Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits but sadly, their season is so short that it leaves you craving these fresh strawberries for the rest of the year. As you can see in the image below, my counter is full of fresh strawberries I want to preserve and eat all year long!
Now you may ask, how to preserve strawberries? There are many ways in which strawberries can be preserved, but the most hassle-free of these is to either freeze or dehydrate them and we shall be discussing these today. There are, however, several other ways such as making a strawberry jam, or a strawberry compote, or even a strawberry crush, but these methods require a lot of added sugar and are also, somehow, time taking.
Therefore we are only going to stick to freezing and dehydrating them for now.
Method 1: Freezing the strawberries
Now, to freeze the strawberries, you first need to very gently wash them under running water and then pat them dry with a kitchen towel or a clean kitchen cloth. Afterward, spread them around on a plate or a tray and let them dry under a fan completely.
Next, you need to take off the ‘calyx’ i.e., the green leafy caps of the strawberries. You now need to place these strawberries individually, at a slight distance apart from each other on a plate or tray. The reason to place them at a distance is to ensure that they do not clump together while freezing, which makes it difficult to use the strawberries later on.
Keep this plate inside the freezer and let it freeze overnight or for at least 10 to 12 hours. Once they are frozen, take them out and transfer them into a zip-lock bag until you need to use them the next time.
Method 2: Dehydrating the strawberries
The first step, again, is to clean the strawberries very well and to remove their calyx. The process remains the same as described in method 1.
Next, you need to slice the strawberries into about 4 to 5 pieces. You need to make sure that these slices aren’t too thin.
Afterward, place these slices on a non-stick surface or a silicon sheet, like the one I have used here, or even a parchment paper. Again, you need to place these slices at a slight distance from each other.
I have here used both the silicon sheet and the parchment paper for different batches but personally found the silicon surface method to be more effective since it being non-stick, ensures that the strawberries come off easily from the surface.
It’s important here to remember that if you don’t use a non-stick surface, it is going to give you a hard time peeling off these strawberries off the surface. They will get stuck to the surface and won’t come out in one piece.
Now is the time to dehydrate them. Place these into your oven at the lowest temperature setting in your oven, which is ideally 80º to 90º C. In my oven, the lowest was 100º C. You need to let them dehydrate for about 2 to 3 hours, depending on what temperature you’ve placed them in.
But you also need to make sure to check the oven after every one hour to flip these strawberries around. At this point you also need to check if there are any slices that have been dehydrated or are getting burnt, and take them out.
Once all of the slices have been dehydrated, you can store them in an airtight container till the next use. These strawberries can be used in so many ways, such as to make granolas, granitas, or even with some cereals. You can also use it along with the frozen strawberries to make smoothies, ice-creams, etc.
So that’s how you preserve strawberries!
So what are you waiting for? Grab your prettiest apron and a whisk, put on your favorite song, and start creating the magic! Do share your experience of this post and your views and opinions! I would love to hear them!
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