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. I have dehydrated hamburger jerky as well.
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 well over seven years. Now, I bought mine with a timer, but it’s not necessary and 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.
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 almost 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
Be sure and watch for really plump red strawberries that are in season. You will wash them, remove the hull and slice them uniformly before placing them on the trays. 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.
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.
Here are the dehydrated strawberries. Yep, there are some strawberries missing in this picture, my grandkids kept eating them! You gotta love it!
Strawberry Health Benefits:
1. Vitamin C is a great immune booster.
2. Vitamin C protects our eyes from getting cataracts.
3. Fights the bad cholesterol.
4. High in antioxidants.
5. Great for helping stop inflammation from arthritis.
1. One medium Strawberry is only 4 calories.
2. Fat: 0 g
3. Cholesterol: 0 mg
4. Protein: 0.1 g
5. Sugar: 0.6 g
6. Sodium: 0 mg
7. Vitamin C: 11%
How To Use Dehydrated Fresh Strawberries:
1. Throw a handful into a fresh spinach salad, add some almonds and homemade poppy seed dressing.
2. Throw some into lunch boxes for lunchtime snacks.
3. Put some in a bag to munch on while parked waiting for music or sports lessons.
4. Add some to homemade muffins.
5. Sprinkle some on pancakes before flipping the pancake to add a special flavor.
6. Add a few slices to your water container for a refreshing taste.
You can see why we keep reading to load up on fruits and vegetables. Life is good when our body is strong and healthy.
- Strawberries washed, hulled, and sliced
- Place the strawberries in a single layer and dehydrate at 135 Degrees (Excalibur Dehydrator). Please check your dehydrator for its specific temperature. These took about 4 hours. The dehydrating time all depends on the humidity at the location you are dehydrating them. No chemicals or preservatives needed if you eat them within 2 weeks if stored in an airtight container. I like to use my FoodSaver on quart jars.
After Dehydrating Strawberries
I let my strawberries sit on the racks for a few days to make sure they are totally dehydrated and all the moisture is gone before I place them in mason jars and use my FoodSaver to seal them.
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 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.
Dehydrating In The Oven
If you don’t have a dehydrator you can dehydrate your strawberries in the oven. If you have a convection oven set the temperature at 175 degrees. Place the fruit on a baking rack in a cookie sheet. The nice thing about a convection oven is the air blows around in the oven. You just need to keep checking the fruit to see when it is finished dehydrating. I must point out it is NOT the best way to dehydrate food. The food will come out more brittle than dehydrating with a unit designed to dehydrate food.
Please let me know if you have used a dehydrator to dehydrate fresh strawberries, you know I love to hear from you! Keep in mind, the food we dehydrate will not last as long as commercially processed food. It will last one year in quart jars if dehydrated and sealed in the jar properly.