Summer means STRAWBERRIES, and with the season coming much too quickly to a close, I am finding myself trying to get in as many of them as I can. I don’t think that I’ve ever met someone that doesn’t like strawberries — they’re SO good, and ya know what? They are SO good for you as well!
Strawberries are full of vitamin C, and we all know what that means – a nice healthy boost to our immune system! That nice boost to the immune system along with the antioxidants lutein and zeathancins and the phytochemical ellagic acid which strawberries contain make this yummy fruit excellent for fighting and preventing cancer. Some other health benefits of strawberries include
- fights bad cholesterol
- promotes eye health
- helps fight wrinkles providing younger looking skin
- ease inflammation
- good for weight loss
- regulates blood pressure
- boosts short term memory
- promotes bone health
Who would have thought that these little morsels of delight could provide all these excellent health benefits while tasting like a little piece of heaven.
With strawberry season coming to an end (boooooo!), there was a great sale on organic strawberries the last time I went grocery shopping, so I got A LOT! When I got home, I realized I may have went a bit overboard since I didn’t think we would be able to eat them all before they went bad. I went on Pinterest for some ideas, and came across this GREAT one.
Dried strawberries – genius! The link this brought me to is an eHow on how to dry strawberries (you can click on the picture to go to the site). I have dried apples in the oven, but never thought of doing it with strawberries. On the site, it says to use REALLY low temps of about 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. When I did the apples, I used higher temps than this, and I knew that strawberries contain even more moisture than apples, so I decided on 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Thank goodness I did, because even this took a good 5 hours to get the strawberries to dry — I can’t imagine how long it would have taken at 120-150 degrees!
The great thing about these is they stay fresh for quite a while, so I was able to make these and not have to worry about the gobs of strawberries I bought going to waste. I eat them plain (they taste somewhat like twizzlers, but in my opinion, BETTER), and I’ve also used them to make a homemade trail mix with dried strawberries, cashews, almonds, and walnuts – YUM! The recipe is extremely easy though it takes quite a while for the strawberries to dry, so it’s a good one to do if you know you are going to be home for most the day. As an added bonus, these will make your home smell amazing while they are in the oven.
OVEN DRIED STRAWBERRIES
- Cut off tops of strawberries and any bad spots. Cut in half. Place wax paper on a baking sheet and put the strawberries on the wax paper.
2. Place in oven. Bake at 200 degrees for 3-5 hours. (I did two batches, the first, I cut the strawberries into thirds, and those took a little over 3 hours. The second, I halved the strawberries, and those ones took 4-5 hours)