Dehydrated Strawberries: The Ultimate Guilt-free Pleasure
Dehydrated strawberries make a fantastic treat that can be enjoyed on the go, with no mess - and no refrigeration is required.
Strawberries are truly one of nature’s superfoods. Not only are they absolutely delicious – packed with natural sugars and sweetness, but they also have a lot of amazing health benefits you might not have known about.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C, as well as free-radical eliminating antioxidants and phytonutrients. They are also a great source of potassium, folic acid, vitamins B5 and B6, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Drying Out: How to Make Dehydrated Strawberries
The best way to enjoy the delicious benefits of strawberries all year round is to dehydrate them. It is so easy to do and there is very little preparation – and no cooking skills – required.
- Choose the best strawberries you can find. Look for bright red, firm fruit. Try to avoid greenish (not yet ripe) or squishy (overly ripened) berries.
- Spray berries with white vinegar and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
- Cut off tops, along with any bruised areas.
- Slice berries, trying to keep slice size fairly uniform.
- Lay slices out evenly on a rack or tray, do not stack.
- At this point, you can do one of three things:
- Lay your tray of berries out in the sun. Try a sunny window or a shelf on the porch (just be wary of animals or children who might snag your strawberries) and let them sit in the direct sun throughout the day until they have fully dried out. Note that it needs to be a low-humidity day with temperatures at least in the nineties.
- Turn your oven on very low (between 120 and 150 degrees), place strawberry slices on a cookie sheet in the oven and check them regularly.
- Put strawberry slices in a food dehydrator. This is the way to go for larger batches; you don’t have to depend on certain weather conditions and it uses much less energy than your oven. Arrange berries on drying trays and follow instructions for the model you are using.
- Check often. Your berries should be fully dried but still somewhat flexible. If they get too dried out, you can always grind them into powder using a coffee grinder or mortar & pestle.
- Store the strawberries in vacuum-sealed bags or in jars. If you have sealed them in an airtight container, they can last for up to a full year.
Strawberries don’t do so great with re-hydrating, so once you’ve dried them out keep them that way. There are so many great uses for dehydrated strawberries.
Sweet Tooth: Snack Ideas For Dehydrated Strawberries
- Sprinkle dried or powdered strawberries on your ice cream, yogurt, or cereal for a sweet treat!
- Stir strawberry powder into milk or vanilla pudding as a fun flavoring.
- Stir into pancake or muffin batter for a fruity addition to breakfast.
- Substitute dehydrated strawberries for chips and other unhealthy snacks in kids’ lunches.
- Keep some slices in your desk or car for a quick go-to snack. Sweet strawberries will cure your candy cravings and help prevent you from reaching for less healthy treats.
Dehydrating your strawberries is a much more efficient and easy way of preserving berries than freezing or canning. You will also find that dehydrated strawberries are even sweeter than fresh. This is because removing all the water concentrates the sugars in the fruit. Note that the berries will lose some of their vitamin content, so you will need to eat a few more to gain the same nutritional benefits as you would from whole fresh berries.