Saving Strawberry Seeds and Dehydrating
By Joseph Parish
When it comes to strawberries you may be planning to grow your own, in such case you might possibly consider saving the strawberry seeds from the best plants that you have encountered. These plants should naturally be disease resistant and easy to care for. If you decide to save seeds from your strawberry plants then allow the fruit to over ripen before it is picked. In short, it should be slightly squishy. Place these over ripe berries into a fine holed kitchen strainer and gently shove the pulp through the sieve in order to separate the seed from the fruit. Try not to crush the seeds.
Next, rinse the seeds well under gently cool running tap water. This should be done while they are still in the sieve so that they donít washing down the drain. Place your cleaned seeds on a plate and allow them to air dry for several days. When the seeds are dry they will not cling to each other and can be easily moved across the plate with your finger.
As you can tell it is fairly easy to save the seeds and keep the plant population updated for many years. But your next question may be how can you enjoy strawberries all year long? The answer is simple you use the popular process known as dehydrating when the berries are plentiful. This is usually the best time to freeze or to dehydrate these delightful fruits.
Every spring tons of people who do not grow their own strawberries make a beeline to their local pick your own strawberry fields in an effort to satisfy their desire for tasty berries. Strawberries are excellent sources of vitamin C and they are low in calorie content as well. The best results can be obtained if one only follows a few simple rules.
Always handle the berries gently and do not stuff them into the containers but rather place them in there loosely. This procedure will avoid crushing these fragile berries. The next rule to follow whether you are picking your own berries fresh from the field or if you are purchasing them in your local grocery store is to choose them wisely. You may be impressed with how pretty the large berries may be however keep in mind that the small to medium berries may have the best tasting flavor. Select the cleanest, driest berries that you can find. Choose those that are bright red and pleasingly plump. They should not have any discoloration what so ever. Keep in mind that strawberries will not ripen after they are picked so make sure to select only the rip ones that you find.
If the strawberry shows any signs of moisture or mold it should be avoided as these are sure signs of ruined fruit. When purchasing the berries at a grocery store if you note any moldy ones in the package you can rest assured that the complete package has moldy fruits in it.
Before preparing your strawberries you should sort them and discarding any which are not up to par. Place your berries in a single layer and store them in your refrigerator until you are ready to use them. Never remove the caps until after you have rinsed the berries under water. To do so will allow the berries to absorb unnecessary water. Always wait until you are ready to use the berries before you rinse them in clean water and then only a few at a time. Use a colander and cold water. Now you can remove the caps by giving them an smart twist with a strawberry huller. Use the strawberries as quickly as possible after you have picked or purchased them.
Dehydrated strawberries provide a fairly good quality product however, since they do not re-hydrate very well you would do well to use them as snacks in pudding, cereal, yogurt, or dessert. Prior to placing them in the dehydrator they should be washed gently, then hulled, and finally cut into Ĺ inch slices. Dehydrate them at 130 to 135 degrees until they are pliable. This usually will take about 24 to 36 hours to accomplish.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish