How to Freeze Dry Strawberries

Berries.  They are one of the most popular fruits out there.  Why?  They are versatile, delicious and great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and treats.

But their seasons are short and they really aren't as yummy out of season.  Which makes them even more desirable.  We want what we can't have.
Learn the step-by-step process of how to freeze dry strawberries in the comfort of your own kitchen.
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    I'm happy to say that we have found a new, nutritious way to preserve our strawberries for use all year long.  Even during those cold winter months when all we want is a sweet strawberry treat.  What's the secret?  Freeze dried strawberries!

    That's right.  Strawberries make a great freeze dried treat.  You can freeze dry a big batch in the spring and summer months when the garden is full of berries.  Yes, you can can jams, jellies and even freeze strawberries the conventional way.  But freeze dried strawberries take up less space and last much longer for freeze dried correctly.

    Let us show you how to freeze dry strawberries that you can use for years to come.

    how to freeze dry strawberries

    Selecting the Perfect Strawberries

    When it comes to selecting the perfect strawberries for freeze-drying, freshness is key. Look for strawberries that are firm, plump, and deep red in color. Avoid berries that are overly ripe or mushy, as they may not hold up well during the freeze-drying process. 

    It's best if they are in season.  You'll have the most nutritious and flavorful strawberries.  But no worries if they aren't, they'll still have a nice concentrated flavor once the water is removed in the freeze drying process.

    Supplies Needed to Freeze Dry Strawberries

    Freeze Dryer Machine:  We use the large Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.  We decided to go with the large because it can hold more, which means filling less often versus running the machine more often.  But they come in small, medium and large.  And they released an Ex-Large version in 2023.

    Vacuum Sealer: A vacuum sealer is a good investment if you plan to store your freeze dried goods in jars.  This eliminates the cost and need for oxygen absorbers.

    Mylar Bags:  A Mylar bag is a great choice for storing freeze dried foods.  They come in many sizes and keep light from getting to foods.  They can be stored in tubs or 5 gallon buckets for easy access.  Make sure to purchase thick bags to avoid foods puncturing through and ruining your food supply.

    Impulse Sealer: An Impulse Sealer is used to seal Mylar bags.  Heat is applied to the bag layers to seal them together and avoid moisture, air and light from penetrating the bags.

    Oxygen Absorbers: Whether you plan to use Mylar bags or canning jars, you'll want to invest in oxygen absorbers.  These will be added to each Mylar bag and short term shortage jars.  This ensures that any oxygen in the packaging is absorbed and keeps the food from spoiling.  

    You can purchase these in many places including from Harvest Right and even on Amazon.  We've had success with both, but you may need to try a few brands until you find one that works best for you.

    how to make freeze dried strawberries

    Preparing Strawberries for Freeze-Drying

    Start by washing strawberries thoroughly under cold running water. This step is important to remove any dirt, debris, or pesticides that may be present on the surface of the berries. You can also soak berries in vinegar to remove any coatings that may have been sprayed on the outside.

    Next, hull the berries by removing the green tops and stems from the strawberries using a small paring knife or a strawberry huller

    how to freeze dry strawberries

    Slice the strawberries into halves, quarters or even into rounds.  Place them on the freeze-drying trays.  At this point you can do one of two things.  Either place the trays in a traditional freezer for several hours to allow an initial freeze.  Or put them right into the freeze dryer to freeze.  Using a traditional freeze cuts back on the freeze drying time and can save you a little time or money down the road.

    how to make freeze dried strawberries

    Add Strawberries to Freeze Dryer

    Once the strawberries are frozen solid, transfer them to the freeze dryer, making sure they are evenly spaced to allow for proper air circulation. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific freeze dryer model regarding temperature settings and drying times. We just keep the factory settings and start our machine.  

    how to freeze dry strawberries

    The strawberries typically take between 15-20 hours.  But that depends on moisture, temperature in the room, and even if they are freeze drying with other items at the same time.

    Once the freeze-drying process is complete, carefully remove the strawberries from the freeze dryer and package them.

    VIDEO:  Freeze Drying Strawberries

    how to make freeze dried strawberries

    Storing Freeze-Dried Strawberries

    To keep your homemade freeze-dried strawberries fresh and tasty, it's important to store them properly. Strawberries being eaten in the next week can be stored in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, with an oxygen absorber

    For long term storage, use a Mylar Bag or place strawberries in a vacuum sealed mason jar.  Make sure to include oxygen absorbers in each Mylar bag.

    Store strawberries in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and moisture to maintain the strawberries' crisp texture and flavor.  Make sure they are tightly sealed to prevent any air or moisture from getting in.

    how to freeze dry strawberries

    Creative Ways to Enjoy Freeze-Dried Strawberries at Home

    Now that you have successfully know how to freeze dry strawberries, it's time to think about all the creative ways you can enjoy these delicious treats at home. 

    One our favorite ways to eat freeze-dried strawberries is to sprinkle them over our morning yogurt or on some ice cream.  

    how to freeze dry strawberries

    Some other ideas are:
    • Add freeze dried strawberries on top of cereal 
    • Put in your favorite trail mix 
    • Incorporating freeze-dried strawberries into muffins, cookies, or even homemade granola bars 
    • Dip freeze-dried strawberries into melted chocolate to create your own gourmet chocolate-covered strawberries
    • Simply snack on freeze dried strawberries

    Learning how to freeze dry strawberries at home is simpler than you think. If you have a freeze dryer, you are going to love how easy it is to preserve strawberries for use all year long.

    Learn the step-by-step process of how to freeze dry strawberries in the comfort of your own kitchen.

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