Strawberries are among the tastiest and healthiest fruits, with plenty of vitamins and antioxidants. However, have you ever tried making or eating dehydrated strawberries? Dried strawberries are a great snack to mix with your cereals, smoothies, porridge, etc.
Try something new with your crispy strawberry snacks! Read on to learn the step-by-step procedure on how to dehydrate strawberries.
Rinse the Strawberries
Strawberries have a higher risk of having pesticide residue since many are “conventionally grown.” The farming process, fumigation, also causes the strawberries to have high pesticide numbers. Avoid washing the strawberries with detergent, soap, or commercial produce washes.
Do not wash the strawberries in advance since the moisture will cause them to go bad faster. Only wash the strawberries when you plan to eat or dry them. To properly clean the strawberries, place them in a colander and run them under cold water.
Once you’ve rinsed every strawberry, pat them dry with a towel. Consider double cleansing with a salt wash or using vinegar. Let the strawberries sit in the mix for five minutes to remove pesticides, dirt, grime, or bacteria.
Remove the Leafy Tops and Stem
After drying them with a towel, it’s time to hull the strawberries. Instead of simply slicing the top, you can start by completely removing the stem. Use the tip of your small knife and angle the blade to cut the top in a circular motion.
You can simply pick up the cone-shaped piece with the leaf and stem. Alternatively, use a straw to push out the top by inserting it at the bottom point. Although it’s an easy method to hull the strawberry, it leaves the berry hollow.
Slice the Strawberries Into Strips
Before making dried strawberries, you need to cut the strawberry into smaller slices. Using a sharp blade, you can slice the strawberries either from top to bottom or crosswise. Each slice needs to have approximately the same thickness.
With a similar thickness for each slice, the strawberries will have a more even way of drying. You can aim for eight inches or quarter-inch portions when slicing the strawberries. It’s best to cut with a thin and sharp blade for easier cutting.
Let the Strawberries Dry
Now that you’ve washed and sliced them, it’s time to learn how to dehydrate strawberries. There are three ways to get dehydrated strawberries: using a food dehydrator, the sun, or oven. Learn how to dry them with these different options.
Using the Sun
Since strawberries contain sugar, they are the perfect fruit to dry under the sun. Strawberries have a low protein concentration, meaning they don’t attract much bacteria. If you want to dry strawberries outside, you need to have a temperature of at least 24 degrees Celsius or 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t try drying your strawberries outdoors if you live in a place with mid to high humidity. Unlike other fruits, strawberries don’t need an ascorbic solution to avoid discoloration.
When you place the strawberries outside, place a screen or cheesecloth to protect them from bugs and insects. It may take three to five days until the strawberries lose their moisture. Don’t forget to flip the strawberries on the second or third day.
Using the Oven
When using an oven, you need to use a baking sheet for the strawberries. Without the baking sheet, the water from the strawberries may cause a mess. You have to preheat the over 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit or max 100 degrees Celsius.
Preheating the oven will reduce the risk of losing too much sugar, resulting in burning. The strawberries will dry up in three to four hours. For the first couple of hours, remove the baking sheet from the oven to remove the moisture from the strawberries.
When you dry out the baking sheet, flip the strawberries to the other side. Test your dried strawberries by splitting them in half. If it looks gummy and firm with no signs of juices, then you’ve succeeded. If not, place the strawberries back in the oven for another thirty minutes.
Using the Food Dehydrator
Start by arranging the strawberry slices on the dehydrator trays with at least a half-inch space between each. It ensures that each slice has enough room for air and avoids sticking to each other. Set the dehydrator at 57 degrees Celsius or 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
The food dehydrator will fully dry the strawberries in eight to ten hours. If you want to have crispier dried strawberries, let them stay for two to four more hours. For the first hours, be sure to flip each strawberry to the other side.
This is arguably the best way to dehydrate your strawberries. It’s fast, keeps the strawberries clean, and ensures complete dehydration.
Cool the Strawberries
If you use the food dehydrator or oven, you need to let the strawberries cool down. Turn the dehydrator or oven off and open it to let the warm air out. Let the strawberries cool down for 30 minutes to one hour.
Bring out the strawberries and let them sit out for another 30 minutes. If they feel cool to the touch, break them in half and check for moisture. Store the dehydrated strawberries in an airtight container where it’s dark and cool.
Condition them In Jars
Although you now have dehydrated strawberries, there are times when moisture leaks out. If there’s moisture, there’s a higher chance of your strawberries getting molds and bacteria. Conditioning will help you eliminate the moisture and achieve a tastier, better product.
Put the strawberry slices in a glass jar and fill it up about two-thirds full. Cover the jars and shake them a couple of times every day for one week. It will help redistribute the fruit pieces and bring out the moisture that they may have.
Learn How to Dehydrate Strawberries Today
Dehydrated strawberries can last for a few years, making them the perfect snack to bring for adventures. These dried snacks are your healthy alternative to candy, providing a lot of Vitamin C. Learn how to dehydrate strawberries and stock up your pantry today!
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