As happy as I am to usher in strawberry season, it’s really just a prelude to raspberry season for me. I’m not really a huge fan of strawberry jam, since I find it discolors more quickly than other berry jams, and the pieces are often too big and slippery. My favorite preparation for strawberries is, instead, dehydrated slices that taste sweeter and cleaner than other dried berries do when dried.
Sliced at 1/4-inch thick and dried until crisp at 135 degrees, they make great additions to trail mix, cheese plates, oatmeal, and granola. The trick is to slice them evenly (do not follow my example here), get them fresh, pick a large, solid variety (Hoods or Tillamooks work well; avoid Seascapes or Shuksans) and make way more than you think you’ll need. I sometimes wait until the end of the season so I can get a deal on a flat after everyone has tired of eating these delicious morsels fresh with cream, as we do.
Have little strawberries left over? I’ve stopped using supermarket California strawberries for my annual strawberry clay facial mask because of the pesticides (no, I’d never eat them). So make a facial from nice organic Oregon ones instead!