How to Dry Strawberries ~ once you’ve gobbled up your fill of fresh strawberries this season, consider drying them. Sure, you could also freeze them, or make them into jam, but drying strawberries is super easy and the results are delicious and versatile. Dehydrating intensifies the flavor of the berries like nothing else!
Dehydrating is probably the oldest method for preserving foods, and the process is so simple ~ just remove all the water and food won’t spoil. It works great, especially for water heavy fruit like strawberries. Dehydrating through evaporation leaves strawberries smaller, firmer, and with a concentrated flavor. Depending on how long you let them dry they can be anywhere from chewy to downright crunchy. (I like them when they’re chewy) They’re perfect in cereal, granola, or trail mix, they fit right into a cheeseboard, or just as a healthy snack on their own.
Dehydrating is low tech, and easy to do, but it can be time consuming if you don’t have the right equipment. I have a medium priced dehydrator from Amazon that works great. You can spend more or less depending on your needs, but the good news is that it’s by nature a low tech appliance so you shouldn’t encounter problems with whatever you get, as long as you read the reviews :) I’ve used it for apples and berries so far and the results have been great.
Drying strawberries in a dehydrator is as easy as slicing them and placing them on the dehydrator trays. I sliced mine about 1/8 inch thick and they took about 6-7 hours at 135 F (this was my manufacturer’s instructions for fruits/veggies) in the dehydrator to get fully dried. If you set it up in the morning, you’ll have your dried fruit by the end the day.
The texture of these dried strawberries is not quite chewy, not quite crunchy, though you could let them dry even longer if you wanted them to be crispy. They are perfect in cereal, granola, trail mix, would be great with cheese, or just as a snack on their own. As one of the commenters mentions below, dehydrated fruit is a great healthy snack idea for kids.
- No dehydrator? You can dry fruit in the oven but it’s messier and doesn’t work as well because there isn’t the same air circulation that you get in a dehydrator.
- How long your dried strawberries will keep depends on how dry you get them, and how you store them. If you really want to ensure that they will last a long time, this article has lots of suggestions about the best preparation and storage methods for dehydrated fruits. Mine went straight into my breakfast bowls this week!
How to Dry Strawberries
- 1 pound strawberries ~ depending on the size of your dehydrator you may have to work in batches
- Wash and dry your berries. Hull them, or slice off the green tops.
- Slice the berries about 1/8 inch thick. Try to get the slices as even as you can so that they dry evenly.
- Arrange the sliced strawberries on dehydrator trays, making sure they are not touching. This helps airflow and allows them to dry properly.
- Set dehydrator to 135 F (this is standard for fruits and vegetables, but be sure to follow your manufacturer's instructions for fruit/veggies) and allow to dry for 6-10 hours (the source I used suggested 8-10 hours, but mine seemed done by about 6, so I suggest checking them after about 5 or 6 hours and seeing how long they need). They should feel very dry, but not quite brittle, and there should be no noticeable moisture when you break them apart.
Make it your own ~
- Dry other fruits like apples, pears, bananas, and small plums.