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CHWABE's Photo CHWABE Posts: 282
6/16/10 1:28 P

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I'm sure you're right about losing nutrients by proofing. You don't have to leave them in long though. I can't imagine slicing pounds and pounds. I dried about 8-10 pounds last year.
I have an Excaliber dehydrator. I bought the large model thinking that I might need the extra size. Glad I did...

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ANIDUCK's Photo ANIDUCK Posts: 10,845
6/16/10 11:30 A

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I would think that "proofing" method would cause a great loss of flavor and nutrients into the water. On one of the links I posted it shows a method of slicing the berries before drying them. But that looks tedious too.

Gosh I love blueberries. I just freeze them. Someday I hope to have a "real" dehydrator. I only have a small dinky one now that someone gave me--better than nothing I guess.

Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; (that is) in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul


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CHWABE's Photo CHWABE Posts: 282
6/16/10 7:42 A

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I'm sitting here with stevia powder and never thought to use it, will try it next time.

I dried many pounds of blueberries last summer and enjoyed them thoroughly throughout the winter. Already have planned our berry picking outing for July as there is a berry farm close to my sister-in-laws. When drying, blueberries have to be "proofed". I used a small strainer and set them in boiling water until the skins cracked. They then go loosely on the dryer tray. Too close together and they take WAY to long to dry (learned through experience). The berries were wonderful for baking, yogurt, granola and oatmeal.

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ANIDUCK's Photo ANIDUCK Posts: 10,845
6/15/10 7:05 P

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I just Googled some resources for you. Here's a few right off the top:
www.backyardberryplants.com/

Aronia berries seem to be one of the new and upcoming healthy fruits that are grown in the Midwest.
www.raysahelian.com/aronia.html
www.aroniaberry.org/

Here's a book you might like:
www.amazon.com/Berry-Growers-Compani
on
-Barbara-Bowling/dp/0881927260


Here's stuff on berries from Ohio State University:
newfarm.osu.edu/crops/berries.html

Hope that helps
-annie

Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; (that is) in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul


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CHRISDAN9's Photo CHRISDAN9 Posts: 58
6/15/10 3:05 P

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Ani, Thanks for the info. I didn't realize that blackberries were invasive. I'm in one of the western suburbs of Chicago. (Zone 5). I'm looking to make my suburban lawn more productive by growing some of my own food. Just starting though. I was hoping to plant a couple of dwarf fruit trees and some berry bushes. Anyone in the midwest have any suggestions? emoticon

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ANIDUCK's Photo ANIDUCK Posts: 10,845
6/14/10 8:30 P

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You know, most of the work is already done before you put up the fruit in cans or freezer. Either way you have to prepare the fruit. Once that's done canning isn't too time consuming unless you are doing many batches. But a small batch (7 pints) doesn't take long at all. You do need a kettle large enough to hold 7 jars on some kind of rack that hold the jars up above the bottom. And the jars can be sterilized in that same kettle of boiling water, lids and rings in a small saucepan of boiling water.
Before I ever canned I was terribly intimidated by it but now, I see it as easy. Yes, it is very time consuming when I bring home 8 or 9 cases of peaches or tomatoes at a time and have to get them all put up before they rot!! That's 3 or 4 days of GO-AWAY-CAN'T-YOU-SEE-THAT-I'M-BUSY!!! sort of situation.

Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; (that is) in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul


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ANIDUCK's Photo ANIDUCK Posts: 10,845
6/14/10 8:22 P

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CHWABE, Can you use stevia??

And CHRISDAN9, I hope you know what you are doing with blackberries as they are extremely invasive. You have to work constantly to keep them from taking over the universe!! I don't know where you live but they are not native to the US but were brought here way back when from Europe, maybe Britain, I can't remember. Blackberries grow wild all over the place here in Oregon and YES!! they are delish!!

