Dehydrating Strawberries

Dehydrating Strawberries

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Once you start dehydrating strawberries you will be hooked on preserving, even more, fruits and vegetables. I posted this article a few years ago, but I think it needed a little work to refresh the article, so here I go. I have taught classes to many people on how to dehydrate just about every fruit and vegetable known to man. Hamburger meat can be made into dehydrated jerky as well. The options are endless!

I’m all about making dehydrating fresh strawberries as easy as possible. Call me lazy, but I use a strawberry slicer for a few reasons. The biggest one is the fact that it slices the strawberries the same thickness, which means they should dry evenly.

If you have a garden or you can buy them at the store, it’s very easy to make a healthy snack in a dehydrator. I bought an Excaliber dehydrator because that’s what I used to teach classes and they sold that brand where I taught. I have had it for well over ten years. Now, I bought mine with a timer, but it’s not necessary, but it works for me. I can set it and forget, it within reason. What I mean by that is that I like my strawberries a little pliable and not crispy, so I need to keep an eye on them, so to speak.

You can see below how I placed the freshly sliced strawberries in a single layer on the drying rack. My Excalibur dehydrator booklet states to set the temperature at 135 degrees. Keep in mind, not all dehydrators have the same temperature settings so the time it takes to dehydrate the product may be different between machines and models. Please check the book that comes with the one you purchased.

Master Canning Preserver Classes

When Mark and I took our Master Canning and Preserving class we used an Excalibur in the class! Yes, we both have our certificates! It was a 12-week class with hands-on experience. I have been canning and dehydrating for over 50 years and I still learned a few new tricks.

While I’m thinking about it, please be careful with FREE E-books on canning. They scare me because I’m not sure the instructions given are safe to use. This is the only book I trust for canning food: USDA Canning Book or The Ball Canning Guide

Dehydrating Strawberries

Dehydrating Strawberries

Be sure and watch for really plump red strawberries that are in season. You will wash them, remove the hull and stem and slice them uniformly before placing them on the dehydrator tray(s). Here’s the deal, if the strawberries are sweet before you dehydrate them they will be sweet after. If the strawberries are not sweet before dehydrating they will not be after drying.

I want you to think like this, you know how we can buy a container of strawberries and some of them are so beautiful and juicy? Then there might be some that are not so sweet, right? It’s Mother Nature, I guess.

Dehydrating Strawberries

Step One: Wash Strawberries, Remove the Stem and Hull

I use a stainless steel strainer to wash my strawberries. You are welcome to pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess water on the strawberries. Then I use a small paring or sharp knife to hull the strawberries by removing the leaves and stems. Stainless Steel Strainer

Wash the Strawberries

Step Two: Slice the Strawberries

Mark sliced some strawberries and I used the Strawberry Slicer, that’s how we roll. We sliced these 1/4-inch thick, or as close as we could, to 1/4-inch thick. We wanted each dried strawberry slice to be as uniform as possible.

Slicing Strawberries

Step Three: Fill Racks Evenly, Set the Temperature

Now, fill your food dehydrator with the racks. Turn the temperature to 135 degrees (Excalibur), please check your book to see the correct temperature for the brand you have. Turn it on for the setting for 3 hours and check the strawberries as needed. The cooking time may vary due to the dehydrator used and the thickness of the strawberries.

Dehydrator Racks

Step Four: Dehydrate Strawberries for 4 Hours

These took about 4 hours to dehydrate. If you are having trouble getting them off the plastic trays, they may not be totally dry, just giving you the heads up here. These “popped” off the plastic sheets for me.

Dehydrating Strawberries

Step Five: Allow Strawberries to Fully Dry

These took four hours to dry. Now, remember, the time to dry will always depend on the humidity of the room in which you are drying them. I will let these “condition” before I place the dry strawberries in jars. I want to make sure every nook and cranny is totally dry.

Finished Product
5 from 3 votes
Dehydrating Strawberries
Dehydrating Strawberries
Prep Time
30 mins
Dehydrate
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 30 mins
 
Course: Snacks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Instructions
  1. I use a stainless steel strainer to wash my strawberries. Then I use a small paring or sharp knife to the hull the strawberries by removing the leaves and stems.

  2. Mark sliced some strawberries with a knife and I used the Strawberry Slicer, that’s how we roll. We sliced these 1/4 inch thick, or as close as we could, to 1/4 inch thick. We wanted each dried strawberry slice to be as uniform as possible.

  3. Place the sliced strawberries evenly on your racks. Now, fill your dehydrator with the racks. Turn the temperature to 135 degrees (Excalibur), please check your book to see the correct temperature for the brand you have. Turn it on to 3 hours and check the strawberries as needed. The cooking time may vary due to the dehydrator used and/or the thickness of the strawberries.

  4. These took about 4 hours to dehydrate. If you are having trouble getting them off the plastic trays, they may not be totally dry, just giving you the heads up here. These “popped” off the plastic sheets for me.

  5. These took 4 hours to dry. Now, remember, the time to dry will always depend on the humidity of the room in which you are drying them. I will let these “condition” before I place them in jars. I want to make sure every nook and cranny is totally dry.

  6. Store in airtight mason jars for a year using a FoodSaver.

How To Condition Your Fruit or Vegetables

If you live where it is HUMID: “To condition the fruit, take the dried fruit that has cooled and pack it loosely in plastic or glass jars. Seal the containers and let them stand for 7 to 10 days. The excess moisture in some pieces will be absorbed by the drier pieces. Shake the jars daily to separate the pieces and check the moisture condensation.” https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/pack_store.html

I used to live in the DRY DESERT: I set my fruit and vegetables on my countertop for 5-7 days. Ten days is even better to make sure everything is dry before using your FoodSaver unit.

