With strawberries being in season at the moment, they have been very-well priced at the grocery stores. Those that grow their own strawberries, may also have a few excess ones that need to be used before they rot. Learn how to dehydrate strawberries with these great tips.
Strawberries that have been dehydrated are a lovely, and convenient snack that can be snacked on as they are or added to salads or muffins. But before you dehydrate, you must clean them thoroughly. Let them dry thoroughly after this to reduce the time needed for dehydrating. You could dehydrate small strawberries whole, but remember, the bigger the pieces, the longer they will take to dehydrate.
After the strawberries have been washed and dried, then remove the green hull with a sharp knife. Slice the strawberries about ¼ inch (½ cm) thick. Place the strawberries onto the racks of your dehydrator so that they don’t touch. Turn the dehydrator on (60˚C or 140˚F) and let them go until they are leathery, chewy or crispy, depending on how you want them. It can take anywhere from 12-24 hours depending on how large the strawberry slices are. I rotate the trays every 4 or so hours. You could sprinkle the strawberries with a little sugar after placing them on the racks to make them a little sweeter.
Once dried, pasteurise the strawberries in a plastic bag and freeze them for 48 hours to help kill any insects and eggs. Then, store in a glass jar with a little space at the top in a cool, dark place. Shake every couple of days for the first week to prevent mould developing.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use the oven following similar steps. Place the clean, dry and cut strawberries on a tray lined with baking paper. Place in a preheated oven at the lowest temperature it will go and prop the door open to allow the air to flow. Turn the strawberries over after around 7 hours in the oven. This will take at least 12 hours to dry, depending on the size of your strawberries. Follow the same steps above when dried.
Properly dried strawberries should last at least a year, though they will probably be eaten long before that.
Conditioning Dried Strawberries
Once these strawberries have been full dehydrated, they will need to be conditioned to be kept without going off. Fill a jar about two-thirds full and seal the lid. Over the next week or so, shake the jar a couple of times a day. If you start to see mould, they will need to be thrown out. If you see moisture, they are not dried enough, and need to be placed back into the dehydrator.
Once they have been conditioned, the jars can be fulled completely and stored in a cool, dark place. If they do start to have a strong smell or you can see moisture in the jars, it is time to dehydrate another batch of strawberries.
How to Dehydrate Strawberries
- fresh strawberries
- Wash and dry strawberries thoroughly.
- Remove the hull with a small, sharp knife.
- Slice into pieces about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) in thickness.
- Place on dehydrator racks.
- Turn on the dehydrator to 60˚C or 140˚F.
- When the strawberries are no longer moist they are done. They should be leathery, chewy or crispy. This could take anywhere from 12-24 hours depending on the size and thickness of your strawberries.
- Place dried strawberries in a ziplock bag and in the freezer for 48 hours.
- Remove from freezer and store in glass jars, leaving a little room at the top.
- Shake daily for the first week and store in a cool, dark place.
- Oven method: Instead of placing on dehydrator racks, place on lined baking trays. Turn oven to the lowest temperature and prop the door open. Turn the strawberries over after about 7 hours. When dried, follow the rest of the steps above.
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