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Raw Strawberry Twizzlers

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Raw-Strawberry-Twizzlers11I caved and for the first time ever, I tried freeze-dried strawberries.   I never gave freeze-dried fruits or veggies much thought before but I felt it was time to start doing some research to see if they fit my standards as a viable ingredient for my raw creations.

Freeze-dried fruit refers to the process of removing almost all water content from frozen fruit, much like the dehydration process.   With dehydration, warm dry air is circulated across the food.  This removes much of the water.  The moist air is then exhausted so that water continues to be removed.   The temperatures are high enough to remove water but not high enough to cook the food.  Dehydrated food is usually withered, wrinkly and hard. With the aid of small dehydrators, this is something that can easily be done at home.   Dehydration removes about 90-95 percent of the moisture content.  It is said that dehydration doesn’t change the fiber or iron content of food.  However, it can break down vitamins and minerals during the preservation process and retain less of their nutritional value when compared to freeze-dried food, especially if dried at to high a temperature.

Freeze-drying (lyophilization) on the other hand, isn’t something you can do at home, as it takes high-tech machinery.  Sure, there are creative ways to attempt it in your own kitchen with the use of a few pieces of equipment and dry ice, but that is more for a home science experiment than a technique that you would use on a regular basis.    Freeze-drying works by freezing the material and then reducing the surrounding air pressure to allow the frozen water in the material to sublimate directly from the solid phase to the gas phase. Temptures are lowered and then heating units apply a small amount of heat…. the process goes on.  I don’t want to get into it too deep here.  I found this site to helpful for a full explanation

But what does this do to the nutritional content?  According to research by the American Institute for Cancer Research, freeze-dried foods retain the vast majority of the vitamins and minerals found in the original food.  However, when compared to fresh fruits and vegetables, freeze-dried foods did lack in some vitamins – like Vitamin C – which break down very rapidly.

Raw-Strawberry-Twizzlers3I can see that if a person really wants to know more scientific statistics about these techniques, much more investigating is going to need to be done.  I am just scratching the surface.  Ever get an itch on your back and when you ask someone to scratch it, they end up having to chase the itch?  To the left, up, up…over a smidgen, dooooooown, aaah yes!  wait… to the left.. UP UP UP…aaaaah.   Well, freeze-drying is my “itch” and I am chasing the details on it.  :)

But in the meantime, I gave freeze-dried strawberries a whirl.  Textually, they are a bit odd to just pop in your mouth.  Do you remember Astronaut Ice Cream?  It reminds me much of that. As I was pondering the steps to take in creating my raw strawberry twizzlers, I decided that strawberries in their dried form would be better than fresh.  I wanted a “dry” ingredient.  So, I took my freeze-dried strawberries and blitzed them in the blender until they turn to a fine powder.  Caution ~ do not remove the lid and inhale deeply while your nose in the blender container.  Just trust me on this. :)

I am quite excited to announce that my version, my take, on strawberry Twizzlers, which only has 3 ingredients verses conventional strawberry Twizzlers.  So just say no to: CORN SYRUP; ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, AND FOLIC ACID); SUGAR; CORNSTARCH; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PALM OIL; SALT; ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR ; MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES; CITRIC ACID; POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE); ARTIFICIAL COLOR ( RED 40) ; MINERAL OIL; SOY LECITHIN; GLYCERIN.

So, will freeze-dried foods become a part of my diet?  Not on a regular basis, I will always aim for fresh but I can see using items prepared this way from time to time.  This will be a personal judgement call for each person.   All I can say at this point is that this recipe for creating my version of strawberry twizzlers is much healthier than the conventional way of producing them.

Raw-Strawberry-Twizzlers1Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. To create beet juice, wash the beet roots well and rough chop into sizes that will fit in the juicer chute.  Juice.  If you don’t have a juicer you can rough chop some beet roots and blend them with a touch of water in a high-powered blender.  Then place in a mesh/nut bag and squeeze the juice from the bag.  A little labor intensive, but it can be done.
  2. In the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, process the date paste, beet juice, and strawberry extract or freeze-dried strawberries until everything is well intergrated.
  3. Place the batter in a piping bag fitted with a plain star tip.  Mine was about 1/4″ in diameter.
  4. Pipe the batter onto the teflex sheet, from one edge to the other.  Use steady pressure to create a straight line.
  5. Dehydrate at 115 degrees (F) for 24 hours.  Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.  Should keep for a long time… don’t know for sure.

