If you grow your own raspberries, no doubt you’re likely to end up with a bumper crop sooner or later. So, if your family wants to enjoy raspberries all year round, why not consider freeze-drying them?
You can eat freeze-dried raspberries just as a snack on the go or when you feel like a sweet treat, or you can add them to your favorite cakes and muffins. Using a freeze dryer is one of the best ways to preserve both the color and the flavor of fresh berries. Once dried, they’re nice and crisp and crunchy.
Why Freeze Dry?
A freeze dryer can remove up to 99 percent of the water, unlike a dehydrator, which can only remove around 85 percent. That’s why freeze-dried raspberries are much crisper than dehydrated ones.
A freeze dryer works by first freezing the berries and then creating a vacuum around them. This basically forces out all the moisture in the berries because liquid cannot live in a vacuum.
Once the berries have lost all of their moisture, the machine allows them to come back to a common room temperature.
Another advantage of using a freeze drier is that berries that are freeze-dried can be stored in the pantry or store cupboard for up to 25 years.
Step-By-Step Guide To Freeze-Drying Raspberries
Here are the easiest steps to freeze-drying raspberries:
- Wash your raspberries well and remove any stems
- Leave the berries to dry as much as possible
- Place your raspberries on the trays from your freeze dryer in a single layer
- You can pre-freeze your berries in the freezer overnight to make the freeze-drying process faster. If you do this, just select the “frozen fruit” setting on your freeze dryer.
- If you don’t want to pre-freeze your berries, just place the trays into your machine and turn it on.
- The machine will stop when the berries are completely dry. You might need to check their moisture content and put them in for a little longer if you don’t feel that they’re dry enough.
- Once done, take the trays out of the machine and pack the berries either into mylar bags or mason jars.
- Place a moisture-absorbing sachet into each bag or jar and seal tightly. It’s best to use a vacuum sealer for this if you want to store your raspberries for a long time.
You Can Turn Your Freeze Dried Berries Into Powder
Another great way to store and use your freeze-dried raspberries is to turn them into powder. All you have to do is place the dried berries into a grinder, blender, or food processor and grind them up until you have a fine powder.
You can put this powder into mason jars that you seal tightly and store it in the pantry or your store cupboards.
This is ideal for adding to smoothies, sprinkling over ice cream or your morning granola, or adding to your favorite recipes for muffins and cupcakes. You can even use the powder in your icings to add both color and delicious flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can you store freeze-dried raspberries?
If you store them correctly with a moisture absorber and vacuum seal the bag or jar, your freeze-dried berries can be stored in the pantry for up to 20+ years.
How long will it take to freeze dry raspberries?
This will depend on the machine that you’re using and whether you’ve pre-frozen your berries. In general, it should take up to 24 hours for the berries to dry completely.
Can you leave your berries in the freeze-dryer for too long?
It’s not possible to overdo the freeze-drying process. This way, you can easily let your freeze dryer run overnight so that it’s ready for you in the morning.
Can you puree your raspberries before freeze-drying them?
Absolutely, just place the berries in a blender and puree them to the consistency that you want. Then, spread the puree on the trays and place them in the freeze dryer before turning it on.
Can you make jam using freeze-dried raspberries?
You can definitely make jam using freeze-dried raspberries. You just need to reconstitute them first with water.