Learn how to dry mulberries at home! Here are the easiest methods for drying mulberries and preserving them for later use.
The colorful berries – often in white, red, or black – are made into tea, wine, jam, fruit juice, or canned food, although they can also be dehydrated and eaten as snacks.
Because of the fruit’s sweet flavor, nutritional value, and many health benefits, the fruit of the mulberry tree is steadily gaining in popularity all over the world.
Like other fruits, mulberries do not keep for a long time. One of the best ways to enjoy the taste and benefits of mulberries for a long time is to dehydrate them. Having said that, the following are some easy methods to dry mulberries at home.
How to Dry Mulberries
Drying mulberries in a food dehydrator
- Wash and thoroughly rinse mulberries. Pat dry.
- Remove the stems.
- Lay down the mulberries on dehydrator sheets in a single layer. Make sure the fruits don’t overlap.
- Set the dehydrator to the lowest setting.
- Allow the fruits to dry for around 15 to 24 hours; check for dryness from time to time starting on the 15th hour.
- Once satisfied with the dryness level, take the mulberries out of the dehydrator.
If you prefer completely dehydrated mulberries, they should crumble when pressed. Set aside and allow to cool down at room temperature.
Store in airtight containers (more on proper storage in a later section).
Drying mulberries in an oven
- Cut the mulberries into slices or into half for quicker drying.
- Lay down the slices on a lined baking sheet, mindful not to let the slices overlap.
- Switch the oven to the lowest heat setting.
- Allow baking for around 6 to 8 hours or until completely dry. You can leave the oven door slightly open for better air circulation.
- Take the fruits out of the oven, and allow to dry at room temperature.
Drying mulberries in an oven toaster
Using an oven toaster takes just about the same length of time to dry mulberries as when using an oven, depending on the capacity of your toaster.
- Set the toaster to the lowest heat setting. Leave the toaster door open slightly to prevent condensation.
- Constantly watch the mulberries you’re trying to dry to make sure that you achieve the perfect dryness level.
- Once satisfied with the dryness level, take the mulberries out of the toaster.
- Allow to cool down at room temperature.
Drying mulberries in a microwave
If you are adventurous or if there are no other options, you can use your microwave oven to dehydrate mulberries. However, the process may require some trial and error on your part. For one, microwave ovens vary widely in terms of heat and strength.
I personally do not recommend a microwave for drying fruits or berries. You can only dry a small number of mulberries at once and it takes constant monitoring to stay on the safe side. If you are determined to use a microwave, make sure you use a defrost setting.
Sun-drying mulberries is easy. However, it will only work if you regularly have dry and hot days in your area with at least 86 F temperatures. It usually takes at least 24 hours to completely dry mulberries.
If you do not have enough sunlight every day, the sun drying method may not work for you.
How to Store Dried Mulberries
By storing your dried mulberries properly, you can keep the food from spoiling for a long period of time – anywhere from 6 months to a full year. Freezing dried mulberries may even extend the shelf life longer.
1. Allow the fruits to cool down at room temperature
After the mulberries are fully dehydrated, set aside. Allow the fruits to cool down at room temperature. Pack the dried mulberries in air-tight containers. It is best to use glass containers to prevent any reactions with the fruit’s acids. Sealed plastic containers, jars, or Ziploc bags may also be used.
2. Keep the containers in a cool and dark place
This will help prolong the shelf life even more. Storing dried mulberries in the refrigerator or freezer may be necessary if your area is humid and dry. The cold temperature will help the dried fruits retain their best quality.
Keeping dried mulberries constantly frozen will not only retain the fruits’ high quality but the nutrients as well. Otherwise, the humid and hot conditions will spoil the dried mulberries – even if you keep them in sealed and airtight containers.
3. Be patient when defrosting
When you are ready to eat or use the dried mulberries, just allow them to warm up and thaw under room temperature. It wouldn’t take a very long time after you get the mulberries out of the freezer or refrigerator.
Use your senses of sight and smell to find out if your dried mulberries are still in good condition, or if they have already gone bad or spoiled. Discard the ones that have an off appearance or are foul-smelling. Get rid of the ones with mold as well. This will help prevent contamination of the remaining good mulberries.
SEE ALSO: How to Store Dried Fruits at Home
Mulberries are colorful, sweet, and can be eaten dried or fresh. The fruits are packed with vitamin C, iron, as well as various healthy plant compounds. They are linked to lower levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and cancer risk.
The fruit has been part of traditional herbal medicine in China for thousands of years now. It is used as a remedy for different illnesses, although more tests are needed to support the claim.
The downside is that the fruit doesn’t keep for a long time. One way to preserve its shelf life, and allow you to enjoy the benefits for a long time is to dehydrate the fruits. There are various ways to dry mulberries. These include using a food dehydrator, oven, oven toaster, and even a microwave. You can also use the sun drying method.