The process — whereby ice is removed from substances via a vacuum — turns the already stunning confections into a new type of delight, complete with a rich, crisp texture and an even sweeter flavour. A popular method to preserve perishable foods, freeze-drying removes a significant amount of water, resulting in a light and crunchy marshmallow treatment that could be eaten as is or used in different food applications. Unlike the traditional drying process, which could alter the food’s shape, freeze-drying can enhance the flavour while maintaining the original form of the marshmallows. With these helpful tips, you can freeze-dry marshmallows right at home, and learn about its usage and benefits.

Why Freeze-Dry Marshmallows?

Freeze-dried marshmallows offer several advantages over their fresh counterparts:

Extended Shelf Life:

Removing moisture ensures they last much longer without preservatives.

Unique Texture:

They become wonderfully crisp, providing a satisfying crunch in every bite.

Intense flavour:

The freeze-drying concentrates the sweetness and flavour of the marshmallows.

Versatility:

They’re tastiest made into hot cocoa, but we found other uses as well: they’re nice in baking, and make great ingredients for trail mixes, or a lightweight snack for camping and hiking.

Equipment Needed

To freeze-dry her favourite marshmallows at home, Tova Schwartz had to be able to access a freeze dryer. Fortunately for some who really want to try their hand at freeze-drying food, home freeze dryers are becoming more available, though they are still an investment. These designed-for-purpose devices freeze the food to an extremely cold temperature and then use a vacuum to remove the ice as vapour, bypassing the liquid stage entirely.

Preparing Marshmallows for Freeze-Drying

Selection and Sizing: Pick your favourite marshmallow pieces from the tray, and you can do large or small ones depending on what size marshmallow you use. Note that, obviously, large marshmallows will take longer than small marshmallows to freeze-dry.

The Freeze-Drying Process

Arrange the Marshmallows:

Make sure the marshmallows aren’t touching so they’ll dry a little more evenly. This will also help you dry more at once.

Freeze-Drying Cycle:

Talk to your freeze dryer for 24-36 hours Freeze dryers can be a bit tricky to work with, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For example, the freeze-drying process consists in one main cycle, which comprises three stages: a first freezing phase, in which your machine simply lowers the temperature; a primary drying phase, in which the pressure is lowered; and finally a secondary drying phase, where the machine aims to reduce to a minimum the remaining amount of moisture. Depending on how large your marshmallows are (the bigger they are, the longer the process), their chill-factor and the efficiency of your freeze dryer, one cycle will last approximately 24-36 hours.

Test for Dryness:

Dry marshmallows should be completely dry and light, and should snap when bent. Soft or moist marshmallows might have to run for another few hours.

Storing Freeze-Dried Marshmallows

Airtight Containers: Put the freeze-dried marshmallows in airtight containers or vacuum sealed bags so that they are not exposed to moisture or air.

Cool Dry Storage: Store jars in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight where they will retain their maximum quality and long term durability.

Enjoying Freeze-Dried Marshmallows

Freeze-dried marshmallows are versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways:

On the Go:

Savour them anytime as a crispy, sweet snack.

In Beverages:

Add them to hot chocolate or coffee for a melt-in-your-mouth experience.

These can be used as a cake, cupcake or ice cream topping or added to homemade trail mixes or cereal bars. Use as a topping for cakes, cupcakes or ice cream or add to homemade trail mixes or cereal bars.

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