I have figured out the best way possible that I can follow to preserve my delicious blackberries. These heavenly little treats are seasonal and aren’t present the whole year long. Having them whenever I crave them became a somewhat challenge, especially since freezing them is not that efficient.
Dehydrating blackberries really ticked all the boxes for me. Think about it that way. All the sweet and delicious flavors are intact, along with the high nutritional value, along with the fact that they can be stored for a long time, not just a few days.
And, they can also be powdered, which is one of the perfect ways on how you can use your dried blackberries.
What are the benefits of blackberries?
- They are rich in vitamins C and K.
- Filled with fibers and can provide up to 21% of your dietary fibers.
- Good source of niacin and folates.
- Filled with minerals as manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
How to dehydrate fresh blackberries?
The first step you need to follow to successfully dehydrate your blackberries, is to prepare them.
Preparing your blackberries:
- Start by cleaning your blackberries. That is achieved by letting blackberries soak in a bowel filled with a 1:3 water-to-vinegar ratio for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the excess water and vinegar from the bowel after picking out all the extra bits and spoiled blackberries out. Rinse the blackberries under cold water.
- Dry your freshly rinsed blackberries from excess water before you start aligning them on the dehydrator tray. Place them in a single layer on the tray away from each other to allow air to flow between them.
- Adjust the temperature of the dehydrator to 135 degrees F or 57 degrees Celsius once you place the tray inside it. The drying process will take about 18 – 30 hours depending on the power of your dehydrator, as well as, the size of the blackberries. I prefer to use whole blackberries of almost the same size, or simply cut really large ones in half.
- Check their doneness every few hours. That is done by taking out a random blackberry and waiting for it to completely cool before you attempt to squash it between your two fingers. You will know it is done once there is no moisture released from the blackberries and that it turns into powder when smashed.
- Make sure the blackberries are completely dry before you place them inside an airtight container away from any moisture or light.
- If stored and dried properly, dried blackberries can last for twelve to eighteen months.
Another method to dehydrate your blackberries:
- Blackberries can be blended from frozen or fresh to make a blackberry puree.
- The puree is further strained to remove the seeds and the liquid is spread on a fruit leather to be dried.
- The dry result will directly be blackberry powder.
Can I accidentally over dry blackberries?
Generally speaking, you can’t over dehydrate blackberries. However, you can actually burn them. So make sure not to do that by constantly checking your blackberries while they are being dehydrated.
One useful tip, you should always dehydrate blackberries that are close in size so that they will be of the same doneness at the same dehydration time.
How to store dried blackberries?
If you are planning to store your dehydrated blackberries for long-term storage, then I suggest you place them in air-tight containers or mason jars with an oxygen absorber pack. Or you could just vacuum seal a plastic bag containing the dried black berries for the best results.
The other option that I prefer to do, is to powder the dried blackberries. Storing them in powdered form is much more efficient.
How to make blackberry powder?
Now that you are done with dehydrating your fresh berries and you want to store them in their powdered form. You have to first make sure they are completely dry before you attempt to powder them. So it is better to allow them to cool to at least room temperature before you do the dryness test that we have mentioned before.
Crush the dried blackberries
- I like to crush them using my two hands, then passing them through a strainer to remove any unneeded hard parts.
- An even easier way to place your dried blackberries inside a zip-top bag and tightly seal it before you start pounding it using a meat tenderizer or just a plain rolling pin.
- When all the blackberries are crushed to some extent, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain your powdered blackberries through. The clear powder passes through the mesh while the hard bits of the seed stay behind.
- A coffee grinder can work exceptionally well with powdering your dried black berries. In fact, I prefer to use a small coffee grinder than a blender for two reasons. First, to avoid any damage to my blender, because of hard, the blackberry seeds are. Second, to ensure a fine grinding of the dried blackberries.
- Once they are ground to desired level, strain them through your fine strain.
- An extra step you should consider before you store your dried blackberry powder is to make sure it is super dry and that can be done by placing your blackberry powder on a lined with parchment paper dehydrator trays, then place your tray in the dehydrator set at 115F. Leave them until they are completely dry. Choosing a food dehydrator really affects the quality of the dehydrated fruit. I like to use Nesco dehydrator or Excalibur dehydrator, they both facilitate the dehydrating process.
Storing blackberry powder:
For a small quantity of dried blackberry powder, you can store it inside an airtight container which should be kept in a dry, cool place.
While if you have a large quantity of dried blackberry powder, then I suggest you place it in a mylar bag along with desiccant bags to absorb any moisture content in the surrounding air. Vacuum seal the mylar bag using any vacuum sealer and that’s it.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use resealable mylar bags that depend on you rolling it to remove the air.
How to use your blackberry powder?
You can absolutely use it in anything. It is basically a concentrate of the blackberry flavor in a powder form. Here is a list of things I like to use my blackberry powder in:
- Salad Dressing
- Rice Krispies Treats!
- Homemade Pasta (for the color)
- Quickbreads, muffins, and pancakes!
- Sprinkle on cupcakes as dusting
- Ice cream
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