Strawberry season is finally here! This is our favourite time of year. We love going to the U-Pick and coming home with a huge bounty.
I have a tried and true tradition once I get home:
- Wash and hull many many strawberries.
- Lay some out in a single layer on cookie sheets and freeze.
- Slice and combine some with sugar and lemon juice for future batches of strawberry ice cream.
- Prepare strawberry powder
What is Strawberry Powder?
Strawberry powder is a discovery I made a few years ago and I love it. It is simply dried strawberry mash that is pulverized into a powder.
That’s it. No added … anything.
Why would I take perfectly good strawberries and turn them into powder? The main reasons are space, convenience, and magic.
Since I cook a lot from scratch, my freezer gets quite full. I simply don’t have room to store all of the strawberries we pick.
The convenience factor comes in when it comes time to use the powder. It is so much easier to grab the powder and use it in so many things without having to take out frozen berries.
What’s the Magic?
The magic lies in the fact that I can add a powerful punch of flavour without adding extra liquid or sugar. The flavour of the powder is very concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Here are just a few things to do with this lovely powder:
- Sprinkle on oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt.
- Add to ice cream (whether when making or just eating).
- Add to muffin, cake, scone, and cookie recipes.
- Rehydrate by soaking some powder in warm water (for a few minutes) and use as is or add sugar to make a syrup.
- Add to meat rubs or marinades for added flavour.
- Add to other fruit powders to make combinations (rhubarb/strawberry is a great one).
- Add to salad dressings.
Tips and Tricks
Here are a bunch of tips that should answer any questions you may have. Let me know if I have missed anything.
- Some people recommend slicing and drying before grinding. I don’t do that. I find that it takes less time and effort to just make a puree out of the strawberries and then dry it. This is similar to making fruit leather, but you do not need to add anything extra when making the powder.
- When drying, make sure that you spread it as thinly as possible. This will help it dry quickly and evenly.
- You can dry the puree in a purpose-made dehydrator or just use your oven. If using the oven, set it on the lowest available setting (170 °F (76 °C) or lower). My oven only goes down to 170 °F (76 °C) and it works just fine without cooking the puree. Be sure to prop open the oven door a little so that the moisture can escape.
- When using a dehydrator, use the “fruit leather” tray or line a tray with parchment or plastic wrap.
- When using an oven, use parchment paper.
- NEVER use wax paper in either one.
- I have found that using the oven takes about 4 hours and the dehydrator takes closer to 12.
- Make sure that the puree is COMPLETELY DRY. If it is at all bendy, it is not completely dry. When dry it will be brittle and crumbly.
- Once dried, allow it to cool completely before grinding.
- Once ground, put it in an airtight container and leave it on the counter to let it “condition”. Conditioning just means to let it rest for a couple of days to see if any moisture is still present. If there is, there will be some condensation on the jar or its lid. If there is any, spread the powder on a tray and dry some more.
- I prefer to grind up my powder very fine (like flour) because it is easier to incorporate into other ingredients like whipping cream.
- I store some of my powders in the cupboard, while others are put into the freezer. Those I don’t use very often go into the freezer.
The beauty of this technique is that it works for so many things:
- Any fruit puree.
- Create vegetable powders. Some veggies need blanching or cooking before dehydrating. See this info to be sure.
- Even broths can be dehydrated into broth powder.
The added bonus of these powders is that they have a shelf life of 6-12 months. More than enough time until the next crops come in.
Strawberry Powder Recipe
|Servings||Prep Time||Cook Time|
|1/4 Cup||5 minutes||4 – 12 Hours|
- Be sure to clean your strawberries and utensils very well before you begin.
- The powder needs to be completely dry before storing.
- If you notice and mold or discoloration, throw the powder out.
- To reconstitute, add warm water and allow the powder to dissolve.
- 1 Pint Fresh Strawberries