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53 thoughts on “Raw Strawberry Twizzlers

  1. Jesse Gabriel says:

    Hallo Amie-Sue.
    Oh mein Gott, das sieht großartig aus, zu gerne würde ich jetzt ums Twizzler Glas schleichen und mir ein Twizzer stibitzen.

    Ganz liebe Grüße,
    Jesse Gabriel

  2. Melissa says:

    Omg thank you! I have been waiting for this one…..

  3. Barbara says:

    Lovely..creativie as always. You can also purchase dried fruit powders in different flavors. Raspberry might be yummy too. Defe have to try this one. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Malgorzata says:

    May I use dried, blended strawberries instead of freeze-dried? I like the idea and the output of your receipe, but I do not eat frozen food.

    • amie-sue says:

      That should be just fine Malgorzata. Just be sure to get it powdered as fine as you can so you don’t have gritty tasting twizzlers. :) amie sue

  5. Bevereley says:

    Would love to subscribe

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Bevereley,

      You can. :) On the left side menu, click on “Subscribe” and follow the few steps to do so. Then you will receive emails whenever I release a recipe. Have a glorious day, amie sue

  6. Mary says:

    Good Morning Amie-Sue,

    I can’t wait to try this. We have given up our strawberry licorice, even the stuff in the health food stores. What a treat this will be. One question though. Do you have any idea how much strawberry powder you ended up? I have some organic strawberry powder that I purchased from Nuts.com and I was wondering if I could use that?
    Happy Holidays!
    p.s. too much “interrogating” may make for some anxious food. hehe

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Mary,

      I didn’t measure out the powder when I made it, just had the weight of it. It is easier for others to start off with the weight rather than the end powder measurement because they wouldn’t know what to start out with. Does that make sense? :) I would think that your pre-bought strawberry powder would work just fine. If you can weigh it out, just use 1.2 oz worth. If you don’t have a scale, start with maybe 1/3 cup and see how the flavor is, you can always add more to taste.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know if you make it. :) Have a blessed day, amie sue

  7. annette says:

    i was a red licorice kid growing up – never mind the chocolates or chips give me licorice! thanks for this recipe.

    • amie-sue says:

      I hear you Annette, I was a black licorice kiddo when given the chose, but I did like other flavors as well. I hope you try and enjoy these. amie sue

  8. Mary says:

    Ok, so it took me awhile but I would presume that 1.2oz. of whole freeze dried strawberries would equal 1.2oz. of strawberry powder. Duh. Thanks for the great recipes.

  9. cassie says:

    Can these be made without the beet juice?? I have freeze dried pomegranate….

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Cassie,

      The beet juice give it that deep red color. I haven’t tried freeze-dried pomegranates before so you will have to experiment. Have a great day, amie sue

  10. Mary says:

    I’m sure they taste great, unlike those other twizzlers. The other kind don’t taste remotely like strawberries.

    • amie-sue says:

      We all thought they tasted better… but why even compare, they taste great, made out of healthy ingredients and are fun to eat. :) Have a wonderful day, amie sue

  11. Mari says:

    I make Beet juice alot what a idea the Twizzlers you make wonderful pictures and recipe and all. I am going to try after getting time off. Happy New Year

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Mari,

      I like to make beet juice and freeze it in 1/4 cup measurements. That way I am good to go when inspiration hits me. I hope you try the recipe and enjoy it. Happy New Year to you too! amie sue

  12. 115 degrees? Is this then the temp for a food dehydrator?
    I can’t wait to try this recipe – what a fun holiday gift too!

    • amie-sue says:

      Yes Marcy… Dry at 115 degrees in the dehydrator. I don’t use the oven for any of my recipes. Enjoy and have fun with it! amie sue

  13. Holly says:

    Before I became a health nut, red licorice was my absolute favorite treat. I haven’t touched it in years. So, I was rejoicing when I saw this post. You can believe I will be trying this! Your pictures of it were very well done!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Holly… I hope it makes you happy when you taste it. Please do keep me posted when you make it. I would love to hear how it goes. Have a wonderful evening, amie sue

  14. aliyah says:

    I made these along with the peppermint kisses to make peppermint icecream. I wasn’t so good at making the long ones they came out uneven, anyway they taste delicious.Mine came out a deep dark red and I wanted them to be the same as your picture.Can I cut back on the beet juice or increase the amount of date paste OR BOTH.like I said they taste great I just like my creations to look like yours lol.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Aliyah,

      I applaud you for trying the recipes, that is step one. :) Don’t worry if your lines weren’t spot-on straight. It just takes a little practice with a steady hand. As far as the color of the red goes…. you could cut back on the beet juice, just add a little time until the right color is reached. Keep in mind too that the type of dates you use might effect the color, ever so slightly though. Like for instance, honey dates are lighter in color than the medjool dates that I used. Anyway, keep having fun and enjoy! Blessings, amie sue

  15. Shawna says:

    Yea! My Strawberry’s came today!!!! I just made my date paste and juiced my beets. I am planning on doing the final prep work tomorrow and smelling the strawberry goodness flow through my home! Thank you for your wonderful creative ideas!

