Registered Dietician David Grotto refers to strawberries as a "superfruit" in his book, "101 Foods that Could Save Your Life." Packed with antioxidants and fiber, this colorful fruit is also low in calories and contains over 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C. Strawberries are at their peak in the summer months, but dehydrated strawberries can be enjoyed regardless of the season. A food dehydrator produces faster results, but strawberries can also be dried in a conventional oven.
Things You'll Need
- Paring knife
- Rack or paper towels
- Canola oil spray
- Baking sheet
- Oven thermometer
Choose deep red strawberries that are firm to the touch with no dents or spots. Small blemishes can be sliced off, if necessary.
Wash the berries in a clean sink full of cold water. Swish them around in the cold water, and change the water as often as needed to rinse all dirt off of the fruit.
Allow the berries to dry on a rack or on clean paper towels. Use a sharp paring knife to cut out the hull, which is the area where the stem is attached to the strawberry.
Slice the strawberries lengthwise into uniform slices. Slices of the same thickness will dry more evenly.
Place the sliced strawberries in a single layer on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with canola oil. Space them so that the slices do not touch.
Turn on the oven, insert the oven thermometer and set the oven to a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven doesn't go that low, use the "Warm" setting. To allow steam to escape and air to circulate, prop the door open.
Check the oven thermometer periodically to ensure that the temperature does not exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Make adjustments as needed.
Check the strawberries every 90 minutes to 2 hours. They should look slightly shriveled and dried out on the surface.
Use a thin spatula to flip each strawberry slice to the other side and then check periodically to adjust the temperature and to check for doneness. They should be pliable and not feel sticky to the touch. Depending on your oven and the humidity level in the air, the strawberries can take anywhere from 6 to 20 hours to fully dehydrate. Test one or two for doneness before you remove the baking sheet from the oven.
When the strawberries are fully dehydrated, remove them from the baking sheet and allow them to cool at room temperature for about an hour.
Pasteurize the fruit to destroy any hidden insect eggs by placing the dried strawberries in a freezer bag and putting them in a freezer with a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of two days.
Store dehydrated strawberries in a moisture-proof glass or plastic container. Label the jar with the date and store them in cool dry place. If they are vacuum-packed in an airtight container, they should be used within one year.
Tips & Warnings
- Avoid drying strawberries on warm, humid days as this will extend the time it takes for the fruit to fully dry out.
- An Edible Mosaic: How to Dehydrate Strawberries in an Oven
- Seasonal Chef: How to Dry Fruit
- "101 Foods That Could Save Your Life"; David W. Grotto, Marianne Smith; 2007
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
- "How to Dry Foods"; Deanna Long; 2006
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