To freeze dry raspberries, wash and dry them, then place them in a freezer overnight. Once fully frozen, lay them out on freeze-dryer trays and place them into the freeze-drying machine, selecting the frozen setting. Once the machine is finished, store them in a Mylar bag together with an oxygen absorber.
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How to Make Freeze-Dried Raspberries
Making freeze-dried raspberries using a freeze dryer is convenient and takes little prep time. Follow these steps to freeze dry fresh raspberries at home:
- First, wash the raspberries and remove the stems before allowing them to air dry.
- Place the prepared raspberries on a baking sheet in a single layer and allow them to freeze overnight.
- Transfer the frozen berries to a freeze-dryer tray, ensuring there is space between each berry.
- Place the trays into your freeze dryer and select the ‘frozen’ setting.
- Allow the machine to run until the process is complete.
- Select “warming” once the machine alerts you that the process is done so the berries can be warmed to storage temperature.
- Remove the freeze-dryer tray from the freeze-dryer machine. Test the berries to ensure they are fully dry and powdery when crumbled.
- Store the berries in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers or grind the berries in a coffee grinder to make freeze-dried raspberry powder.
How Long Does it Take to Freeze Dry Raspberries?
It usually takes 24 hours to fully freeze dry raspberries. Freeze-dryer machines have a setting that will alert you when they are fully dried. Simply freeze your berries, set them inside the machine using the frozen setting, and wait until it signals that the berries are fully freeze-dried.
How to Prepare Raspberries for Freeze Drying
To prepare raspberries for freeze drying, simply wash and dry them, removing any stalks. There is no need to cut them up – you can freeze dry whole raspberries. There is also no need to blanch the berries or to treat them with a vitamin C solution.
Can You Freeze Dry Raspberries Without a Freeze Drying Machine?
It is possible to freeze dry raspberries without a freeze-drying machine using the dry ice method.
- Place fresh raspberries into plastic freezer bags in a single layer, ensuring the bags are sealed.
- Inside the bottom of a large Styrofoam container, place an even layer of dry ice. Be sure to wear protective equipment when handling the dry ice.
- Set the plastic bags containing the raspberries directly onto the dry ice and make another layer of dry ice.
- Continue to layer bags of berries and pure food-grade dry ice using a 1:1 ratio.
- Once the container is full, close the lid but leave a small opening for gas to escape.
- Place the container inside a home freezer for 24 hours, keeping the freezer completely closed.
- Once the 24 hours are up, open the freezer and remove the container.
- Once the dry ice has completely melted, the result is freeze-dried food! Remove the plastic bags of berries and let them come to room temperature before transferring them to airtight containers or Mylar bags.
The reason this is not a recommended method for making freeze-dried fruit is that dry ice can be dangerous, difficult to use, and tricky to safely dispose of. Dry ice is so cold that it can cause burns to bare skin and should only be used by trained experts.
Can You Freeze Dry Raspberries in a Food Dehydrator?
No, you cannot freeze dry raspberries in a food dehydrator. Dehydrated food and freeze-dried food differ in several ways, including taste, color, texture, and water content. Dehydrated raspberries tend to be chewier and sweeter than freeze-dried raspberries and are a darker color.
Freeze-dried foods taste closer to fresh food, and typically have a less vibrant color which is due to less water content. Dehydrated food has 90-95 percent of the water removed, while freeze-drying removes 99 percent of all water.
How to Use Freeze-Dried Raspberries
Here are some ideas for how to use freeze-dried raspberries:
- Add them whole or chopped to homemade granola
- Blend them into fruit smoothies
- Eat them with high-fiber breakfast cereals
- Grind them in a coffee grinder or food processor to make raspberry powder
- Top trail mix with freeze-dried raspberries for a burst of fruity flavor
- Use them as a crunchy ice cream or yogurt topping
How to Rehydrate Freeze Dried Raspberries
It is possible to rehydrate freeze-dried raspberries. Place the raspberries in a bowl and cover them with hot water in a 3:1 ratio. It should take around 20 minutes to fully rehydrate the berries.
What is the Best Way to Store Freeze Dried Raspberries?
The best way to store freeze-dried raspberries for long-term storage is in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers at room temperature. Heat, moisture, and light accelerate the spoiling process of freeze-dried fruit, so keep them in a cool, dry dark place away from direct sunlight for the best shelf life.
Freeze-dried raspberries can also be stored in glass mason jars, vacuum seal bags, or other airtight containers for easy access.
What is the Shelf Life of Freeze Dried Raspberries?
If stored correctly, freeze-dried raspberries can last up to 25 years in closed containers. However, for the best taste, the raspberries should be used within 6-12 months or once the seal has been broken on the container.