Are you picking strawberries at your favorite u-pick this year? Maybe you grow your own strawberries and have a bumper crop. Or have you dehydrated berries, and now you’re wondering what to do with all of those sweet, pink chips?
This summer, make up a jar of flavor-packed strawberry powder. You’ll be able to enjoy the sweet taste of summer by the spoonful all year long.
This easy-to-make, space-saving condiment only takes moments to make, but don’t go putting it in the cupboard just yet. You’ll find yourself reaching for it over and over again.
Why I Love Strawberry Powder & You Will Too
As an apartment-dweller with limited space, preserving food can be a challenge in my home. But I never let the size of my pantry stand in the way. I have a tiny 5 cubic-foot freezer in my kitchen, and while I love the flavor and convenience of flash-frozen strawberries, they take up a lot of room. I would rather save that precious freezer space for things like meat.
And who doesn’t love homemade strawberry jam?
Strawberry is my favorite jam flavor. But what if you don’t want all the extra sugar that comes with jam? And much like bags of frozen strawberries, canned jam eats into pantry space.
So, when it comes to enjoying the delicious flavor of strawberries year-round, you should always have a jar of strawberry powder on hand. Strawberry powder is intensely flavored, meaning a little goes a long way. And when it comes to saving space, you can’t beat having one small eight-ounce jar filled with dozens of strawberries.
How to Make Strawberry Powder
To make strawberry powder, you need dried strawberries. You can easily make dehydrated strawberries using your oven or a food dehydrator. (I walk you through both processes in this article.)
But before you get started, there are a few things to consider when choosing which dried strawberries to use.
You want to use crispy strawberries, which snap in two when broken. Dried strawberries that are still chewy will not turn into powder. Rather, you’ll end up with a thick paste that, although delicious, won’t keep like strawberry powder.
If you use strawberries that you have dried yourself, you will most likely have a darker strawberry powder. Many manufactured dried fruit contains preservatives to keep it from turning brown as it dries. Don’t worry; it still tastes incredible.
To make the powder, you simply pulse the dried strawberries in a food processor or high-powered blender until you get a fine powder. If you recently washed your machine, ensure they are completely dry before making the powder.
Hint – if you use a blender, rather than waste the film of strawberry powder left behind when you’re finished, make a smoothie and incorporate all that tasty powder into a quick snack.
Use as few or as many dried strawberries as you like, blending until you make enough powder. I prefer to keep adding strawberries until I have enough to fill an empty jam jar.
Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dark place for the best flavor and color. To extend the life of your strawberry powder, I highly recommend putting a desiccant packet in the bottom of your jar before filling it with the finished powder. You should only use a food-grade desiccant. I like these on Amazon and use them in all of the dehydrated goods I make at home.
The Secret to Bright Pink Powder
If you want a strawberry powder that looks as good as it tastes, consider skipping the dehydrated strawberries. Anytime heat is used to dry something with sugar in it, you will inevitably have some browning due to caramelization.
The caramelization makes the finished product sweeter but may produce a muddy red-brown powder. That’s fine for a smoothie or adding the strawberry powder to your morning yogurt. However, you may want a more pleasing pink color for items like frosting, where the presentation is part of the enjoyment of the food.
In that case, it’s time to break out my secret strawberry powder ingredient – freeze-dried strawberries. The great thing about dehydrating foods by freezing them is that it preserves their vibrant colors.
Freeze-dried strawberries are pretty easy to come by. Many grocery stores carry them, and you can easily find them in among the dried fruit at Walmart. Of course, if all else fails, Amazon has freeze-dried strawberries too.
Tasty Uses for Strawberry Powder
Use strawberry powder in anything you want to add a powerful punch of strawberry flavor. Remember, a little goes a long way. The strawberry flavor is highly concentrated in powdered form.
Whenever you dry fruit, the flavor and sweetness become more intense. You’re removing the water and leaving all of the natural sugars. Add to that the slight caramelization of the fructose from the heat of drying the strawberries, and you’ve got super summer strawberry flavor packed in the tiniest teaspoon of powder.
For each of these, you can start with the recommended amount of strawberry powder and add more to taste.
Yogurt Stir-in – Add a nice rounded teaspoon of strawberry powder to plain yogurt for a little sweet strawberry flavor.
Smoothies – If a smoothie is your go-to morning meal, you’ll love having strawberry powder on hand. Add a teaspoon or two of strawberry powder to your morning smoothie for an extra kick of vitamin C and natural sweetener.
Pink Lemonade – When plain lemonade won’t do, add two tablespoons of strawberry powder to your homemade lemonade. Use club soda instead of water to make fizzy pink lemonade for an extra special treat.
Strawberry Simple Syrup – If you’re a budding mixologist, then you know how handy it is to have flavored syrups to hand for mixing up cocktails. Add two tablespoons of strawberry powder to the water when mixing up a batch of simple syrup for easy strawberry syrup.
Milkshakes – If you’re craving a strawberry milkshake, but all you’ve got is vanilla ice cream, reach for your jar of strawberry powder. Add one teaspoon per milkshake and blend well.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting – Skip the fake strawberry flavoring the next time you whip up a batch of creamy buttercream frosting. Add a tablespoon or two of strawberry powder to your favorite buttercream frosting recipe. For the best results, soak the powder for ten minutes in whatever liquid your buttercream recipe calls for before mixing the resulting paste in. Try freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of milk or cream for an especially summery frosting.
Strawberry Pancakes – Add a heaping tablespoon of strawberry powder to your next batch of pancake batter for sweet, pink pancakes.
Get creative, and soon you’ll be adding your homemade strawberry powder to all of your latest culinary creations. This amazing flavor-packed powder will be a regular staple in your kitchen every summer.
And don’t forget, I’ve got even more ideas on how to use up a huge basket of strawberries. Plus, I have a tutorial for another great way to preserve strawberries – freezing them so they don’t stick together.