Dehydrating blackberries is a great way to reduce food waste, stretch your food budget, get lots of health benefits and they taste great.
If you have bought blackberries at your grocers or your local farm stand, you know they cost a fortune. $5 per half pint in my area.
We’re fortunate to have several wild blackberry patches in the meadow areas of our property. We can easily go out back and pick 5 quarts of berries in less than an hour.
It’s just hard to find fast uses for them because they only stay fresh for a day or so. For this reason, we’ve been dehydrating our berries. They take up less room in the pantry than our frozen berries do in the freezer.
The best part is that you don’t need a commercial food dehydrator to dry them. If you don’t have a dehydrator, dry them in your oven.
Blackberries are so good for you. They are high in vitamins C, K and manganese. They’re high in fiber content, are low in calories and contain healthy anti-oxidants.
These are the perfect, healthy snack. No preservatives and totally organic.
What you need
For this recipe, all you need is fresh blackberries. We like to put them in the dehydrator the same day we pick them.
Try to find organic berries. If you do, you don’t really even have to wash them, which will speed up the drying time. As long as you picked them yourself, you know they have no foreign substances or germs on them.
If you don’t wash them, just be sure that you get any small pieces of leaves, stems or dirt shaken off of the berries.
How to dehydrate blackberries
Rinse blackberries in a colander with cold water. Do this especially if you buy them from the grocery store.
Drain berries on paper towels and pat the top dry gently with more paper towels. You don’t want to crush them.
Arrange a single layer of blackberries on dehydrator trays.
Using a sheet of dehydrator paper will make clean up a breeze.
Slide racks into the dehydrator. Set temperature to 135°F or 50°C.
This photo was taken about 18 hours into the drying time. Notice that the color of many of them will turn red like raspberries.
Dehydrate for 18-36 hours. See section below for how to tell if my blackberries are dry.
How to dry in the oven
Perform steps one to three above. Place a sheet of parchment paper over a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange fruit in single layer.
Turn oven to lowest setting. Usually 155-175°F / 90°C. Place baking sheet in the oven. Prop the door with a wooden spoon or heat safe spatula.
Dry for an hour. Remove baking sheet from oven and flip berries so that they don’t stick to the sheet. Place sheet back in oven. Dry another hour and flip back to the first side. After this you shouldn’t have to flip them again. Continue drying checking often so that they don’t burn.
They should take between 3 and 8 hours in the oven. Depends on the lowest temperature of your oven and the size of the berries.
Conditioning your fruit
Conditioning your fruit is an important step in the drying process, so don’t skip this step.
Conditioning is the process of testing the fruit to make sure that it is thoroughly dry.
Even a bit of moisture in a couple of pieces has the potential to ruin a whole batch.
Allow the dehydrated fruits to come to room temperature. Immediately place them into a glass mason jar. Place the jar in a dark area.
Shake the jar daily to break up any stuck pieces. Allow them to stay in the jar for 7-10 days, shaking daily.
If you see any moisture droplets collecting on the jar. You know you have moisture in them.
If you see any evidence of moisture or any condensation in the jar, re-dry the food in your oven or dehydrator. After re-drying condition them again. Once they are fully dry, pack in tight fitting glass jars.
If you see any evidence of mold during the conditioning process. Discard the product.
How to store dried berries
The best way to store fully dried dehydrated foods is to vacuum pack single serve portions. Vacuum sealing larger portions exposes moisture to the product, from the air, every time the bag is opened.
Food can also be packed tightly into jars or other airtight container. The addition of a food safe silica gel pack (affiliate link) will help the foods stay moisture free.
Store them in a cool, dry, dark location for best results for long-term storage.
Perfectly dried blackberries will last at least one year.
Uses for dehydrated berries
- Perfect for a simple, healthy snack for the kids or yourself.
- Add them to yogurt, cottage cheese or hot cereals like oatmeal.
- Add to muffins, quick bread, cakes or cookies.
- Mix them into pancakes or waffles dough.
- Top ice cream or pudding.
- Add to trail mixes to bump up the nutrition.
How to make blackberry powder
Add dried berries to your food processor, blender or coffee grinder. Pulse until you have a fine powder.
Strain the powder through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.
Store in jars in a cool, dark area of your home.
When adding the powder to your favorite foods. Be sparing. It is highly concentrated so can be overpowering. Taste the food and see if you’d like more berry flavor. Then add more accordingly.
If you plan on doing a lot of dehydrating to preserve your harvest you should really invest in a good food dehydrator. This Vevor is our favorite dehydrator. It is light-weight, easy to store, and has adjustable heat settings and a time cook option. (affiliate link)
Uses for powder
- Make blackberry flavored milk for the kids. It’s a great alternative to chocolate.
- It’s great to add to tea for a boost of nutrition.
- Add the powder to ice cream or pudding for a delicious blackberry dessert.
- Make a blackberry frosting for cakes or cupcakes for a seasonal treat.
- Mix it into plain or vanilla yogurt.
More recipes for preserving berries
- dehydrating raspberries / raspberry powder
- dehydrating strawberries
- dried oranges
- freezing raspberries
- freezing blackberries
- blackberry jam
- blackberry syrup
- seedless raspberry jam
- raspberry jam
- raspberry syrup
- blueberry jam
- blueberry pie filling
- blackberry pies
- dehydrating peaches
- dried cherries
- dried pears
- dehydrated cranberries
- banana chips
- dried peaches
- dried tomatoes
- dehydrated potatoes
- dried apples
Dehydrating blackberries is an easy job with hardly any hand one time. It’s a great way to preserve this short season delicacy.
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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
- 1 quart fresh blackberries
- Wash berries well. Gently use a salad spinner to remove a lot of the water. Pat dry with paper towel.
- Arrange them in a single layer on racks of your dehydrator. To use your oven, arrange the berries on a sheet of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Slide the sheets into the dehydrator. If using oven, heat to lowest heat setting, usually 155-175°F/ 90°C. For oven, arrange berries on parchment lined baking sheet.
- For dehydrator, set temperature at 125°F / 52°C. Set time at 20 hours. Start machine. Check after 20 hours. If more time is needed, set timer for more time. It can take 36 hours to dry them or more.
- For oven, set timer to 2 hours. Prop door open with a heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon. Turn each berry after one hour. The oven gets much hotter than a dehydrator so keep a close eye that they don't burn.
- This is an important step for food safety, so don't skip!
- Once fully dry, and cooled, place berries in a glass or plastic jar. Place the jar in a dark area. Daily, for 7-10 days, shake the jar to break them apart. If you see any signs of moisture or condensation on inside of the jar, dehydrate them again.
- Once fully dry, condition them again.
- See notes for storage tips.
- granola or trail mix
- cereals – they bump up the flavor and healthiness of everything from oatmeal and grits to cold cereals.
- Flavor vanilla pudding
- Ice cream for a blackberry flavored treat.
- Garnish cocktails and mocktails
- Muffins, cakes or quick bread
- Make blackberry powder to make it easier to incorporate them into some dishes.
Originally published July 28,2022.
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This is so cool. Now I can add the powder to my smoothies instead of storing frozen berries to use. What a space saver.
Yes. It really save a lot of freezer space for more delicious foods.