boiling) - let stand 20 minutes, put the press top in, plunge the flowers to the bottom, and pour off the water into a 2 quart pitcher. Then I add another batch of water to the already-wet flowers in the press, let stand 20 minutes (I don't reheat) and add THAT to the pitcher as well. Top off with enough water to make 2 quarts, sweeten to taste.

It's good poured into a mug and heated too, for this time of year!

crazywoman-n-wy 01-06-2011 04:11 PM

Charski, my bags are only 12 oz. I wondered about your 1#, cause I haven't seen any 1# bags in a long time.
I read your instructions to say you just brought the cranberries & water to a boil till they popped, then poured it right up. That is what I did.
I just made another batch, and when the berries popped I heated just a little longer, then turned off the heat & let stand a while (maybe 5 min, didn't notice how long). Then I poured it up. This batch is darker & stronger. I added it to the other batch. Now it is much stronger than before, and about the right sweetness. Tho, for me, still a little tart. Bottled cranberry juice cocktail is a little tart for me too. I, unlike you (and my DH), don't care much for tart. But now the batch is pretty good. And I think I could even weaken it a little. This has a tiny bit of pulp in it, since I "cooked" them so long. But that's OK. It isn't much. I could strain thru a coffee filter, but I won't.
As for adding champagne,,,,, that I will not do. :sick: I don't like champagne!!!
The berries are still in the sieve dripping a little more of the juice. I plan to try some of the jam from them.

I have a bottle of strawberry melon Fuze. I just poured up about a 1/&1/2 mixture of the Fuze & the cranberry juice. Rather good. I'm wondering if it wouldn't also be good with Fruit20.???

Anyway..... Thanks for the recipe Char!

I've never drank Jamiaca per se, tho I have drank Red Zinger. I can drink it, but not extremely crazy about it. Again, back to the tart thing. And since I rarely ever sweeten any teas, I don't think I ever tried sweetening the Red Zinger. Bet I would have liked it better with some sweetening.
I don't like sweet tea as a rule. (OH I used to drink it super sweet!!!!) But I have been starting to put just a tiny bit of sweetener in my flavored teas lately.

Another note back to the juice...... Since the bag of cranberries is only 12oz, and what most will find at the reg stores, I assume we should/could use a little less water. Maybe 24 oz instead of 32. :confused:

pooticus 01-06-2011 04:16 PM

This is soooo good poured into a little SF Tang with a splash of club soda and a lime wedge! Almost makes me think it's a tequila sunrise! :D

crazywoman-n-wy 01-06-2011 04:37 PM


Originally Posted by pooticus (Post 14241470)
This is soooo good poured into a little SF Tang with a splash of club soda and a lime wedge! Almost makes me think it's a tequila sunrise! :D

To each his/her own. If it made me think it was a tequila sunrise, I'd pour it out. :sick: :laugh: Like I said, to each his/her own!!! We all have different tastes. My daughter loves tequila, I can't stand it!
The last time I looked at SF Tang tho, it used aspartame as the sweetener. So I don't buy it. I try to stay away from aspartame. I can't say I totally abstain from it, but it is a very rare occasion that I eat or drink anything with it in it, must less buy anything with it in. Just my personal choice.

pooticus 01-06-2011 04:57 PM

Nooooo don't add the tequila! I just did these for NY Day brunch without the tequila and it was so yummy with the juice mixtures! It looked like a tequila sunrise cuz the orange from the SF Tang and red from the cranberry floated in it. And yes mine has been in the cabinet for ages, this said that it expired in 2007. It was quite dried up lol. But I still made it up and it didn't kill us - I figure I'll prolly die from something but aspartame now and then won't be it. But it did make my asthma have a little thrill. LOL.

Charski 01-06-2011 07:32 PM

If all you can find is 12 oz. bags then just use 1.5 of those per batch. They freeze well too, so any leftovers, stick in the freezer til you're ready for another batch.

I don't like things overly tart. I sweeten to taste. So use what you need to make it the way YOU like it! ;)

crazywoman-n-wy 01-06-2011 09:32 PM

Thanks for that tip.

Oh, and I got mixed up on who it was that loved the reallllly tart stuff. Sorry.

