Dried Goji berries make a tasty and healthy snack. They can be dried in much the same fashion as other fruits and vegetables, By the sun – you’ll need the cooperation of Mother Nature in providing several days of hot sunshine, low humidity, and good air circulation.
By drying Goji berries, their potency becomes concentrated. You are basically removing moisture and excess water content- what’s left is the berry in it’s simplest form.. Flavor and anti-oxidants are concentrated.
How to Sun Dry Goji Berries
1. Sort the berries , discard any that are under ripe or over ripe, discard any that have any signs of decay , fungus or mold. You also want to somewhat sort by size, larger berries will take longer to dry, small, but otherwise healthy berries should be separated and dried separately.
2. Rinse and dry the berries. Be sure excess water on the berry surface is gone.
3. Place your baking pan in an area where it will get full sunlight, as well as good air circulation.
4. Lay your berries on cheesecloth, as uniformly and flatly as possible, the berries should not be touching one another. Do not use aluminum foil, this will react with the berries natural acids and create an undesirable effect.
5. The remainder of the process is sometimes the most difficult and virtuos – Patience, patience is a virtue. Drying time depends on the size and quality of your berries, heat and sunlight they are exposed to, air circulation and general climatic conditions.
After about a week of hot summer sun ,the Goji berries should be well dried, Properly dried Goji berries have a dark red color , should be leathery but pliable, something like a red raisin with a similar texture.
Naturally , during the drying process you’ll want to exercise common sense, such as covering the berries , or placing indoors should it rain. Critters shouldn’t be a problem, but children could be. My kids, with some help from the neighbor kids once devoured about 10 lbs of blueberries I was drying. Worst part is there is no pesticide to ward off kids.
Goji Berries can also be dehydrated using an electric dehydrator, and the results are comparable. Follow manufacturers instructions per device.
After the berries are dried, transfer them to your mouth or a zip top storage bag. They store well, place them in the pantry or they can also be frozen.