4 Ways to Freeze Strawberries

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4 Ways to Freeze Strawberries
4 Ways to Freeze Strawberries
Anonim

Making freeze-dried strawberries is a great option for those who like nutritious snacks! Freeze drying is very simple to understand: the process extracts water from the food, preventing it from spoiling and reducing its total weight. Everything can be done at home, either with professional equipment or even with an ordinary oven. And you can eat the dehydrated fruits right after, but also use them as ingredients in certain recipes and even keep everything for a longer time.

Ingredients

  • 500 g of strawberries (or more).
  • 30 g of sugar (if you are going to use the oven).

Steps

Method 1 of 4: Washing and Cutting Strawberries

Step 1. Wash strawberries in cold water

Buy fresh strawberries, which have a better taste and texture for freeze drying. Wash them with ice water at the sink tap for 30 to 60 seconds.

This wash serves to remove any layer of dirt from the strawberries

Step 2. Dry the strawberries with a clean towel

Strawberries should not be wet when you start freeze drying. So wipe off excess water from them with a tea towel or paper towels. Ideally, the fruits are dry on the outside.

If you freeze dried strawberries on the outside, they will have a soft texture after processing

Step 3. Remove the stem and leaves from the strawberries

Take a small or medium sharp knife and cut the stalks and leaves from the strawberries. As these parts are not edible, you can discard them all at once.

Also remove any brown spots you find on the husks of the strawberries

Step 4. Cut the strawberries into 6mm thick pieces

Using the same knife as before, cut the strawberries vertically into small pieces. Try to make each one no more than 6mm thick as this ensures that all the fruits dry at the same speed.

If the strawberry pieces are of different sizes, some can end up much drier than others - which affects the flavor and texture

Method 2 of 4: Using the Freeze Dryer

Freeze Dry Strawberries Step 5

Step 1. Read the instructions before starting to use the lyophilizer

A freeze-dryer, also known as a freeze-drying chamber, is equipment that freezes food and then extracts all the moisture from within it. As each machine operates a little differently, you need to read the instructions for use before starting.

Be sure to read the instructions first! Otherwise, you run the risk of spoiling the strawberries or even the freeze-dryer

Step 2. Line the freeze dryer tray with tracing paper

The freeze dryer includes some trays for you to place food. Take a sheet of tracing paper (or other material that can withstand low temperatures) and line the bottom of one of them.

Tracing paper helps prevent strawberries from sticking to the metal of the tray

Step 3. Distribute the strawberries on the tray in a single layer

After lining the tray with parchment paper, distribute the strawberries on it - leaving a little space between each one (so they don't stick together).

Don't worry so much if the strawberries touch lightly: the freeze-dryer is extremely efficient and will dehydrate them all in the same way

Step 4. Place the tray in the freeze dryer and put the isolation cover in place

After you distribute the strawberries on the tray, just put everything in the freeze dryer in the correct position. Then put the insulation cap on the outside and turn it clockwise.

Review the lyophilizer instructions for use to know how to put the isolation cap in place. It serves to control the insulation level in the chamber

Step 5. Activate the freeze dryer after closing the door

Close the door and turn the valve until it locks. Then press the "Start" button (or something similar) to turn on the equipment and start lyophilization.

The freeze-dryer will reach extremely negative temperatures, such as -30°C, in a short time

Step 6. Take a look at the strawberries the next day

Strawberries will be completely dry within a day. The freeze dryer freezes them for about nine hours, but dehydrates them for more than 12. Open the chamber door and try one of the fruits.

Strawberry should be 100% solid and crunchy in texture

Step 7. Thaw the freeze-dryer after dehydrating all the strawberries

After collecting the strawberries, the freeze-dryer will switch to automatic defrost mode. At this point, it sheds the ice that remains inside and returns to room temperature. The process takes about two hours, and you can go back to using the camera afterward.

