Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dehydrating Strawberries

These strawberries are delicious and they can be preserved and used in a variety of ways like freezing, jams, jellies, muffins, breads, and dehydrating. Here is a batch of berries ready for the dehydrator. After they were washed and trimmed, the berries were sliced with and egg slicer. It is an easy way to make sure the berries are a uniform thickness for a more even drying.

The 8+ pounds of berries filled 9 drying racks in the dehydrator. The temperature was set at 155'(F) for the first 5 hours, then reduced to 135'(F) for the next 5 hours. It took only ten hours for these little beauties to be reduced and preserved for a winter treat. There is a fan blowing in the back of this dehydrator to keep the air moving evening over the food.

When the dehydrating process was complete, the berries filled 2 1/2 quarts. They will keep for a long time if eaten in moderation. We like the dehydrated berries mixed with nuts, mixed into granola and yogurt, eaten by themselves tasting just like candy, and put into a river mix (trail mix). When the fruit is abundant, it is time to enjoy fresh and to preserve for winter provisions.

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