Strawberries are a sweet healthy treat that even the pickiest eater can enjoy. Certain times of the year, these scrumptious little morsels go on sale. It is easy to stock up on these bright colored berries by freezing or dehydrating. Today I am going to walk you through the process of how to make dehydrated strawberries.
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Strawberries Health Benefits
Strawberries are a low sugar fruit full of vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese. They are great for controlling blood sugar and heart health. These high fiber berries can be added to many recipes. Unfortunately, they do not have a long shelf life when fresh. Below, I will show you how to make dehydrated strawberries – a yummy healthy treat.
What to Look for in a Dehydrator?
In order to make dehydrated strawberries, you will need a dehydrator. There are many different brands, sizes, and models that make dehydrating a breeze. When you start to research dehydrators, you will find round, square and rectangle-shaped dehydrators, as well as many outdoor solar options.
What makes a good dehydrator?
But what makes a good dehydrator? I have been dehydrating food for over 10 years. You want to make sure you know what you want to use the dehydrator before and different options available before you make your final decision. Some dehydrators have temperature ranges up to 165 degrees. These are beneficial if you ever want to make beef jerky or other dehydrated meats.
Manual or Timed?
Some dehydrators operate manually. I currently own two different machines. One has a timer that you can set to time your food and dries. The other is a manual dehydrator. You turn it on, set the temperature and track the time yourself. Some of the cheaper round dehydrators are good for a beginner, however, you cannot set the temperature on them and have to check them often. I don’t recommend these for doing jerky,
Stainless Steel or Plastic?
Another option to consider is whether you mind having a dehydrator with plastic trays and interior or if you prefer stainless steel. I have one of each. Both do a fantastic job of dehydrating. I do have a bit of a “heating of plastics” phobia, so I only use the stainless one when doing jerky because of the higher heat needed.
Door or no door?
My first dehydrator did not have a door. The front of the trays was made to slide in and fit together so no door was needed. This worked well for dehydrating food. However, I also love to use the machines for making yogurt and rising bread. I had to hang a dishtowel on the front of the doorless one when trays were removed to fit mason jars and bowls. The models with doors make it easier to use the dehydrators for unconventional recipes.
I purchased a Cosori stainless steel dehydrator after my original Cabela’s, doorless machine died (after about 10 years of use). I just LOVE this little dehydrator. It is the perfect size to fit on the kitchen counter. The fact that it is stainless is a bonus. Most stainless models cost 4x as much as this little workhorse.
My second backup dehydrator is a Cabela’s 10 Tray unit. I purchased this one with a store credit I had as a backup since my other unit died. This is a plastic dehydrator. I do like the trays on this one since they have a deep lip to prevent food from spilling off the edges.
How to Make Dehydrated Strawberries
Now that you have found the perfect dehydrator for your kitchen, we can get started on drying some strawberries.
Step 1: Wash your Berries
Wash and de-stem your berries. It is also recommended to dry them off with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Step 2: Slice your Strawberries
Slice your strawberries in a uniform thickness to make drying more consistent. I found the best way to do this is by using an egg slicer like the one below. You will get perfectly sliced berries every time.
Step 3: Place Slices on trays
Evenly distribute the slices on your dehydrator trays. Make sure to leave room between the berries to allow for even airflow.
Step 4: Set the Temperature & Time
If you can set your time and temperature on the dehydrator, set to 130 degrees for 8-16 hours.
Step 5: When are they done?
Your strawberries are ready when they feel dry, leathery and slightly flexible.
How to Store your Dehydrated Strawberries?
It is best to store your dehydrated goodies in a glass mason jar. If you have a food saver with a jar attachment, you can suck out all the air from the jar for long term storage. I purchased both the largemouth and smallmouth attachments since I keep both sizes of jars on hand at all times. I have an older model, but this one will do the same thing: FoodSaver FM2435 Vacuum Sealer Machine with Bonus Handheld Sealer and Starter Kit | Safety Certified | Silver
The Jar Attachments. They are sold separately from the machine. At this time, I cannot find them on Amazon. I will keep checking and post a link and/or image.
What to Make with Dehydrated Strawberries?
There are LOTS of options for using your dehydrated strawberries. Add them to smoothies, hot oatmeal, powder them and add to milkshakes. Most of the time these yummy berries do not make it long enough in our pantry for other uses. The kids eat them up!Skimlinks Test