Read More of My Articles  How To Dehydrate Bell Peppers

What are the health benefits of strawberries?

  • Vitamin C is a great immune booster.
  • Vitamin C protects our eyes from getting cataracts.
  • Fights the bad cholesterol.
  • High in antioxidants.
  • Great for helping stop inflammation from arthritis.

Strawberry Nutrition Information

  • One medium Strawberry is only 4 calories.
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Protein: 0.1 g
  • Sugar: 0.6 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Vitamin C: 11%

How To Use Dried Strawberries:

  • Throw a handful into a fresh spinach salad, and add some almonds and homemade poppy seed dressing.
  • Throw some into lunch boxes for lunchtime snacks.
  • Put some in a bag to munch on while parked waiting for music or sports lessons.
  • Add some to homemade muffins.
  • Sprinkle some on pancakes before flipping the pancake to add a special flavor.
  • Add a few slices to your water container for a refreshing taste.
  • Toss a few dry berries into a bowl of cereal.
  • Add some dry strawberries to a variety of trail mixes.
  • Make strawberry jam – dehydrated strawberries can be rehydrated and blended with sugar and lemon juice to make a delicious strawberry jam.
  • Add them to oatmeal or yogurt for a burst of flavor and nutrition.
  • Make a smoothie – Blend together 1/2 cup of dried strawberries, 1/4 cup of yogurt of choice, 1/4 cup of orange or apple juice, 1 tablespoon of honey, and a few ice cubes. Blend well!
  • Make a dried fruit snack – Combine dehydrated strawberries with other dried fruits such as apricots, apples, raisins, and cranberries.
  • Blend the dehydrated strawberries into powdered strawberries which can be added to frosting, yogurt, or oatmeal.

You can see why we keep reading to load up on fruits and vegetables. Life is good when our body is strong and healthy.

Drying Food Outside

In the Pioneer days, we know people dried food outside. This will work, but keep in mind it will take days compared to hours in the dehydrator. Cover the food with a cheesecloth or screens to keep the flies or critters away. It will all depend on the humidity outside to determine how long it will take to dry the food.

How to store dehydrated strawberries?

I recommend storing dehydrated strawberries in airtight containers. There are a variety of storage uses – such as jars with airtight lids, use a vacuum seal,

Can I Dehydrate these in my Oven?

Yes, you can. In fact, some ovens now come with a dehydrating feature. If you don’t want to invest in a dehydrator, set your oven as low as possible. The lowest I can set my oven is 170 degrees. This is the recommended temperature for oven dehydration. Slice the strawberries, and spread them evenly on some parchment paper on a cookie or baking sheet.

You may even have a convection button on your oven, which would be awesome because the air will circulate around the food to dry more evenly. Just keep in mind you must keep an eye on the tray you have dehydrating or they may get too hot and burn. If your oven will not go below 200 degrees, prop the oven door open with a ball of foil.

What does the term Condition mean after dehydrating the food?

Before I store my dehydrated fruit or vegetables, I want to make sure they are really dry. I set them out on the counter for at least 5-7 days to ensure every crevice is completely dry.

Final Word

There is something awesome about having jars of fruit lined up after dehydrating strawberries, right? If you have a dehydrator you will never waste excess food again. Please preserve your harvest, you will be so glad you did. May God Bless this world, Linda

My Other Dehydrating Posts:

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10 Comments

  1. I bought a small Ninja air fryer that has a ‘dehydrate’ function. You can lay out sliced strawberries on three different 8″ round levels to dehydrate. I wanted to dehydrate ‘sweetened’ strawberry slices, for snacking on and for decorating the big frosting swirls on cupcakes. I have two problems. The Ninja website has no information for dehydrating strawberries, that I can find, and how would I sweeten the slices? Soak them in simple syrup for a bit and gently shake off the excess?
    The home I just moved into also has a convection oven. In both situations, how do I know when the strawberry slices are ‘done’? Brittle is okay. Shape is important for the look of the decorated cupcake. I would like to try doing banana and pineapple chips the same way for my Pina Colada cupcakes. I’d appreciate any advice anyone can give me, except for ‘don’t sweeten them’ ha!

    1. Hi Rea Rae, I have never sweetened my fruit, I have sprinkled cinnamon on apples but I can’t advise how to dehydrate sweetened fruit of any kind. I would practice and see what works. Hopefully, the fruit will not burn with the sugar or whatever sweetener you use. I Have a Ninja Air Fryer but I only dehydrate in an Excalibur as of today. My Excalibur book says the strawberries should be pliable but not crispy. Linda

  2. 5 stars
    My family loves dehydrating strawberries! 🙂 Thank you for all of the great tips! We love putting some in our drinks during the summer or snacking on them throughout the day. They are sooo easy to dehydrate and sooo delicious! Thank you for all of your dehydrating tips!❤️

  3. 5 stars
    Just bought my Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator for drying fruits, veggies and jerky. It is safe. to store them in a FoodSaver vacuum bag after they’ve dried out ?

    1. Hi Kenneth, how exciting! Please store the jerky in the refrigerator or the freezer, it does not have any preservatives like store-bought. Bags are fine but I feel jars are safer, you can decide that for yourself. Please make sure you condition the items to make sure they are totally dry and have fun dehydrating them!!! Love this! Linda

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