How To Freeze Dry Strawberries

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Freeze Dried Fruits

Strawberries are absolutely best when they’re in season. They’re cheaper too! Wouldn’t you want to have those sweet, tart strawberries all year round? The problem is, when you dehydrate strawberries, they lose their original flavor. Nutrients also get lost during the process because of the heat. The best way to preserve them so that you have great-tasting strawberries all-year-round? Freeze dry them so you have the taste of summer all year round


Preparing The Strawberries

Preparation is a must when you freeze dry strawberries. Remember that freeze drying doesn’t kill bacteria. Some harmful bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, giardia, and norovirus can be rendered dormant during freeze-drying.

Place the berries in a colander and wash them well under clean, running water for 10-20 seconds. For deeper cleaning, soak the berries in three cups of cold water mixed with 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. After soaking, wash them well under running water to remove the vinegar.

If you don’t want traces of vinegary flavor, baking soda can also help. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to 4 cups of water. Soak the berries for 5 minutes, and rinse well.

Once they’re cleaned, hull them using a small paring knife to remove the stem. Go around the top of the strawberry so that you’ll take out the stem completely.

After prepping, dry the strawberries well. You can spin them using a salad spinner, or wiping them with a clean paper towel. Removing traces of water will help prevent unwanted crystallization during the freeze-drying process.

pile of freeze dried strawberries

Whole Or Sliced?

Anything works, no matter which way you go! What’s good about freeze-dried strawberries is that they are awesome sliced, hole, or halved. However, the more surface are you have, the faster the freeze-drying process will be.

You can go for sliced strawberries so you have strawberry chips to munch on. Kids love them, and they’re easy for little tots to snack on!

Halved strawberries or whole strawberries are perfect for you if you want that big, burst of strawberry flavor. It’s satisfying to chew a chunk of freeze-dried strawberry in your mouth. They’re so light and crunchy, you’ll want more and more.

Fresh Or Frozen?

Whatever floats your boat will work! What’s good about getting fresh strawberries, especially if they’re in season, is that you get to pick them yourself. You know that you took the time to prepare them for freeze drying, and you’re confident that they’re safe.

Frozen strawberries, on the other hand, are convenient. They already come prepared, pre-sliced should you prefer it this way. One thing is, you don’t know when the strawberries were picked and how long they’ve been sitting in the store freezer.

How Long Do Strawberries Take To Freeze Dry?

Usually, it takes about 20 hours to freeze dry strawberries. It takes longer when you’re using unfrozen ones. If you use ones that are frozen, then you help your freeze dryer considerably and make its work easier.

How To Freeze Dry Strawberries

Now, let’s get down to business! This is how you freeze dry strawberries for the best results.

For fresh berries:

  1. Clean the strawberries and prepare them the way you like them. Make sure they’re completely dry before you go to the next step.
  2. Line the freeze dryer tray with parchment paper and layer the strawberries on top. Keep the layer no higher than the lip of the freeze dryer tray
  3. Freeze the strawberries together with the tray in the freezer. Don’t open the freezer door until the berries are completely frozen. Depending on your freezer, this can take 3 hours to overnight.
  4. Pre-run or pre-freeze your freeze dryer.
  5. Insert the trays of frozen strawberries into the freeze dryer and run the machine following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

For frozen berries:

  1. Line the freeze dryer trays with parchment paper and pre-freeze them for 1-3 hours.
  2. Pre-run your freeze dryer so
  3. Place the frozen strawberries on top of the tray. Keep the pile no higher than the tray’s lip.
  4. Load the trays in the freeze dryer and let it run according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

freeze dried strawberries in a bowl

How Do I Store Them?

How you store your freeze-dried strawberries will determine how long they can last. Properly freeze-dried and stored berries can last up to 25+ years! This means you can keep on freeze drying each season until you have enough for a year’s worth of consumption.

The best and most popular option is Mylar bags. They do well in preserving frozen berries. Get the silver or opaque ones to keep light from touching the berries. Dump in your berries and throw in an oxygen absorber or 2. Take out the air and seal them so that they’ll stay delicious and tasty when you’re ready to eat!

Air tight containers can work, even mason jars. As long as they’re vacuum sealed and kept away from light, they’re good for years.

Once you open the containers, you should eat your berries within 2-6 months.

How Can I Use The Freeze Dried Berries?

Strawberries are among the most versatile of freeze dried berries and fruit. There are now many recipes that make use of freeze dried strawberries.

You can eat them as is for a delicious snack and share them with your family. Boost your morning by adding them to your breakfast cereal.

You can also mix them with your favorite baking recipes for delicious cupcakes, tarts, or pies. Freeze-dried or reconstituted, they will work either way. Just make sure to adjust the water content of your recipes accordingly.

You can also grind the freeze-dried strawberries into powder and mix them with your recipe. Sprinkling them on top of cakes and pies makes them even more appealing and delicious. Want a refreshing drink? Then use the powder to make strawberry juice or fruit punch.

You can do so many things with freeze-dried strawberries. Were you able to make them? What’s your favorite way of eating them? Let us know in the comment section, please!

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