Monday, June 10, 2013

Adventures in Dehydrating: Strawberries

Strawberries are in season, so time to buy in bulk and dehydrate!  We bought a 4lb box of strawberries at Costco and used about half to fill up our dehydrator.


I setup my work station with a small knife for hulling, a cutting board to work on, a colander for washing, and a strawberry slicer. I rinsed the berries and cut off the stems and plopped them in our strawberry slicer.  It made quick work of the job.  I know it's a bit of a unitasker, but I picked it up at TJ Maxx for even less than they sell it for at amazon, and it sure speeds things up.  You could always use a mandolin or even just cut them by hand (but try to keep them relatively uniform in width).



Place the strawberry slices close together (as seen in the fresh photo above) but not so close that they are touching.  The air needs to be able to circulate, but they can be close together because (as you can see in the dried photo below) they shrink as they dry.


We set ours to the fruit setting (135 degrees) and let it run for about 8 hours before peeling the strawberry chips off of the drying racks.  They end up crispy but flexible.  If you'd like something chewier, you'd probably want to cut them thicker.


In the end, almost two pounds of strawberries filled half of a quart-sized ziplock bag.  I'd extol their virtues as lasting longer and being sweeter than the fresh kind, but the fresh ones were pretty darn sweet, and I'd be kidding you if I thought these would last longer than a week around our house.  They taste like candy.  There's nothing quite like in-season strawberries.

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