May 12, 2009

Preserving strawberries

The simplest way to preserve strawberries is in the freezer. Clean and hull strawberries. Leave whole or cut in half or slivers. Place in zip-top freezer bag but only fill about half way. Lay bag flat in your freezer so that the berries do not clump together. Once berries are frozen, you can move the bag around and store as you please. These are great to add to smoothies, muffin recipes, or cobblers throughout the off season.

Ready for a yummy treat? Get out your dehydrator! While strawberries have a high water content making them take a while to dehydrate, they are very much worth the wait. Clean and hull strawberries. Cut strawberries in slivers about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. If you prefer to cut them in half, just know that the dehydration process will take longer. Gently pat them dry with a paper towel or lintless cloth towel. Add to the dehydrator per its instructions. Check them in a few hours. When they start showing signs of being dryer check as often as every 30 minutes. Many factors will vary how long this process will take, but estimate that they will be in the dehydrator for about a half of a day. Some berries will be ready to be removed sooner than others due to size. You will know when they are ready because they will no longer feel damp when pressed and when cut the center will be dry. Store in an air tight container at room temperature once they have cooled. These are great for trail mixes or served as is.

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