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This week in an effort to do a little preserving and healthy-snack preparing, we made our very first batch of dehydrated raspberries! I have dehydrated a fair amount of fruits but this was the first time I ever made raspberry powder, and sneak peak, it was so worth it.
In my latest Azure Standard Haul I picked up a huge 30 lb box of organic frozen raspberries. I love buying in bulk so that I don’t run out of our staples, and buying frozen and dried fruit from Azure Standard has saved us a lot of money compared to buying smaller portions.
These raspberries were an amazing price and once dried, you would never know they started out as frozen.
My girls liked ‘helping’ with this project, although they mostly just sneaked as many raspberry bits as they could get!
Why Dehydrate Frozen Raspberries?
You could just leave the raspberries frozen, but then you’d need to make a lot of muffins and smoothies. 🙂 Drying them adds so many ways we can use them, plus I am always looking for ways to add healthy snacks to our pantry.
Here are some other reasons why I dry frozen raspberries
- Frozen raspberries are cheaper than fresh ones, and available in the winter months
- Dried fruit is delicious and an easy healthy snack for my two toddlers! (And me!)
- Freezer space is precious but pantry space is plentiful
- Raspberry powder is a really fun and tasty way to add flavor and vitamin c to everything@ (More on this later)
- Drying is a fun way to use up Bulk food
How to Dehydrate Frozen Raspberries
One of my most trusted and favorite resources for food preservation information is the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Their website is full of easy guides that teach you basically everything you need to know about safe and easy fruit and vegetable drying.
The NCHFP’s recommendations for dehydrating soft berries like raspberries are that they need no pre-treatment, and need a dehydrating temperature of about 135 degrees.
I scooped out the raspberries and raspberry pieces with a spoon and laid them out evenly on the plastic trays that came with my dehydrator. You don’t even need to thaw them out.
The drying time depends on the moisture content of the fruit, and since these were frozen they were pretty wet. I typically let them dry for a few hours, then check the fruit and rotate the trays if needed. Then I repeat the checking and rotating until they are done.
Don’t turn the heat up to speed up the process, and don’t forget about them, or they will burn! (I had a few raspberries darken slightly because I let it go overnight, but it’s not the end of the world.) This can take anywhere from 8 to 18 hours depending on how big and how moist your raspberries are. This particular box I purchased was actually raspberry pieces, so I had a lot of small bits.
Berries should be dried until they rattle when shaken on the trays. They should have about a 20% moisture content which protects them from spoilage.
After drying, I let them cool for an hour or so and then placed the pieces I wanted to remain whole in a mason jar with a cute pink lid. It will keep for 6-12 months but then again, no it won’t. 🙂
For more detailed instructions on fruit dehydrating head over to the NCHFP’s site.
The rest went into my food chopper to turn into delicious magical unicorn raspberry powder!
I LOVE this recipe because raspberry powder (especially organic) is super expensive. It doesn’t have to be this way!
The plastic trays I have are pretty pliable so I just bent them right into the blender pitcher and scraped the dried berries down. This was super easy and almost mess free.
I recommend blending the raspberries in pulses and taking breaks so they don’t start to warm up and reintroduce moisture. It only took a few minutes to blend all the trays down, which ended up being about a cup’s worth of powder.
I used this handy mason jar funnel to pour the powder in.
You can see that some of the seeds did not blend, that doesn’t bother me. If you really must have a perfectly fine powder, than you can continue to blend or strain out the seeds.
How Can You Use Raspberry Powder?
Using the dried whole raspberries is easy. Just eat them, or throw them (and a bit of extra liquid) into a recipe that calls for raspberries. Or, you can reconstitute them and treat them like fresh raspberries (although they will be kind of mushy)
Using the powder though…. That’s where it gets fun.
When I posted the photos of this project on instagram, I was immediately asked “But what do you do with the powder!”
So many things.
Not only does the powder add raspberry flavor, but it is also an easy way to add that natural pink color without using conventional food coloring. Plus, it adds a bit of vitamin C and other all the other goodness raspberries are made from.
Here’s some ideas:
- Mix some into your herbal tea
- Add some to your homemade whipped cream (This sounds amazing!)
- Use it to flavor and sweeten homemade yogurt
- Add a bit to pancakes or muffins (We did this yesterday, and it was awesome!)
- Make a flavored syrup or honey
- Add it to water or milk
- Make Raspberry vinaigrette
- Add it to oatmeal
- Use it in a meat marinade (yes.)
- Stare at it and just think about how awesome it is
- Make Raspberry Lemonade
- Throw some in a shake
- Add it to homemade icecream
- I’ve even heard of people making tinted lip balm or blush with it, but I haven’t looked into that yet.
So basically add raspberry powder to everything and call it a day!
Now I need to do this with blueberries, and carrots, and beets, and everything else I can get my hands on.
Do you have any other ideas of what to do with raspberry powder? I’ll add it to my list!
Dehydrated Raspberry Powder
- Frozen Raspberries
- Using the fruit leather trays (or drip trays) that came with your dehydrator, arrange the frozen raspberries in a single layer.
- Dehydrate the raspberries until they rattle when you shake the trays. Check them every few hours and rotate if needed. This may take anywhere from 8 to 18 hours or more, depending on their size.
- Let the dried raspberries cool, and place in an air tight container. Store for 6-12 months.
To Make Raspberry Powder:
- Place the dried and cooled raspberries into a blender or food processor. Pulse until you reach the desired consistency. Store in an air tight container for 6-12 months, or longer in the freezer.