Find out what are the easiest ways for drying strawberries at home.
Strawberries are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and Vitamin C. They also contain manganese and potassium. They contain a lot of water as well. They become concentrated with healthy sugars when dried.
For every 100 grams of strawberries, you’ll get 87.5 grams of carbs after drying. These carbs come from simple sugars that are not risky for your health. These sugars include fructose, glucose, and sucrose. With a glycemic score of 40, sugars from strawberries won’t make a significant difference in increasing blood sugar levels. For this reason, it is safe to eat by people with diabetes.
There are so many recipes you can blend and mix with dried strawberries. You can put it on cereals, granolas, fruit and veggie smoothies, porridge, vanilla-strawberry macaroons, strawberry milk, and strawberry-flavored chocolates. It is time to dry up some strawberries and store them in your kitchen.
How to Dry Strawberries
Drying strawberries in a food dehydrator
The common way to dry strawberries is by using a food dehydrator. For one, it protects them from bugs and insects.
- Select ripe and fresh strawberries. Wash them carefully and cut off the stem and leaf on top of it.
- Slice the strawberries evenly. It allows strawberries to completely dry at the same time.
- Arrange the strawberries on the trays a half-inch apart to have enough room for air.
- Set the dehydrator to 135°F. For the first couple of hours, flip the strawberries carefully to the other side. It may take up to ten hours for strawberries to dehydrate completely.
- Test the strawberries for dryness. Add four more hours if you want it crispier.
Let the strawberries cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
Making Sun-dried strawberries
For a fruit that contains more sugar, strawberries become the perfect fruit to dry out in the sun. It has low protein concentration that has less potential to attract bacteria. Usually, these bacteria thrive the most while drying food.
To dry strawberries, you must have an outdoor space that receives adequate sunlight for drying. You need a minimum temperature of 85°F to dry them. Unless the weather is not favorable, you have to put them back indoors and wait for favorable weather. Places with low humidity are best to dry them.
Unlike other fruits, you do not need to use lemon, lime, or ascorbic solution to avoid discoloration. Its color remains the same after drying.
- First, make a drying rack. Fasten wooden splats together into a frame. This frame will hold the drying screen where you’ll lay down strawberries later. Use a screen made of fiberglass, stainless steel, or plastic.
- Select ripe strawberries without brown spots. An over-ripe strawberry may damage the fresh ones.
- Wash your strawberries and remove the leaf and stem on top of it. You don’t want to waste small slices of strawberries. Instead of cutting the top, use a thin pointed knife to draw a circle on the top to remove the stem.
- Slice the strawberries evenly at about ¼ or 1/8 inch. Thicker slices take a longer time to dry.
- Make sure the drying rack is clean and dry. Put the sliced strawberries on the rack one by one. Give them adequate space away from each other. Avoid putting one slice on top of the other. You can cover them with another screen or cheesecloth to protect your strawberries from bugs and insects.
- You may dry your strawberry for 3 to 6 days until it completely loses moisture and starts wrinkling. In the middle of the process, flip the strawberries from the other side. Do this on the 2nd or third day.
Use an airtight sealed container to store your sun-dried strawberries.
Drying strawberries in the oven
Strawberries dried in the oven are as tasty as the ones dried in food dehydrators. Here is how to dry strawberries in the oven.
- Preheat your oven from 185° to 200° F (max 100 Celsius). You need a low heat to dry strawberries. Preheating the oven will avoid losing too much sugar and burning.
- If you want tasty strawberries, pick ripe ones, not the over-ripe ones.
- Wash off the dirt carefully. Remove the stem and green leaf on top. Remove small brown spots.
- Slice the strawberries with the same thickness. At least 1/8 to ¼ inch is enough per slice.
- Use a baking sheet for drying. Place a parchment paper before putting them in line. The paper will prevent them from sticking on the sheet. Strawberries are naturally watery. It will surely make a mess without the parchment paper.
- You can start putting the strawberries with a considerable space apart. They need enough room for air. Do not overlap strawberry slices.
- Dry the strawberries for 3 – 4 hours until it’s completely dehydrated.
- In the first couple of hours, remove the baking sheet from the oven. By this time, the baking sheet must have collected moisture as strawberries are naturally watery. You can drain the baking sheet. Do not forget to use a potholder!
- When the baking sheet is dry, carefully flip the strawberries from the other side.
- Do not leave your strawberries unattended to avoid accidents. Bake them again until your strawberries are completely dried.
- To test your dried strawberries, try to split them in half. It should be gummy and firm without signs of juices left. Place it back on the oven if it’s not fully dried for another thirty minutes.
Cool your dried strawberries before storing them on an airtight container.
Storing the Dried Strawberries
You may need to condition the strawberries before storing in airtight containers as they may still contain moisture. Place them on a glass jar at only 2/3 full. Shake the jars once or twice every day for a week. Use an airtight container to store the strawberries. The dried strawberries typically last for months when properly dried.