It’s mulberry season, which doesn’t last long. Here are the 3 Best ways to preserve mulberries this season so you can enjoy them all year long.
How To Preserve Mulberries and Everything You Want to Know
One of my fondest memories as a child was riding my bike into town and parking it under the HUGE mulberry tree that hung over the sidewalk.
I would eat until my belly was full and my hands were purple. You can only imagine my excitement when I found out that our new land included mulberry trees!
Last year, they produced more than enough to fill my immediate cravings and enough left over for me to preserve.
I recently found out that our goats love the mulberry tree clippings and mulberry leaves. Which makes a sustainable livestock food source because they grow so quickly.
Mulberry (Morus) Nutritional Value
In my opinion, mulberries are the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Find a well-ripened berry and it tastes like pure sugar from nature.
Like many other dark berries, mulberries, are a wonderful anti-oxidant.
Meaning they help reduce oxidative stress which improves cardiovascular health. They contain vitamin C, K1, E, Iron, and Magnesium.
By fresh weight, they provide 9.8% carbs, 1.7% fiber, 1.4% protein, and 0.4% fat.
Mulberries are often consumed dried, similar to raisins. In this form, they contain 70% carbs, 14% fiber, 12% protein, and 3% fat — making them fairly high in protein compared to most berries.
Where Do Mulberries Grow?
As I mentioned above, when I was a child, mulberry trees were everywhere, I lived in the lower part of Michigan at the time.
When I relocated to the coast of South Carolina, we didn’t have a mulberry tree in sight.
It wasn’t until 25 years later when we moved to East Tennessee that I would see a mulberry tree again.
I had almost forgotten how amazing these purple berries were!
Mulberries grow on trees, although a few species do grow on bushes, and come in fruiting and non-fruiting varieties.
They range from white, pink/red, to dark purple (my favorite). They are a fast-growing tree and can reach between 30-50 feet.
Fair warning, they are late bloomers so give it some time to bloom before you think it’s dead and cut it down. Ask me how I know this?
Even though they are native to China, they can be grown all over in North America.
Mulberry trees are hardy up to -25°F and grow well is planting zones 4-8.
In addition to finding Mulberry Trees on our new land, see what other wild edibles we found. I LOVE finding FREE food!
What Is the Best Thing To Do With Mulberries?
It honestly takes a lot of restraint for me not to eat the fresh mulberries as quick as I pick them. Even more so to save enough mulberries to preserve them.
Aside from eating fresh right off the tree, some of my favorite ways to eat mulberries are
- Add them to a bowl of yogurt with a little granola.
- Use as a topping for crepes.
- Sprinkle on a bowl of cereal.
- Mulberry cobbler, you can use any blackberry cobbler recipe.
- Serve them with biscuits and whipped cream.
- Make mulberry jam- see recipe below
- Add to pancakes with whipped cream.
- Blend fresh mulberries with yogurt, a little honey, and freeze for healthy ice pops.
How Do You Store Freshly Picked Mulberries?
I like to wash my mulberries before I store them in the fridge so they are ready to eat.
Just fill a bowl with cold water and the berries, add 1/4 cup of vinegar and let them soak 5-10 mins.
Drain the water and carefully dry the berries on a kitchen or paper towel.
Add a paper towel to a plastic storage container and add the mulberries.
Store in the fridge up to one week.
Can You Freeze Mulberries Raw?
Yes. Freezing is a great way to preserve mulberries. It’s really simple and they will last up to 12 months if stored properly.
- Wash mulberries and pat dry.
- When dry, place mulberries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put in freezer for 24 hours or until frozen.
- Remove the frozen mulberries and add to a freezer storage container or a freezer bag. Try to remove as much air as possible.
- Date and label your berries.
- Return to freezer.
3 Best Ways To Preserve Mulberries
To be honest, I let my mulberry imagination get away with me and covered way more than three ways to preserve mulberries. Now you have more yummy choices!
However, three of my favorite are jam, fruit leather, and dehydration. A close fourth way would be to freeze them. I picked dehydration because it last for so long and doesn’t take any freezer space.
The family absolutely loves the mulberry fruit leather fo snacks.
Lastly, the mulberry jam can be used is so many ways. I add to ice cream, pancakes, even roasted duck!
NOTHING beats homemade jam on a slice of fresh-baked bread, NOTHING. When you make this amazing jam, go ahead and break out the bread loaf pans because the two will go hand-in-hand. You can call this jam preserving but it honestly won’t last long enough to have a shelf life.
Yields eight 8 oz jelly jars
- 6 Cups Mulberries
- 4 Cups Sugar (follow the sugar recommendations on your pectin box)
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
If the directions on your pectin box suggest different measurements than my recipe, FOLLOW your pectin recipe.
- Rinse your mulberries and remove any stems, leaves, debris
- Add your clean berries to a large stainless steel pot
- Prepare your jelly canning jars.
For instructions on how to prepare your canning jars, see them on our friend’s website, Simply Canning.
- Add sugar to your berries and turn your burner on medium.
- Use a potato masher to mash your berries as they cook.
- Once your mulberries are at a low boil, it’s time to add the lemon juice and pectin.