I have dehydrated berries before, strawberries is all. They are so good that way because of the concentrated sugars after most all the moisture has evaporated that you can hardly stop eating them!! They are great in granola. I know other people who have dehydrated other berries though. As far as I know it works fine.
www.pickyourown.org/dryingfoods.htm
and...
knol.google.com/k/how-to-dehydrate-b
lu
eberries-cranberries-raspberries-blaR>ckberries#


Edited by: ANIDUCK at: 6/14/2010 (20:23)
Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; (that is) in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul


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CHRISDAN9's Photo CHRISDAN9 Posts: 58
6/14/10 7:32 P

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Mmmmm! LORENVER that applebutter sounds deelish!! Have a recipe to share.
Ani, have you dehydrated berries? How were they? I'm looking to plant some blackberries in the yard. emoticon

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CHWABE's Photo CHWABE Posts: 282
6/14/10 6:28 P

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I have a packet of "Freezer Jam" pectin that I've been using but...don't everyone shout, I have been using splenda with it. I can't eat the sugar so used the next item that the packet said would work. I may have to experiment with honey. Hubby said to heat the honey until very liquified, then mix the fruit and pectin and see what happens. I know I really don't want to do canning, too much time and effort. I bought a book called Preserving with Honey but at first glance don't see any freezing, hmmm, we'll see.

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ANIDUCK's Photo ANIDUCK Posts: 10,845
6/14/10 5:42 P

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Really, you can do anything that pops into your head. Here's a basic way to use raspberries (or any berry) as a spread on toast.

Put the berries on the warm buttered toast and smoosh them with a fork. Drizzle on honey or sprinkle with sugar to taste. Voila, berry spread! I and my dh do that all the time.

So, with that in mind, all you have to do is smush up some berries, add whatever sweetening you like. Simmer the mess down to where it's thickened. Add some gelatin if you like. There you go. Freeze some if you want it for later.

I have found in life that the simpler you keep things the more you get out of life!! Experiment and enjoy playing around in the kitchen.

Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; (that is) in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul


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ANIDUCK's Photo ANIDUCK Posts: 10,845
6/14/10 5:20 P

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There are so, so many recipes on the web for freezer jams, canning jams, sugarless jams. I use a pectin thickener that doesn't require the use of sugar if you choose or you can use any amount of sweetener you like.

When you freeze berries (or any smashable fruit) you can spread them out on a baking sheet, freeze 'till firm and then put in bags. that way they hold their shape a lot better. They do tend to be softer after defrosting but you still have the whole fruit intact.

I know I've got some recipes in my files. I'll go look.
-annie

Well, I didn't have any luck in my computer files and my boxes of recipes are just too scary at the moment to go through...lol!!

But, get some SureJell pectin that says on the box that you can use no sugar or much less sugar and still get a good gel out of it.

Some recipes call for reducing a sweet juice like white grape juice or apple juice down to 1/3 or 1/4 of it's volume and using that for sweetening. The trouble (and truth) with that method is that you aren't really removing any sugar. In fact you are concentrating the sugar in the juices. Things that are sweetened with concentrated fruit juices aren't really "sugar free".

Also, raspberries aren't as sweet as, say, strawberries or peaches so making a raspberry jam without any sweetening at all might make it unpopular in your house!

If you've never made a jam before you will find the instructions inside the box of SureJell pectin.

I use Pomona's Pectin; it's wonderful but I don't know if it's available everywhere. Here's a website where you can see it. I get it cheaper thru my co-op.
www.pomonapectin.com/

Good Luck.

Edited by: ANIDUCK at: 6/14/2010 (17:47)
Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; (that is) in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul


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CHWABE's Photo CHWABE Posts: 282
6/14/10 4:56 P

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I've been wondering about making freezer jam with honey.

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212DEGREES's Photo 212DEGREES Posts: 206
6/14/10 4:55 P

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Jams, Jellies, Preserves . . . not my thing, but I love raspberries. I freeze mine, just wash & place in a plastic bag. They may "crumble" when you take them out of the freezer, but for me that works as I use them in my smoothies!
Just another way for you to enjoy them all year long!
emoticon :-( no raspberry icon!

LeAnn

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LORENVER's Photo LORENVER Posts: 5,019
6/14/10 4:36 P

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Hey All,

A friend of mine grows her own raspberries. YUM! I really love raspberry season, but would like to enjoy them all year round, so I was thinking of making a spreadable preserve out of them.

I've never made jams or jelly before, but I have canned apple butter in the past. I'd like to make it with the minimum of extra ingredients.

Any ideas?

Loren

Edited by: LORENVER at: 6/14/2010 (16:47)
Indianapolis IN - Eastern Time Zone.

Ran my first Marathon, Indianapolis Indiana October 16th 2010.

Your stomach shouldn't be a waist basket.
~Author Unknown

I miss you Dad (I know you'd be proud of me).
~Loren



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