Place the freeze dryer near a bucket or sink to catch the water that runs off the equipment when the ice melts

Method 3 of 4: Dehydrating Strawberries in the Oven

Step 1. Mix strawberry pieces with sugar

To preserve the sweetness and flavor of the strawberries, you need to mix 500 g of pieces of the fruit with 30 g of sugar in a large bowl. Then set everything aside for 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 2. Distribute the strawberries on a baking sheet

First, line the baking sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil. Next, distribute the strawberries in it. Try to spread the fruits well, preventing them from having any contact, so as not to affect the dehydration process.

Step 3. Bake the strawberries for three or three and a half hours

Turn the oven on at 85°C (or at the lowest possible temperature) and place the baking sheet with the strawberries in it. Count between three hours and three and a half hours.

This part of the process serves to dehydrate the strawberries

Step 4. Turn the pan over every 30 minutes

You need to turn the pan over from time to time to dehydrate the strawberries on all sides. To do this, set the clock to wake up every 30 minutes, put on a kitchen glove and turn the tray in the opposite direction.

  • You only need to turn the pan 90° every 30 minutes.
  • If you don't turn the pan over, strawberries may be drier on the outside than on the inside.

Step 5. See if the strawberries are dehydrated

After roasting the strawberries for a while, try one of them and see the result. Ideally, the center of the fruit is not frozen, but the skin is 100% dry.

If the strawberries are not dehydrated, put them back in the oven for another ten minutes

Step 6. Take strawberries out of the oven when they are dehydrated

If the strawberries are dry outside, they're probably done. Don't worry if the fruit takes on a darker color: this is part of the oven process. Just wait for them to cool down!

Method 4 of 4: Eating and saving strawberries

Step 1. Eat the dehydrated strawberries at once

Dehydrated strawberries are sweet and crunchy, making them ideal for a healthy snack. Therefore, you can eat the fruits soon or shortly after the process. Just put some in a lidded bowl and take them to class or work!

Dehydrated strawberries go great with picnics, trails and other tours

Step 2. Use strawberries in other recipes

Cut about 60g of dehydrated strawberries into small pieces and add them to your bowl of cereal, oatmeal or granola for breakfast! As the fruits are already preserved, they will make the dishes even sweeter.

Try adding dehydrated strawberry pieces to other types of cereal

Step 3. Make dumplings with dried strawberries

To make muffins (or rather, the famous English muffin), you will need 70 g dehydrated strawberries, 590 g flour, 240 g white sugar, 120 g brown sugar, 12 g baking powder, 3 large eggs, 80 g of vegetable oil and 60 g of butter. Mix all the ingredients, transfer the dough to a mold and bake in the oven at 220 ºC for 25 to 30 minutes.

After 25 to 30 minutes, collect the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool

Step 4. Store strawberries in a zip lock bag and use within one year

Place dried strawberries in a zip lock bag. Fill 2/3 of the material and remove excess air from inside before closing. Then take the fruit to the pantry or freezer. Eat them all at once or one after the other, but never forget to close the bag again.

  • Strawberries stay fresh for up to a year as long as you protect them from the air. If they are exposed to oxygen outside, they will spoil and have a hard, chewy texture.
  • You can even put an oxygen absorber inside the bag. These products, sold in the form of sachets, help to remove (or at least reduce) the oxygen around. You can find everything on the internet or in some supermarkets.

Step 5. Use a vacuum sealer to preserve the strawberries longer

Fill about 2/3 of a sealable bag with the dried strawberries. Place an oxygen absorber inside it and then pass the object's outlet through a vacuum sealer. Activate the equipment to remove all the air inside and extend the fruit life.

  • Write "strawberries" on the bag and include the date you dehydrated them. This helps to avoid any confusion, especially if the container is not transparent.
  • Oxygen scavengers are small sachets that help keep fruits and other foods fresh longer. Buy them online or at some supermarkets.
  • Strawberries can be preserved in sealed bags for up to ten or 15 years. However, when you open the bag, they will only have a shelf life of one year.

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