Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How To Dehydrate Strawberries


How To Dehydrate Strawberries recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
 Strawberries are my favorite berry. I adore them. I could eat strawberries for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert any day of the week. I dehydrated 8 lbs of them a few weeks ago and my kids are now eating them like chips. I am not a huge fan of them dry, but I am seeing lots of potential for winter salads and desserts, provided they rehydrate well.

I have yet to play with rehydrating them, since we've had an abundance of fresh ones available recently. As far as I'm concerned, fresh is always going to be best with any produce item. So, I've been making the most of the strawberry season while it is here.

As far as the dehydrating goes, wash the berries and remove the tops. Don't throw them away! Freeze the tops and toss them into your smoothies, I swear that you won't taste anything but strawberries.
How To Dehydrate Strawberries recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
I used an egg slicer to make even slices. The slicer made quick work of cutting up all the berries.  Here are the finished berries waiting for the dehydrater.
How To Dehydrate Strawberries recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Spread them out across the trays in a single layer. Spray them with lemon juice before dehydrating or they will turn a dark brown color once they are dry. However, if you'd care to learn from my experience, do not get crazy with the sprayer. They don't require much lemon juice and too much lemon will make them more tart than usual.
How To Dehydrate Strawberries recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Once they are dry, store them in jars. This jar contains 4 pounds of strawberries. It still boggles my mind how much everything shrinks. 
How To Dehydrate Strawberries recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
I am looking forward to trying these in smoothies and salads very soon!

15 comments:

  1. you think I could do this without a dehydrator? In the oven on low heat?

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  2. I've never done it myself, but I found this information online: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/uga_dry_fruit.pdf If you happen to have an oven that will heat as low as 140, it would be simple. Otherwise, it looks like you'd turn the oven as low as possible, leave the door open, keep a thermometer in the oven and then use a fan to circulate the air and maintain the temp you want. Honestly, sounds way more complicated than I'd be willing to do. Especially since you'd need to do that for anywhere from 8-24 hours. Yikes!

    I'm now even more grateful that I can turn on the dehydrator and then walk away for a day or so while it does the job for me!

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  3. What a great idea - such a healthy snack for evryone -
    Mary

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  4. Woww.. that is a cool idea.. I gottu try this too :D

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  5. "Freeze the tops and toss them into your smoothies, I swear that you won't taste anything but strawberries." Fa realz? I always cut and toss my tops when making smoothies. I'm gonna give this a go, since I hate to waste!

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  6. I promise that I don't taste anything weird in our smoothies. I typically toss in a handful of frozen berries and a handful of the frozen tops if I have them available.

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  7. Great ideas - Thank you for sharing! =)

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  8. I don't have a dehydrator and I can't afford one so using the oven is the only way I can do this but it sounds interesting.. How hard do the strawberries get when dried.. most stuff dried is way to hard for me to bite or chew.

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    Replies
    1. These turned out crisp enough to click on the countertop when dropped, but still a bit flexible. That said, I don't enjoy eating them by themselves. I prefer them re-hydrated and added to smoothies or salads.

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  9. Can something other then lemon be used? I am allergic to citrus although lemons are not as bad as oranges, so I might be ok it I use very little.

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    Replies
    1. The lemon is only used to prevent discoloration. An apple cider vinegar might work the same way. I have done a batch with no lemon (simply because I forgot to spray them) and they were simply a bit darker with more brown to the color than red. Good luck!

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  10. Kids love dried strawberries. They are expensive. The dehydrator is very expensive too. The Excaliburs start 250.00
    If using oven, what temp and how long to leave in? I'm thinking lowest setting and keep checking for doneness

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    Replies
    1. I've never done it myself, but I found this information online: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/uga_dry_fruit.pdf If you happen to have an oven that will heat as low as 140, it would be simple.

      Otherwise, it looks like you'd turn the oven as low as possible, leave the door open, keep a thermometer in the oven and then use a fan to circulate the air and maintain the temp you want.

      Good luck!

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  11. I have done this with a oven. 175 for 5 hours or so. I havent tried the lemon juice yet! I was wondering where the redness went with mine!

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  12. These are probably not going to rehydrate well but they will still be awesome in salads and smoothies as is. Usually freeze dried anything rehydrates better than dehydrated and the freeze dried strawberries that I have rehydrated aren't all that great. So far I have had the best luck by freezing my strawberries whole on a baking sheet, then vacuum sealing them in bags for the freezer. They retain their color, shape and taste beautifully.

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