Strawberries have various applications in foods, giving that distinct strawberry flavor. It can be turned into jams, jellies or even as a mixing ingredient in some pastries and other desserts. You can also make juice from squeezing a large quantity of this delicious bright red fruit. In any case, have you ever imagined dehydrating strawberries just like any other food?
In this post, we will talk about the benefits of eating strawberries. We will also give instructions on how to dehydrate strawberries in many ways.
Benefits of Eating Strawberries
Strawberries are juicy and sweet fruit which offer several health benefits. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Manganese. They also contain an adequate amount of Folate (Vitamin B9) and Potassium. They are extremely rich in antioxidants and other plant compounds (such as Pelargonidin, Ellagic acid, Ellagitannins and Procyanidins) as well.
Here are the several health benefits of eating strawberries, specifically:
- Improves Heart Health
- Boosts Energy
- Regulates Blood Sugar
- Improves Immune System
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Lowers Risks of Stroke
- Eliminates Risks of Cancer
How to Dehydrate Strawberries
The process of dehydrating strawberries is the same as with any other foods. Since the primary goal of dehydration is to remove the moisture as much as possible—without burning the actual food itself. Nonetheless, it is definitely easy when it comes to strawberries. It’s only a matter of time until the dehydration process is finished.
- Wash the strawberries with clean water and rinse thoroughly
- Check each strawberry from top to bottom and cut out any bad spots.
- Remove the calyx by cutting off the topmost part. It is the green leafy part on top of the strawberry.
- Cut the strawberries in half or slice them into ¼ inch thick slices.
Then… Choose Your Method!
- Place your sliced strawberries in your dehydrator. Make sure to arrange them at least inches apart from one another.
- Turn on your dehydrator and set it to the recommended setting. Keep in mind that the recommended setting varies depending on the model of the dehydrator. But in general, it is playing around 135° F.
- Dehydrate strawberries for about 8 to 10 hours. If you want them to be crispy, dehydrate them for about 10 to 14 hours instead.
- Take them out of the dehydrator and sit them out to cool down. Once they have cooled down, transfer them in an airtight container and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 200° F.
- Cover your baking trays with parchment paper and place the thin slices of strawberries over it.
- Arrange the strawberries at least inches apart from one another.
- Place the baking trays in the oven and dehydrate them for around 2 hours.
- Check it from time to time until the tops of the strawberries are dry.
- Flip over each slice on the baking trays. Take them back in the dehydrator and set them for another 30 minutes to an hour. This will fully dehydrate all sides of the strawberries.
- Take them out of the oven and sit them out to cool down. Once they have cooled down, transfer them in an airtight container and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the air fryer to the lowest possible setting. You can preheat it as low as 180° F to 200° F.
- Wipe the slices of strawberries with either a kitchen towel or paper towel.
- Place your sliced strawberries in your air fryer. Make sure to arrange them at least inches apart from one another.
- Dehydrate them for 1 hour. But after the first 30 minutes, flip them over.
- Take them out of the air fryer and sit them out to cool down. Once they have cooled down, transfer them in an airtight container and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- Select only the ripe strawberries without any bad spots.
- Decide on a dry area with direct sunlight in your house.
- Place the sliced strawberries in a drying rack. Make sure to arrange them at least inches apart from one another.
- Cover your sliced strawberries with cheesecloth or anything to protect it from pests or bugs. (Optional)
- Dehydrate them outside under the sun for about 3 to 6 days. Flip them over on the 2nd or 3rd day, so that all sides will be dehydrated. Once they start to look all wrinkled, the moisture is removed completely.
- Transfer them in an airtight container and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
NOTE: The duration of the whole dehydration process depends on the kind of slice the strawberries are cut into. Just keep in mind that the thicker the slice is, the longer it takes to finish.
Do not forget to bring the strawberries inside at night if you are dehydrating them outside. This will prevent stray animals from eating or ruining them. You can take your strawberries outside the next morning to continue dehydrating them.
Furthermore, the dehydrated strawberries may still contain some residual moisture after the dehydration process. Before you store them for good, you should do some conditioning on them first. Basically, you just put them in a glass jar and shake it a couple of times every day for a week. This action will redistribute the slices as well as the residual moisture in them. You will notice some condensation showing up on all sides of the jar. If that happens, you may as well dehydrate them for a few hours. Then, you can finally store them in an airtight container.
How Long Will Dehydrated Strawberries Last?
If you dehydrate the strawberries properly, it will last for at least a few weeks. After the dehydration process, condition them first before transferring them in an airtight container or a Mylar bag. Anything will do just as long as the oxygen will not be able to flow into it. Afterwards, store them at a room temperature away from moisture and direct sunlight.
But if you want a longer shelf life out of them, you should freeze them in the refrigerator instead. Its shelf life will extend up to 3 months in the minimum.
The Final Bite
Dehydration has various applications on several types of foods—which in this post, we’ve learnt that we can also dehydrate strawberries. Its dehydration process is nearly the same as how to dehydrate other types of food. For that reason, you won’t have any trouble applying these dehydration techniques on strawberries.
Lastly, dehydrated strawberries are another great addition to your list of long-term survival foods—considering quite a good number of health and storage benefits it provides.
Did you find this interesting? Check out some more info on long term food storage.