Strawberry season is a small window of opportunity to have fresh, tasty fruit available for all sorts of wonderful dishes, jams, etc. Because there is such a small window of opportunity to have fresh, locally grown strawberries, we stock up and dehydrate or freeze them to use throughout the year.
How to Dehydrate Strawberries
1. Wash your strawberries thoroughly. You can use a DIY vegetable wash, like this one from Jennifer @ AreWeCrazyorWhat.net, that helps remove residues you don’t want in your foods.
2. Hull the strawberries. You might just use a paring knife to do this. I just cut a v-shape under the greens and pull them out. You might buy a strawberry huller made specifically to do this work, or you can try the Quick Tip below using a straw. I used the straw in this photo.
3. Slice your strawberries into 1/4″ slices. Keeping them thin and uniform will help them dehydrate at a consistent rate and take less time to dry.
4. Arrange on a dehydrator tray. This is a good time to get your kids involved :)
5. Place your trays in your dehydrator, set at 125-135F and dry until the strawberries are dry and pliable. This batch took only about 7.5 hours, but depending on your dehydrator’s power (wattage), and the moisture levels of your strawberries and the humidity of your area, they can take up to 15 hours. They may stick a little as you pull them off the tray, but that’s fine.
Store your strawberries in an airtight container. You can choose to put it in a canning jar with an oxygen absorber or vacuum can it, or use a mylar bag for long-term storage or vacuum seal them with a food sealer.
I’ll have a tutorial for you, next week, on how to vacuum seal your dehydrated products. Stay tuned!
Tools You Might Need:
One quick note – while I’m using an aluminum straw in the photo, a regular plastic straw will work well, too.
# 1 – Place straw at the bottom point to the strawberry
#2 – Gently push the straw up through the strawberry, being sure to aim for the middle of the crown as you push through so that you get all of the crown off.
Discard the crown and use the strawberry as you had planned! I did 3 qt. packages in about 5 min, much faster than I did using a paring knife…and I kept more of the fruit intact.