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Freeze-dried Sour Keys are a tart and crunchy twist on classic gummy candies. They retain their intense sour flavor while offering a mess-free snacking experience. Perfect for those who love bold, zesty treats!

How to make freeze-dried sour keys?


  • Sour key candies
  • Food dehydrator with a freeze-drying function
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mats


  1. Prepare the sour key candies:

    • Start by gathering your sour key candies. You can use store-bought sour key candies for this recipe. Choose your favorite flavors or mix and match for variety.
  2. Arrange the candies:

    • Lay out a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a tray or dehydrator shelf. Place the sour key candies on the parchment paper or mat, making sure they are evenly spaced and not touching each other.
  3. Freeze the candies:

    • To achieve freeze-drying, you'll first need to freeze the candies. Place the tray or shelf with the candies in your freezer and leave them there for several hours or until they are completely frozen. This step helps preserve the shape and texture of the candies during the freeze-drying process.
  4. Set up your food dehydrator:

    • Make sure your food dehydrator has a freeze-drying function. Not all dehydrators have this feature, so check your appliance's manual to confirm. Set the dehydrator to the lowest temperature setting, typically around 0°F (-18°C), which is the freeze-drying temperature.
  5. Place the frozen candies in the dehydrator:

    • Once the candies are frozen solid, transfer the tray or shelf from the freezer to the dehydrator. Arrange the frozen candies on the dehydrator trays, ensuring they are still not touching each other. It's important to maintain space between them for proper freeze-drying.
  6. Start the freeze-drying process:

    • Turn on the dehydrator and let it run at the freeze-drying temperature for several hours to several days, depending on the size and thickness of the candies. The freeze-drying process can take a while, so be patient. Monitor the candies periodically to check their progress.
  7. Check for doneness:

    • The freeze-dried sour keys are ready when they are completely dry, crispy, and have lost all moisture. They should break easily when you snap them. This can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours or even longer.
  8. Store your freeze-dried sour keys:

    • Once the candies are freeze-dried, remove them from the dehydrator and allow them to cool to room temperature. Store them in an airtight container to maintain their crispiness and prevent moisture from reabsorbing.

Benefits Freeze Dried Sour Keys

Freeze-dried sour keys have several benefits, including intense flavor, a crunchy texture, a longer shelf life, no artificial preservatives, portability, nutritional retention, versatility in cooking, reduced stickiness, compatibility with dietary restrictions, and minimal wastage. These advantages make them a popular and convenient snack option.


What are freeze-dried sour keys?

Freeze-dried sour keys are a type of candy that has been subjected to a freeze-drying process. Sour keys are a popular sour candy, and freeze-drying is a preservation method that removes moisture from the candy while preserving its flavor and texture.

How are freeze-dried sour keys made?

Freeze-dried sour keys are made by freezing the candy and then placing it in a vacuum chamber. In the vacuum chamber, the temperature is raised, causing the frozen moisture within the candy to sublimate (turn from a solid directly into a gas). This process removes the moisture content while maintaining the candy's shape, flavor, and sourness.

What is the advantage of freeze-drying sour keys?

Freeze-drying preserves the flavor and texture of sour keys while removing moisture, which helps extend their shelf life. It also makes the candy more lightweight and less prone to melting, which can be convenient for storage and transport.

Are freeze-dried sour keys healthier than regular sour keys?

Freeze-dried sour keys may be considered a slightly healthier option compared to their regular counterparts because they typically contain fewer calories due to the removal of moisture. However, they are still a sugary candy and should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Do freeze-dried sour keys taste different from regular sour keys?

Freeze-dried sour keys retain the same flavor as regular sour keys but have a unique texture. They are crunchy and airy, compared to the chewy and gummy texture of regular sour keys.

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