Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dehydrating Strawberries

Strawberries were on sale this week for $6.99 a case- Yay!  We are approaching the time of year when strawberries will be in abundance.   When they are at a great price, I love to stock up and do some fun things.  One way to enjoy the fruit for long after you purchase it is to dehydrate it. Strawberries are easy to dehydrate, and they taste delicious as a snack, or can be packaged for your long term food storage.

1.  Choose ripe, firm strawberries.  If you are lucky enough to grow your own, pick before they are over-ripe. Wash, and remove stems.

 2. Slice about 1/4 inch thick.  I use a meat slicer to get them all the same thickness.  Lay in a single layer on your dehydrator.  Note: If you are just going to be snacking on them, you can add a sprinkle of sugar at this point.  For long term storage, do not add sugar.

3. Load dehydrator.  If your dehydrator has a temperature control, set it between 125-130 degrees F.  Let dry for approximately 10-12 hours until strawberries are dry and pliable.

4.When Strawberries are done, let cool for about 10-20 minutes before bagging them.

For long term storage, vacuum seal with an oxygen packet.  For shorter term storage, dried strawberries do well in a ziplok bag, or in a mason jar.

The finished product.    What can dehydrated strawberries be used for?  Many things! To name a few:
  • Snacking (we love them just like this)
  • Pies (rehydrate berries first)
  • Granolas
  • Add to instant oatmeal
  • Syrup over ice cream (rehydrate, blend with sugar)
  • Smoothies (rehydrate)
  • Quick jam (rehydrate)

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