Ultimate Guide on How to Make Freeze Dried Strawberries at Home

Turn your ripe strawberries into a year-long supply of nutritious snacks with our easy guide on how to make freeze dried strawberries. In this no-nonsense article, you’ll learn the essentials: choosing the best berries, harnessing your freeze dryer, and securing your batch for longevity. Ready to get started? Let’s lock in that just-picked taste and crunch.

Key Takeaways

  • Freeze drying strawberries preserves their nutrients, taste, and gives them a unique crunch, offering a healthy alternative to candy.

  • For best results, choose ripe, firm strawberries, wash, dry and slice them uniformly, then use a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer to process.

  • Proper storage of freeze dried strawberries is crucial; use glass jars or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers for prolonged freshness.

The Benefits of Freeze Drying Strawberries

A pile of vibrant freeze-dried strawberries

Freezing strawberries in a freeze dryer is like capturing a moment in time. The freeze drying process allows us to harness the ripe freshness of strawberries and preserve it for months, even years. Imagine opening a pouch of store freeze dried strawberries in the middle of winter and finding the taste of summer inside!

The benefits of freeze drying strawberries don’t stop at extended shelf life. This process also preserves key nutrients, antioxidants, and bioactive compounds, maintaining their health benefits, including vitamin C content. So, not only do you get to enjoy the taste of fresh strawberries out of season, but you also get a health boost!

And let’s not forget about the sensory experience. Freeze dried strawberries retain their vibrant color and natural sweetness, making them a healthy alternative to candy. Plus, they offer a unique crunch that you just won’t get with fresh or frozen strawberries.

Choosing the Perfect Strawberries for Freeze Drying

Fresh ripe strawberries for freeze drying

The selection of strawberries for freeze drying is of utmost importance. Ripe, fresh strawberries offer the best flavor and texture after being freeze dried. The process preserves the flavor of strawberries picked at peak ripeness, so you can enjoy that perfect taste all year round.

Select strawberries that are firm, plump, and free from blemishes or bruises to ensure high-quality results. While fresh strawberries are preferred, you can also freeze dry frozen strawberries with success. So, don’t let a good bargain on frozen strawberries pass you by!

Preparing Your Strawberries for Freeze Drying

Uniformly sliced strawberries on a freeze dryer tray

After selection, your strawberries must be readied for the freeze drying process. Wash your strawberries thoroughly to remove any dirt or residues, then dry them well to eliminate excess moisture.

Next, remove the stems and slice the strawberries uniformly. Aim for slices about 1/4 inch thick for optimal freeze drying. This ensures that the frozen strawberry slices dry evenly, preserving their delicious flavor.

Finally, here are the steps to freeze dry strawberries:

  1. Slice the strawberries into uniform pieces.

  2. Arrange the sliced strawberries in uniform layers on the freeze dryer trays.

  3. Line the trays with parchment paper to prevent sticking and make cleanup easier.

  4. Now you’re ready to freeze dry!

Using a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer at Home

Operating a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer at home is quite simple. Here are the steps:

  1. Arrange your sliced strawberries on trays.

  2. Place the trays into the freeze dryer.

  3. The machine first freezes the strawberries to temperatures between -30°F and -50°F.

  4. The machine then creates a vacuum to gradually warm the food.

  5. This causes the ice to sublimate and the water to be removed as vapor.

To ensure complete dryness, inspect the thickest pieces of strawberries by breaking them open. If any moisture is detected, extend the drying time by an additional 2-4 hours, and continue checking until the strawberries are dry and brittle to the touch.

The typical freeze-drying time for strawberries in a Harvest Right freeze dryer is around 20 hours, although this can be longer if the strawberries were not pre-frozen. But patience is key here – the end result is well worth the wait!

Storing Your Homemade Freeze Dried Strawberries

Airtight container with freeze-dried strawberries and oxygen absorbers

Proper storage of your homemade freeze dried strawberries guarantees prolonged freshness and taste. After freeze drying, store the strawberries in a glass jar with a tight lid, labeled with the date for future reference. This way, you’ll always know when you freeze dried your batch.

For long-term storage, use a Mylar bag with an oxygen absorber. Make sure to place the absorber in the Mylar bag before sealing it to ensure a tight seal. This step is crucial in maintaining the shelf life of your freeze dried strawberries.

Unused oxygen absorbers should be immediately resealed using a vacuum sealer or placed in a tightly sealed jar to preserve their efficacy. By following these storage tips, you can enjoy your homemade freeze dried strawberries for months, even years!

Rehydrating and Using Freeze Dried Strawberries

Rehydrating your freeze dried strawberries is an easy task. Simply add hot water until the desired consistency is achieved, typically using a 1:2 ratio of fruit to water. Warm or hot water rehydrates strawberries faster, but cold water can also be used if you have more time.

After rehydration, the strawberries regain a texture similar to fresh strawberries, so you can enjoy them as if they were freshly picked. Alternatively, for recipes that involve cooking, you can use the freeze dried strawberries directly without rehydration. They will absorb moisture during the cooking process. Making dried strawberries at home is also an option, but freeze dried strawberries offer a convenient alternative.

