Dried Strawberries

Snack

Recipe

Strawberries are readily available throughout the year and even at their scarcest they are relatively cheap compared to other fruit like blueberries. In preparing and drying strawberries I was pleasantly surprised – it was a relatively easy and painless process for both the preparation and drying.

I must admit I’ve always keep it straightforward when it comes to drying fruit and have stuck with the banana and apple options. After making this recipe, strawberries will now form part of my dried fruit menu when hiking.

The steps are easy. Wash and dry the berries in fresh water and once dry, remove any greenery and  any unripe sections towards the top of the fruit. From here you have a couple of cutting options. If you aren’t pressed for time, you can use a sharp paring knife and cut the strawberries into slices 4 mm wide. If this is something you are going to be doing regularly then purchase an egg slicer – they are relatively inexpensive. This handy little implement either comes as a straight slicer or with a unit for cutting the into segments. Segments are easier but from a taste perspective the slices just seem to have the advantage. Try it both ways and see what you think.

I used 500 grams of cleaned and trimmed strawberries which was just over 2 punnets worth and this filled up about 1.5 of my dehydrator trays. If you have one, use the small mesh insert with the dehydrator so the slices don’t fall through the standard tray mesh when dry.

Turn the strawberries about 4 hours into drying so they don’t stick to the tray and to ensure they dry evenly. Test them every couple of hours until you get the texture and dryness just the way you like. I am happy to eat these slightly leathery to crispy which in my case took around 9 hours in total. Once dried, allow them to cool before placing in an airtight container or ziplock bag for later use.

This recipe is designed for a food dehydrator and in all honesty I would recommend that’s what you use. However if you don’t own one, then you can try a fan forced oven at a very low temperature 55-60°Celcius. If using an oven, leave the door slightly ajar.

Note: I have seen some recipes that have added sugar but in all honesty the strawberries don’t need it, I think they taste great as is.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Drying Time: 9 Hours

The end result for 500 grams of fresh strawberries is:

  • 500 grams of fresh strawberries contains 342 calories
    • 33 calories per 100 grams
  • 500 grams of strawberries weighs 60 grams when dried
    • 570 calories per 100 grams

Preparation Instructions

Ingredients

  • 500-grams                   Fresh strawberries (cleaned, greenery and unripened flesh removed)

Recipe

  • Wash and dry strawberries
  • Cut off the tops with a paring knife to remove any foliage or unripe strawberry
  • Cut the strawberries into flat slices
    • An egg slicer will speed up the process although you can do it by hand if you wish. If cutting by hand, the slices want to be about 4mm thick
  • Place on the dehydrater rack with the fine mesh insert
  • Assemble the food on the dehydrator racks. I recommend having an empty rack on the bottom to allow for a more even flow of air
  • Heat to approximately 55-60°Celcius (medium setting) for around 4 hours then turn the strawberries over to prevent sticking to the drying rack
  • Heat for a further 4.5-5 hours (approximately)
  • Once the strawberries have a leathery consistency remove from the heat and allow to cool and store in an airtight container
    • 500 grams of fresh strawberries will dry down to approximately 60 grams
  • Pack in an airtight container or ziplock bag until you’re ready to use

Strawberries as purchased

Strawberries cleaned and trimmed with greenery and unripened flesh removed

Strawberries sliced two ways, in segments and sliced. The slices won out for us but give both a try to see what you think

Egg slicer that slices and segments

Egg slicer out of the box

Cutting wires

Dehydrator tray with mesh insert for small fruit

Dried strawberries after 9 hours. The original weight was 500 grams, the dried weight was 60 grams. I managed to sends the 1.5 trays I started with down to 1 tray had way through the drying

Dried strawberries ready to eat

Strawberries stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place

Strawberry halves are an alternate option for drying. The preparation is much easier

Dried Strawberry halves, the end result. While cutting strawberries in hand is about as easy as it gets in preparation this batch took 17 hours to dry (three times longer than slices or segments). The skins to flesh ratio of halves hold the water too well

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