If your toddler loves freeze-dried strawberries sold in the convenient, but somewhat pricey packages, you will love this recipe. It's a simple method for drying fresh strawberries into what are basically chips. They are sweet, flavorful, and contain just one ingredient: strawberries.
I've been finding strawberries for less than $2 per quart the past few weeks at the grocery store, so they've been a regular feature in our kitchen lately. And while we love fresh berries, I wanted to mix up how I was serving them to keep the little one interested. These are also a nice option to pack into a container when you want to serve a simple snack while on the go since they don't need to be kept cold and they totally taste like a treat. It's a good thing that I knew that L liked them so much because I otherwise surely would have eaten the entire batch immediately after taking them out of the oven!
Texture-wise, these aren't quite as dissolvable as the freeze-dried fruit, but they have a very similar flavor. They are crunchy and just every so slightly sticky like fruit leather, so they are better for slightly older toddlers—and, of course, mom and dad!
You can do two baking sheets at once to get a slightly larger batch, but be sure to swap the positions of the pans halfway through baking to ensure that they bake evenly.
Makes about 1 cup
- 5-6 strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash, dry, and remove the stems from the berries. Use a mandoline to make slices that are between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick—this is the biggest setting on my mandoline, or the "3.0 mm" notch. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 90 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, then carefully remove slices from the parchment paper, turn them over, and place directly onto the baking sheet. Place back into the oven for 15 minutes to dry the other side. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet. They crisp a little further as they cool. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container and store at room temperature.