- Bring your berries to a full boil for 5-10 minutes
- Skim off any foam that may be on top of your jam
- Ladle your jam into your jelly jars, leaving 1/4″ space from the top of the rim
- Add the lid and process in your water bath for the recommended time on your pectin box
*If you don’t have pectin, don’t worry we have a solution for you.
My friend, Tessa at Homestead Lady, shares what to use in place of pectin that you probably already have in the kitchen.
Mulberry Fruit Leather
Another childhood favorite that I still enjoy as an adult is fruit leather.
Not the fake stuff you get in stores but the real stuff you make at home. Making fruit leather is a tasty way to preserve your mulberries.
It’s a quick easy snack that the whole family loves and it’s easy to take it on the go.
- 1 Cup Mulberries, rinsed and patted dry.
- 1 Cup Applesauce
- 2 teaspoons of Culinary Grade Lavender Flowers
- Place Mulberries and Lavender in a food processor or blender.
Puree until applesauce consistency.
- Add applesauce and stir until blended.
- Spread mixture on fruit leather tray in a food dehydrator.
- Place the tray in a food dehydrator and run until dry.
This usually about six hours depending on your dehydrator and the humidity.
- Let cool and remove from tray.
- You can eat immediately or roll in parchment paper to consume later.
- To look like store-bought, you can cut them into strips once rolled in parchment paper.
I love mixing herbs with fruit for my fruit leather snacks, we have two other fruit leather recipes you might enjoy.
How Do You Dry Mulberries?
You can dry mulberries after washing, as I mentioned above. Or you can dehydrate mulberries for long term storage.
To dry them after washing, just place in a single layer on a kitchen towel or some paper towels, drain, and pat dry.
Preserve Mulberries by Dehydrating
Many people use a dehydrator to preserve mulberries to enjoy months after the harvest. You can dehydrate mulberries all the way and remove all the moisture so they are completely dry and either rehydrate them or use them in their dried state as a snack or to cook with.
Or you can dehydrate them almost all the way and eat them like you do raisins and leave them a little squishy.
Depending on your dehydrator and how big your mulberries are, drying time will vary. Another factor that will play a role in drying time is if you want your berries to be soft like raisins or dry to keep for use in the future.
We live off-grid and use the sun to dehydrate our food. I have a solar oven and on a hot spring day, it took me 4 hours to dry my mulberries enough for my satisfaction.
I enjoy eating them like raisins. We love using our Sun Oven to cook with during the warm months. If you would like to learn more about cooking without electricity, I have a special coupon just for you!
There is an instructional video for you to watch and they are great to work with if you have any questions, The All American Sun Oven.
Dehydrating Mulberries Directions
- Rinse Mulberries and pat dry
- Remove stems
- Place berries in a single layer on your dehydrator sheet
- Use the lowest setting on your dehydrator
- Dry for 15-24 hours
- Let your berries cool and test for doneness
- If you are wanting completely dry mulberries, they should crumble and turn to powder.
- Store in an airtight container with a moisture pack.
In addition to the preservation methods I mentioned above, other ways you can preserve mulberries to enjoy all year long are
- How To Freeze Mulberries by The Spruce Eats
- Mulberry Wine Recipe by Home Brew It
- Mulberry Leaf Tea by Plants Hospital
- Syrup by Life Led Homeschool
This post is part of the blogger roundup Preserving the Harvest.
Do you love preserving the harvest as much as we do?
Enjoy the websites below and get detailed instructions for preserving 23 of the most popular fruits and vegetables
Preserving Vegetables (in alphabetical order)
- How to Preserve Carrots by Freezing, Canning, and More from Oak Hill Homestead
- 4 Easy Ways to Preserve Cauliflower from Dehydrating Made Easy
- Cucumber Fresh Pack Garlic Dill Pickles Recipe from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
- Make Your Own Garlic Powder and Other Ways to Preserve Garlic from Learning & Yearning
- How to Freeze Your Green Bean Harvest from The Reid Homestead
- How to Preserve Leafy Greens from Homespun Seasonal Living
- Preserving Okra by Freezing, Canning, Fermenting, and Dehydrating from Schneider Peeps
- 5 Ways to Preserve Onions for Storage from Rockin W Homestead
- How to Dehydrate Parsnips & Make Parsnip Chips from The Purposeful Pantry
- 3 Ways to Preserve Peppers from Grow a Good Life
- 5 Ways to Store Potatoes from A Modern Homestead
- Ways to Preserve Radishes from The Purposeful Pantry
- How to Freeze Squash (and Other Preservation Methods) from Our Inspired Roots
- Freezing Tomatoes for Preserving Later in the Year from Stone Family Farmstead
- 3 Easy Ways to Preserve Zucchini from Grow a Good Life
Preserving Fruit (in alphabetical order)
- Guide to Preserving Apples from Oak Hill Homestead
- How To Preserve Strawberries On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead
- 3 Ways To Preserve Fresh Summer Berries from Better Hens & Gardens
- How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
- 3 Quick Ways to Preserve Grapes from Homestead Lady
- 3 Best Ways To Preserve Mulberries from My Homestead Life
- How To Preserve Oranges On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead
- How to Freeze Peaches from A Modern Homestead