I still have to go & put the first batch of berries in my hydrator. I made jam with the second batch. I added 1/4 cup of Erythritol, 1/4 cup Xylitol, and a couple drops of liquid stevia (homemade & still trying to figure the strength). I also added 1/4 cup of juice I had in the fridge. (a combo of cranberry, pomegranet, and black cherry I believe :eek: ) I nuked for 4 or 5 mins total stirring 2 or 3 times. Then I added about 2 TBsp chia seeds, and stirred well. It has been sitting for a while now. .... Better go check on it. :rolleyes:
OK, I think it's gonna be pretty good! And I put the first batch which has been in the food saver marinator bowl on a makeshift jellyroll sheet in my dehydrator.

Charski 01-06-2011 11:27 PM

I just got my handy dandy brand new Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator today so am anxious to hear how your cranberries turned out! I think they may be the first things I try!

SCOTTSDALEJULIE 01-07-2011 02:29 PM

Darn it Char, another kitchen toy? I am so jealous of you. Julie

rosethorns 01-07-2011 02:44 PM

I have made your juice many times . I took the quart of juice this time and added mulling spice to it.:clap::clap::clap:
This is the best.

Organic Mulling spice: cinnamon,orange peel , whole Allspice, whole Cloves,

Now in my dehydrator , I've dried orange peel , fresh cut -up ginger then I dried it. And I have everything the package says so I can make my own mulling spice.
The package said to use with apple juice, that never came to my mind. But Carski'a cranberry juice sure did.:kicking::kicking::kicking:

:hugs::hugs:Thank you Charski.

Charski 01-07-2011 04:14 PM

Oh, Esther, GREAT idea! :clap: I have a can of mulling spices from Trader Joe's - I'll have to try that. How much did you add, and are you just adding it right to the pitcher of juice? Are you drinking it hot or cold?

Details, woman, cough up the details! :laugh: :hugs:

crazywoman-n-wy 01-07-2011 08:08 PM

Char, my berries had a lot of juice, and my dehydrator is just a little cheapie. I put them in last night, and they are still not dried out. (And because they were so wet, I had to put them on plastic in the trays, so that also slowed down the drying process.)
12 oz sure didn't make much.
Anyway, point is, I don't really have anything to report to you yet.

At any rate, I have a feeling I'll like the jam better than the dried berries. What is funny about that is that I usually don't even like cranberry sauce, yet this is similar, and I like it! I got about a pint from the 12oz of berries. (Plus the juice!)

crazywoman-n-wy 03-15-2011 08:45 PM

Well, I'm back checking the juice recipe out, to see about making juice & jam again. (Also had to check to see what I put in my jam! :laugh: )

I'm sorry Char, you asked me to report back on my dehydrated cranberries. Well, the too forever to dry out. I think I had them in the dehydrator for about 10 days!!!! (I told you it was a cheapie, and the berries were really wet.) And I really couldn't tell you much about them then either. The Erythritol had kinda crystallized on some of the berries. Some were dry, but others were STILL chewy. They were OK, and I eventually ate them all, but I doubt I'll every go to the trouble of drying them again. And they had a bit of the cooling effect. I didn't find it offensive, and rather liked it, but they were different!

Did you try any? If so how did your's turn out?

rosethorns 03-15-2011 09:29 PM

Mine were good but..........you don't get very much. I will do it again soon. I use dried something for raisens. Raisen bread, cinnamon swirl bread and others.


crazywoman-n-wy 03-15-2011 10:04 PM

I made a discovery tonight when I made my juice. I had cooked the berries both other times in a pot on the stove. This time I nuked them in a 2 quart Pyrex (or Pyrex type) batter bowl like you did Char. I kept forgetting to do it that way before. I used a 12oz bag & 24oz water. Boy did the cooking in the microwave help. It really brought out the flavor from the berries. I even added enough water to it to probably bring it back up to 32oz. And it may still need a little more. Also I had cut the sweetener to about 1/2, and had to add more to it.
I usually prefer to use the microwave for most things too, but just didn't think before. It is the way to go!

I made jam from the berries again. This time I added more water to the berries, and used the 2 TBsp chia seeds (after cooking), and added 1 capsule (1/4 tsp) Glucomannan pwd. I probably added about 1 cup liquid counting 1/4 juice. I'm sure the flavor won't be as strong, and I may decide not to do that again, or at least not as much extra water. I usually don't like to add very much water when making jellies. But decided to try adding it this time and see. Should be a little less carby. I again added 1/4 c Xylitol, 1/4 c Erythritol, and the 2 drops of the liquid Stevia.
Hard to tell much about it while it is still warm.

Tazcat 03-15-2011 10:28 PM

thanks for the recipe :)

Heidinem 04-26-2011 07:28 AM

Wow this sounds great I love cranberries

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