Guide to Dehydrating Strawberries shows how to dehydrate strawberries and use
them in trail mixes and desserts. First I'll cover the basics of prepping, slicing, and drying strawberries, followed by recipes that highlight dehydrated strawberries.
Dried strawberry recipes on this page include
Angel Cake, Apple-Berry Fruit Pudding,
Strawberry-Granola Clusters, and
Strawberry Tortillas with Chocolate or Peanut Butter.
The first step in dehydrating strawberries starts at the store. Take a close look at the strawberries to make sure there is no mold in the package. There’s always one, right? Avoid strawberries which appear to have any soft or discolored spots. Also, the redder the better; strawberries don’t continue ripening after they are picked. Since they decline rapidly, plan to dehydrate strawberries shortly after you buy them.
Strawberries are likely to have pesticides on them unless you buy organic. Before cutting them, wash strawberries under cold water for several seconds using a colander. Pat dry with paper towels, or use a salad spinner to wash and dry strawberries.
Slice strawberries ¼-inch thick (½ cm), but set aside the narrower tapered ends and the tops. I use the smaller top and bottom pieces to make strawberry fruit leather.
Place strawberry slices directly on mesh dehydrator trays in a single layer and dehydrate at 135°F (57°C) until snappy dry. How long to dehydrate strawberries can vary depending on dehydrator model, size of load, external humidity, thickness of fruit, etc. The strawberries in the photo below were dry in 8 hours.
Dried strawberries will be very thin and easy to snap in half.
Yield: One Excalibur dehydrator tray loaded with 575 grams of sliced strawberries yields 40 grams of dried strawberries with a volume of 1¼ cups.
Storing Dehydrated Strawberries: Store in airtight containers at home. Use oxygen absorbers or vacuum-seal for long-term storage.
Grind or blend dried strawberries into powder to use as a topping for oatmeal and desserts, or to add strawberry flavor to drinking water.
If using a blender, take your time to avoid overheating the blender.
Yield: 40 grams of dried strawberries yields 6 tablespoons of strawberry powder.
Best ways to use strawberry powder: I tested mixing dehydrated strawberry powder with powdered milk and sugar to make a strawberry milk shake, but the flavor of the milk powder overpowered the strawberry powder.
I like strawberry powder best added to fruit smoothies or
sprinkled over oatmeal.
Enjoy these for breakfast, as a midday snack, or for the evening dessert. Make strawberry tortillas with just strawberries—with a little sugar sprinkled on them—or complete the ensemble with peanut butter or Nutella chocolate spread.
Photo shows dried strawberries rehydrated in a GSI Dualist Cookset bowl, and then combined with peanut butter.
On the Trail:
Place ⅓-cup dried strawberries (15 grams) in a cup or bowl. Add ¼-cup of water and wait about ten minutes. You can rehydrate the strawberries with cold water, which is more convenient during a lunch break, but hot water is the way to go when making these for breakfast or after dinner. Just boil a little extra water when you make your coffee or tea.
Photo above shows strawberries rehydrated in hot water combined with Nutella chocolate spread.
I used two taco-sized tortillas. Spread peanut butter or Nutella on tortillas. Add half of rehydrated strawberries to each tortilla, fold in half, enjoy!
Tip: Baking paper (parchment paper) makes a clean work surface to prepare the tortillas. I use baking paper to fold up strawberry fruit leather—keeps it from sticking to itself—and then the paper gets used again for prep work after I eat the leather.
Sliced is nice, but here’s another way to dehydrate strawberries—mash them with raspberries, combine with granola, and dehydrate into clusters. They’re delicious on their own or in a trail mix.
Photo: Dehydrated Strawberry-Raspberry Granola Clusters make a perfect trail mix with chocolate.
Yield: 2¾ cups (packed) dried berry-granola clusters (245 g)
How to Make Strawberry-Raspberry Granola Clusters:
Wash strawberries, cut into smaller pieces, and combine with raspberries, honey, and lemon juice in a pan with a flat bottom. I used frozen raspberries and fresh strawberries.
Lightly heat mixture on low temperature to thaw berries (if frozen) for just a few minutes. Heating also softens up the strawberries. Reduce berries to a slurry with a potato masher.
Add granola to pan with mashed berries.
Stir granola and berries until well combined.
Dehydrating Strawberry-Raspberry Granola Clusters:
Spread mixture on a nonstick sheet and shape into a square (or donut shape for Nesco dehydrators).
Dehydrate at 135°F (57°C) for approximately 12 hours until almost brittle but slightly pliable.
After about 6 hours, when the granola is substantially dry, flip it over and continue drying it directly on a mesh sheet.
When the strawberry-raspberry granola is dry and cool, break it into smaller clusters. Store in an airtight container at home until ready to pack for hiking or a backpacking trip.
Photo: Dehydrated Strawberry-Raspberry Granola Clusters as part of a trail mix with chocolate and nuts.
Fruity Trail Mix: Strawberries, bananas, apples, oranges. Shown in photo above.
Fruit Cocktail: Same mix as above, but rehydrated with cold water. Rehydrate ½-cup of dried fruit with 1 cup of cold water. Wait at least an hour for best rehydration. You will end up with well-rehydrated fruit, plus a ½-cup of fruity-tasting juice. Double the quantities for a bigger treat.
Classic Trail Mix: Dried strawberries, peanuts, and m&ms.
Oatmeal: Add ¼-cup of dried strawberries to your oatmeal.
Trail Angel Cake is frequently mentioned by Backpacking Chef readers as one their favorite trail desserts.
Photo: Dried strawberries are delicious when rehydrated in Trail Angel Cake.
Ingredients: ½ cup dried strawberries, 1 cup dried angel food cake, 3 Tbsp. sweetened cocoa powder, and ½ cup water to rehydrate.
You'll find the Trail Angel Cake recipe and desserts like Pineapple Up-Side-Down Cake on my dessert page.
Another fun way to dehydrate strawberries is to make strawberry fruit leather. Make it with just strawberries, or combine strawberries with other berries or fruits.
On the trail, enjoy strawberry leather as healthy snack, or rehydrate it into delicious fruit smoothies and pudding.