There are countless ways to use rehydrated strawberries. From replacing fresh or traditionally dried strawberries in recipes like granola bars, rock cakes, oatmeal, and fruitcake cookies, to creating strawberry powder by pulsing them in a blender or food processor. The possibilities are endless!

Alternative Methods for Freeze Drying Strawberries Without a Machine

Although a freeze dryer is the best device for freeze drying strawberries, other methods exist if one is not readily accessible. One effective method is through the application of dry ice. This method mimics the freeze drying process, preserving the strawberries at freezing temperatures.

Another method involves using a standard freezer. This involves placing clean, sliced strawberries on a baking tray and storing them in the freezer for about two weeks. A more complex method involves using a vacuum chamber, although this requires more expertise and care.

However, it’s important to note that these alternative methods generally won’t yield the same long-lasting quality as strawberries freeze dried using a machine like the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. But if you’re in a pinch, they can be a good alternative.

Comparing Freeze Dried Strawberries to Other Preservation Methods

Freeze dried strawberries, a popular type of freeze dried fruit, are superior when pitted against other preservation methods. Unlike dehydrated strawberries, which are chewy and often lose much of their flavor due to the heat involved in their drying process, freeze dried strawberries have a much crispier and crunchier texture and retain most of the original flavor.

Frozen strawberries generally preserve nutrients well, but they can suffer nutrient loss when thawed due to ice crystal formation damaging cells. On the other hand, dehydrated strawberries see a dramatic increase in sugar concentration, as much as six times higher, due to water removal.

Moreover, freeze dried strawberries can last for years when properly packaged at room temperature, maintaining their original flavor and crispiness, whereas the shorter shelf-life of dehydrated strawberries is due to moisture that can lead to spoilage through mold and bacteria.

Creative Recipes and Ideas for Enjoying Freeze Dried Strawberries

Freeze dried strawberries offer a flexible enhancement to numerous recipes. Here are some ideas for how to use them:

  • Bite into a Strawberry Lemonade Scone for breakfast, made extra special with the tart and sweet flavors of your homemade freeze dried strawberries.

  • Mix them into your overnight oats or top your chia seed pudding with these crunchy delights for a refreshing breakfast choice.

  • Incorporate them into desserts and sweet snacks, such as Low Carb Strawberry Mousse, Raw Strawberry Twizzlers, Very Berry Cheerios™ Bars, and Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars.

The possibilities are endless!

For a quick and healthy snack, you can add freeze dried strawberries to your trail mix. They complement well with nuts, seeds, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. And for a refreshing twist to your drinks, add some freeze dried strawberries to your lemonade, sugar, orange juice, or water to uplift the taste with a fresh berry flavor.

Tips for Maintaining Your Home Freeze Dryer

Regular maintenance of your Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is paramount for its long-term functioning and efficiency. After every use, clean your freeze dryer to prevent clogs, leaks, or damage. Be sure to dry it thoroughly after cleaning to avoid rust on trays or damage to rubber and acrylic components.

Inspect the gaskets and O-rings of the freeze dryer between uses for proper placement and to immediately address any issues such as loose items or dirt. Furthermore, filter and maintain the vacuum pump’s oil regularly, especially after each use or every 2 to 3 months for moderate use, and more frequently with daily use. By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure the long-term functioning of your Harvest Right freeze dryer.


Freeze drying strawberries at home is an exciting endeavor that offers numerous benefits. From extending the shelf life of strawberries, preserving their nutrients, and maintaining their taste and color, to the versatility of uses in various recipes, freeze drying strawberries is a skill worth learning. So, why wait? Start your freeze drying journey today and enjoy the taste of summer all year round!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze-dry fruit at home?

Yes, you can freeze-dry fruit at home using a freeze-dryer, freezer, dry ice, or a vacuum chamber. It’s a great way to preserve the flavor and nutritional value of the fruit.

Can I freeze-dry with a dehydrator?

Yes, you can freeze-dry with a dehydrator, but it’s important to note that freeze-drying machines can be quite expensive compared to dehydrators, which cost significantly less.

How to make freeze-dried strawberries in an air fryer?

You can make freeze-dried strawberries in an air fryer by slicing them into 1/8th inch thickness, arranging them in the air fryer basket, selecting the DEHYDRATE setting at 58°C for 3 hours, and storing the dehydrated strawberries in an airtight container. Enjoy your homemade freeze-dried strawberries!

Are freeze-dried strawberries the same as dried strawberries?

No, freeze-dried strawberries are not the same as dried strawberries. Freeze drying involves much lower temperatures, while drying requires hotter conditions to remove water from the fruit, resulting in different textures.

How long does the freeze drying process take in a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer?

The freeze-drying process for strawberries in a Harvest Right freeze dryer usually takes around 20 hours.

author avatar
Hey there, since 2016, my mission has been to provide you with the information and guides you need to make food dehydrating simple and fun. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pro, my site offers helpful guides, reviews, and recipes to enhance your dehydrating experience. I take pride in only recommending products I believe in, ensuring my readers' trust. As an affiliate of various programs, including Amazon Associates, your support helps me continue providing quality content. Thanks for stopping by, and happy dehydrating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *