DIY: Drying Strawberries at Home


Beautiful organic strawberries, ready for dehydration
Beautiful organic strawberries, ready for dehydration

Welcome to Strawberry Season!
Right now you’ve probably noticed that your local market has put the prices of these beauties down incredibly low. Because of that, if you’re like me, you tend to grab more than just one carton. My last haul was six 😉 But, sometimes you just can’t eat them all before they spoil, and you’d like to save them for later. Sure, you can stick them in a foodsaver bag and freeze them, but there’s another option you may not have tried yet.

Have you ever dehydrated them? It’s an easy process, and as long as you have the time to wait, you’ll have delicious snacks later on.

One of our wedding gifts was a Nesco food dehydrator, and it’s awesome. If you don’t have one, I highly suggest getting one. You can make dried fruits, of course, but you can also make jerky, and you can make your own dried herbs for cooking! The cleanup is easy, and it doesn’t weigh much.

Now let’s dry those berries…

Step One: The Strawberries
• Buy Organic! If you want a healthy snack, make sure it’s healthy from the inside out!

Strawberries in carton

Step Two: Wash and Hull the Strawberries

Hulled Strawberries
• Here’s the easiest way to get rid of the stem and the little white core (and not waste any of the fruit):

How to Hull a Strawberry
Once you insert the huller into the strawberry, twist in a circular motion and then pull out the entire white core.

 Step Three: Slice
 • Make sure to slice your berries all the same width, to promote even drying.

Sliced Strawberries

Step Four: Toss in Juice of 3 Limes
 • You can also use pectin, but I wanted mine as natural as possible, plus I like the tang that the lime juice adds.

Citrus Reamer
I like to use a citrus reamer like this to get all of the juice out of the limes.
(*Don't throw away the juice! You can sweeten it, and then add it to sparkling water...or gin ;-) )
Don’t throw away the juice! You can sweeten it, and then add it to sparkling water…or gin 😉

Step five: Place on the Trays
 • Make sure the strawberries aren’t touching, to ensure even drying. Also, most dehydrators will suggest that you use at least 4 trays for proper air circulation (they come with 4, but you can also buy extras).

Sliced Strawberries on a Tray

Strawberries in Food Dehydrator

Step Six: Set the Temperature, and Turn it On
 • Strawberries need a temperature of 135° for about 6-12 hours. (I do 9)

Nesco Food Dehydrator

Step Seven: Remove the Dried Strawberries from the Trays
 • The easiest way is to turn the tray over, and using your fingernail or a spoon, pop the little guys out.

Dehydrated Strawberries

Dried Strawberries
Dried strawberries go well with pecans, cashews, and pretzel sticks.

Now you’re ready for a treat!
You can add these pretty red rings to everything from ice cream to yogurt, to cereal, to snack mix.
You can even just add a small bag of them in your lunch for snacking.
The only limit is your imagination =0)
…and speaking of dehydrated things…. heh heh…

Coyote

 question of the week

What is YOUR favorite dried food item? Have you ever had it homemade? Tell me about it!

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