    Shawna

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Shawna. Ooooh I am doing the “Strawberry dance” with you! I just bought more myself… so maybe we will be making them around the same time. hehe Let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy them. Have a blessed day, amie sue

  16. Biev says:

    Roughly how much powder would you say a 1.2 oz bag of freeze-dried strawberries yields? I have maqui berry and other fruit powders here that I could use instead.

    • amie-sue says:

      Biev,

      I just powdered some more for a recipe that I am doing today and 1.2 oz of freeze-dried fruit = 1/3 of a cup of powder. Have fun and keep me posted if you try the recipe. Many blessings, amie sue

  17. shawna says:

    Hi Aime-sue

    Just wanted to say my family loved the first batch so much we already have the second batch dehydrating! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes.

    Shawna

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Shawna,

      I loved hearing this. Thank you for taking time out of your day to let me know. :) I have made 3 batches for Bob too over the paste few weeks. I enjoy making them as much as he enjoys eating them. We are such a good team. hehe Have a great evening, amie sue

  18. anne-marie says:

    I should have added the water for the date paste a bit at a time. I found it worked out too runny for the end product to really hold together well but had already add my strawberry powder and beet powder ( all I had)tasted good before I dehydrated so I assume it will be nice just not as pretty as yours!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Anne-Marie, if you ever run into this problem again where your dates are too wet, you can always add more to thicken things back up again. Its all a learning curve. Dates all hold different levels of moisture to begin with so a person always have to adjust accordingly.

      Have a great day! amie sue

  19. Lucy Luna says:

    I have been waiting forEVER to make these will make today! Cant wait! :P

  20. Crystal says:

    Making your delicious looking recipe right now. Just wanted to let you know that under your instructions you state that all ingredients should be “interrogated” not probably “integrated”.

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh I don’t know Crystal… sometimes those ingredients do need a good interrogation… lol Thank you, darn spell correct. :P Enjoy! amie sue

  21. Roxy says:

    This has been one of the funnest and most informative sights I have visited. I have spent a great deal of time here and have read most of the comments. It’s been very helpful as im just starting this raw food journey. And I want to try this recipe for sure :-)

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Roxy, it blesses me that you are enjoying my site. Have a glorious weekend and keep in touch. amie sue

  22. Jenn Browne says:

    I am intrigued! Twizzlers are one of those things I could eat by the bucketful if I actually let myself (or my kids) eat them. I love the taste and texture, but they’re full of absolute garbage! Dye and petroleum by-products and then nasty GMO corn syrup – how ‘food’ companies are allowed to sell this stuff for human consumption is just beyond me. Always looking for new ways to use my dehydrator – will definitely have to give these a try! They look amazing! :)

  23. Renee says:

    Has anyone tried this with an oven? I don’t have a dehydrator.

  24. Ruth says:

    Hi, I would like to do this but don’t own a dehydrator, is there any way to do this without a dehydrator?
    Thanks!

  25. nicki says:

    Can i do this with fresh strawberries? How would I do it?

    • amie-sue says:

      I haven’t tried it Nicki… you will have to play around with it because it will add more liquid to the over-all recipe. amie sue

      • Remi says:

        Nicki, I was thinking the same thing, as I have an abundance of strawberries right now!

        Maybe puree the strawberries and strain out most of the liquid and omit the beet juice/stawberry extract?

  26. Just lovely Amie!!! Pure genius. Pinned!

  27. Sharon Blutcher says:

    Can I do this with huckleberries? I have a bunch of huckleberries, guess I would have to figure out how to freeze dry them. What would you use in place of beet juice if you don’t want the red tint?

    • amie-sue says:

      I don’t use fresh fruit with mine so you will have to experiment. I would just add the huckleberries and skip the beet juice since that is there for the coloring. If the mixture is too try in the food processor, add a Tbsp of water at a time to get the right texture. amie sue

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