Sugar Free Mulberry Sweets-Candies with just ONE INGREDIENT: 5.5g carbs per serving.
Yep! You only need ONE ingredient to make these delicious sugar free mulberry sweets-candies. Nothing else. Nada. Rien. Niente. Not even any special equipment or difficult process. I simply use fresh, 100% organic mulberries, hand-picked from my tree.
The technique is really simple and requires no effort whatsoever. It just takes a little patience while you wait for the berries to dehydrate.
So now you’re probably wondering why I would want to dehydrate mulberries, when it is common knowledge that dried fruits have a higher concentration of natural sugars and therefore carbs.
Indeed it might seems a paradox in the ketogenic world, where keeping carbs low is a daily battle.
Well, firstly, if you occasionally crave sweets (candies) nothing comes more natural than this. Providing you don’t gobble a whole jar of these ‘sweets’, your carbs allowance should occasionally accommodate a few extra carbs.
Secondly, the mulberry season is very short, so it makes sense to either freeze the berries or dehydrate them. I freeze my mulberries in 40g batches (3.2g carbs) and when I run out of space in the freezer I dehydrate the rest. Once dehydrated and stored in a sealed glass jar away from sunlight and excessive heat, these little beauties keep for months.
Then you can either eat them as they are (be careful – they are incredibly moreish), or you can grind them to a powder for cake decoration, adding to your yoghurts, smoothies, etc. You can also re-hydrate them by soaking in water until they swell up and return to their former succulent glory.
Are these sugar free mulberry sweets-candies really sugar free? Yes. There’s no need to add sugar or sweeteners of any kind. Of course, like all fruits, they contain inherent fructose, hence the carbs you need to be mindful of.
Why do I choose mulberries instead of other berries? Because they are naturally very sweet, so they don’t need any added sugar to make them palatable. 100g of fresh mulberries delivers 8g net carbs. In comparison, the ketogenic favourite, blueberry, contains 11.6g net carbs. Therefore, not only are mulberries lower in carbs, they are also much sweeter when dehydrated.
Despite what you might read, mulberries are not tart like other berries, as long as they get a lot of sun. I have 1 white and 2 black mulberry trees, they all produce an abundance of pure juicy sweetness, not a hint of sharpness, tartness or sourness. I have just dehydrated a batch of very sweet-tasting strawberries, and they turned out extremely tart and hardly sweet, only really good for decorative purposes and to make fruit powder. Mulberry trees are not generally prone to disease, so don’t need to be sprayed with chemical nasties.
Mulberries are also unbeatable in terms of health stats: they are packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Vitamin B-complex, fibre, calcium, potassium, protein and antioxidants, to name a few. They contain, in fact, 79% more antioxidants than blueberries. Most importantly, they have a huge concentration of anthocyanins and resveratrol, the latter being the bit that makes red wine ‘good for you’ according to the latest studies.
As you can see, the health profile of mulberries is nothing short of impressive. No other berry comes close. When you have mulberry trees at your disposable, you just cannot let these incredible berries go to waste.
Sugar Free Mulberry Sweets-Candies in ONE easy step.
Obtain fresh berries. The fresher the better. Remove the stalk with small scissors (use disposable gloves unless you want your fingers and nails stained purple for days!). Lay them on trays, making sure they are all side by side and not on top of each other. Then you have 3 options.
Option 1. The sun. If you live in a sunny, hot place with reasonably low humidity levels, you can leave the trays in the sun for as long as it takes for them to dehydrate naturally. This method is the most natural and cost effective, but it takes days and you have to ensure you cover the fruits with nets that are bird and insect-proof. I tried this. I gave up after 3 days. The drying process was taking way too long because of the high humidity in my Italian region.
Option 2. The oven. This should take between 12 and 24 hours. The larger and juicier the berries, the longer it will take. Set the oven to 60º C fan and leave the door slightly ajar (a jammed wooden spoon will work fine). Doing so will allow moisture to escape and speed up the dehydration process. I tried this method too. 24 hours weren’t enough for my gigantic berries. They just seemed to reduce in size but were still very moist so I turned the heat up, went to bed and the next morning they were burned! All that electricity and effort gone to waste!
Option 3. The dehydrator. Cheap, efficient, less power-hungry than a traditional oven. Perfect results. I bought mine recently and I’m hooked (HERE‘s a good U.S. option). You can dehydrate pretty much anything: fruit, vegetables, meat. You can make your own snacks or even dog treats. Amazing! Another kitchen gadget I’m in love with! Make sure berries do not overlap or they will tend to stick together.
Mulberries can take anything from 12 to 24 hours at 60º, depending on their size and juice content.
Check after 12 hours and then every few hours after that, to ensure you don’t overdo it. I like mine dry. They are like crunchy sweets in your mouth until they soften and release an explosion of flavour. Allowing them to become totally dry (but not burned) means I can also grind them as and when I need some fruit powder for my cakes. Some people prefer a softer, more chewy consistency. It’s up to you.
Once dehydrated to your preference, store them in sealed glass jars in the cupboard. If your berries were different sizes, some will be softer than others. Just shake the jars every day for the first week and the softer ones will release moisture to the dryer ones.
That’s it! That’s all there is to it. My Sugar Free Mulberry Sweets-Candies in just one easy step and with just one ingredient. If they can satisfy the munch monster’s sweet tooth, they can satisfy anyone!
- Yield: 100g
- Serving size: 10g
- Calories: 33
- Fat: 0
- Net Carbs: 5.5g
- Protein: 8.5g
- 500g fresh mulberries.
- remove the stalk from each mulberry (wear disposable food-grade gloves to handle them).
- place mulberries on oven trays or dehydrator trays, ensuring no overlap.
- set the oven or dehydrator (U.S. option HERE) temperature at 60º C (fan); if using a traditional oven, wedge a wooden spoon in the door to keep it ajar.
- check after 12 hours and then every few hours until the berries have shrivelled up and are dry.
Metric kitchen scales are an inexpensive yet invaluable gadget to ensure accurate measurement of ingredients. Store them upright in a cupboard or over your worktop and they'll only take up a tiny bit of space. Click HERE for the ones I use. For U.S. option click HERE.