Dehydrated strawberries are one of the popular snacks you can combine with your cereal, as part of a trail mix blend of dried nuts and fruits, or put into smoothies. The great thing about these berries is the fact that they keep color and flavor without an acidic solution pre-treatment, unlike pears, apples, and many other fruits. And also a dehydrated strawberries recipe is pretty simple and easy to follow.
However, keep in mind that dried strawberries will only be truly delicious if you use good quality fresh fruit. This means a delightful aroma and strong burst of flavor when you bite into them. Even though you can find supermarket strawberries all year-round, the best ones are those grown locally, usually from spring to mid-summer.
Once you have a container of fresh and delicious strawberries, it’s time to make a perfectly dehydrated fruit.
Recommended reading: Our list of best Nesco food dehydrators
Clean the strawberries
It’s crucial to clean these berries properly because you don’t want to dry them along with any dirt on the surface. You could put strawberries into a colander and rinse them under the cold water.
Let them rest for a couple of minutes, and then leave them to dry thoroughly. Be aware that additional moisture will lengthen the dehydration process. Once they are completely dry, start removing the leafy top. There are a couple of methods you can employ to simply core the strawberries.
Instead of slicing off the top, use a tip of a knife to cut around in a circle until the core is released. On the other hand, you have probably seen many online tutorials with a straw. This is a suitable method if you have a lot of strawberries to clean. Basically, you are inserting a straw from the bottom of the berry and pushing it up until the top. However, this will leave your strawberries hollow, which isn’t good for all the recipes.
Step by step guide – dehydrated strawberries recipe
Slice the Srawberries
When dehydrating strawberries, you need to cut them into even slices. Use a sharp knife and slice berries either from top to bottom or crosswise. Be aware that direction and method aren’t that important as thickness.
If the slices aren’t evenly thick, they won’t dry in the same way. Make sure that they are between 1/8 and ¼ inch in thickness.
Dry the strawberries
Now it’s the time to finally dehydrate your strawberries. Arrange the slices onto a dehydrator tray, so there is at least half of an inch of space between them. Set the temperature to 135F or 57C. It will take approximately 10 hours to dry them and 14 hours to make them crisp. When done, the slices should feel completely dry to touch. If you don’t own a dehydrator yet and can’t decide which one to get check out our 10 best food dehydrators on the market buyer’s guide.
Cool the berries
Unfortunately, you won’t know for sure whether the slices are fully dehydrated until they have cooled down. In this case, turn off the dehydrator, open it, and let the strawberries cool for about 30 minutes.
After half an hour, try to break down one slice in half. It should just snap, without visible moisture on top. Store your dehydrated strawberries in an airtight container, in a dark and cool spot.
Condition your dry fruit
Even if you have dehydrated your strawberries properly, there may still be some moisture left in the fruit you can’t feel. Therefore, your fruits can still develop mold. On the other hand, you will have tastier berries if you condition them.
Place the dehydrated, cooled strawberries into a glass jar or a container, filling only 2/3 of a jar. Shake the jar a couple of times a day for one week. This will redistribute the fruit slices and any moisture they may still contain.
If you notice any signs of condensation on the sides of a jar, your berries aren’t dry enough, and you need to place them back into a dehydrator for a couple of hours.
How to use dehydrated strawberries?
- Eat them as a healthy snack.
- You can top your bowl of cereals, yogurt, or oatmeal with a dehydrated snack.
- Add dry berries to your smoothies.
- Grind some slices into a powder and use it to turn vanilla cupcakes into strawberry cupcakes by simply adding strawberry powder into the batter.
- You can use strawberry powder to flavor your buttercream frosting or mix it with your protein drinks.
Drying strawberries in the oven
Not everyone has a dehydrator ready to use. Therefore, you can use the oven for this purpose, but it requires a bit more effort and engagement.
You will need one or two large baking sheets, depending on the size of your oven. Line them with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. The instructions are pretty much the same as with a dehydrator; you are only using a different tool.
Arrange evenly sliced berries onto a baking sheet, turn your oven at the lowest temperature, and allow strawberries to dry completely.
Store them in airtight containers in a cool and dark place.