A Simple Trick to Make Strawberry Season Last Forever

strawberries-burlap_mediumStrawberry season is synonymous with summer. While imported strawberries can be found in many grocery stores all year long, they simply can’t compete with the taste of perfectly ripe, locally harvested berries. If you can’t get enough strawberries, try drying the berries in your oven so you can preserve them at peak ripeness for months to come.

For Best Results…strawberries-burlap-2_faceb

The more flavorful the berries you start out with, the more delicious the dried berries will be. Drying fruit only minimally impacts its nutritional value, so you’ll end up with a nutrient- and flavor-rich treat. To make dried strawberries, you will need…

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Water

How to Make Homemade Dried Strawberries

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Wash the berries and remove the leaves and stems with a small paring knife.
  3. Next, place the berries in a large bowl filled with cold water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  4. Allow the berries to soak for 10 minutes, then drain and dry gently with a clean, lint-free towel.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the berries on the sheet. Make sure to leave space between the berries for air to circulate.
  6. Place the baking sheet in the oven and set a timer for two hours.
  7. Remove the sheet from the oven and press each strawberry to slightly flatten it. You want to berries to be of roughly uniform thickness.dried-strawberries-board-2_
  8. Place the sheet back in the oven and set the timer for another two hours.
  9. Remove the sheet from the oven and flip each berry over.
  10. Place the sheet back in the oven and set the time for another two hours.
  11. The berries will take between 8-12 hours to dry out completely. Check them every two hours, as some berries may dry faster. Simply pluck out the ones that have finished drying and return the rest to the oven.

Once you’ve achieved the right texture—chewy, not crispy, with a tender center—let the berries cool. They can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container.dried-strawberries-bowl_fac

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