Tomatoes have soooo many uses in the kitchen. You can slice them, chop them, blend them into a sauce… this versatile vegetable is used to make some of our favorite dishes. But, did you know, you can use dehydrated tomatoes to add to your favorite meals?
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These days, conserving food is more important than ever. Americans waste over 72 billion pounds of food EACH year! That number is crazy. Recently people have been raiding the stores to get whatever food and produce they can get their hands on. The problem is, the fresh vegetables, like tomatoes, do not have a long shelf life.
However, there is a solution! Learn how to dehydrate your fresh vegetables and you can increase the lifespan of your fresh food from one week to 1 year or longer. These days, dehydrating could not be easier. It doesn’t matter if you live in the dry desert like we do, or in the humid Northwest.
How to Dehydrate Tomatoes:
Tomatoes are one of the easier produce items to dehydrate. There is little prep to dehydrating tomatoes. Whether you are trying to preserve them from your last grocery visit or had a huge garden bounty, this method is easy to follow. See the steps below for perfectly dehydrated tomatoes.
Wash and dry your tomatoes.
Slice your tomatoes. I love to use a serrated knife, or one made specifically for slicing tomatoes, it makes the job way easier.
You will want to slice tomatoes into 1/4-1/2 thick slices. By evenly slicing your tomatoes, they will dry evenly on the trays. If slices are different thicknesses, you will have to constantly check on them as they are drying and remove ones that are done and leave ones that need more drying time. By slicing them evenly, and rotating your trays, your batch will finish drying at approximately the same time.
If you are drying cherry tomatoes, I like to just slice them in half.
Place your tomato slices directly on your dehydrator trays. Make sure not to overlap pieces.
Set your temperature for 130 degrees and set the timer for 16-24 hours. The amount of time may vary depending on your location and your dehydrator. Not all dehydrators dry at the same rate, that is why you will rarely see a set amount of dry time listed in a dehydrator recipe.
Home dried tomatoes should be dryer and firmer than store-bought dried tomatoes to ensure a long shelf life. It is best to store dehydrated tomatoes in an airtight glass jar. I use my food saver attachment to remove the air from the jars. The tomatoes can be stored this way for a sealed jar for 6 months to a year.
What do you do with dehydrated tomatoes?
- powder them
- add to soups
- make salsa
- bake into bread
- add to pizza
- soak in olive oil as a side dish
- add to macaroni & cheese
- ……… the list is endless
A quick tutorial on how to powder tomatoes:
Place dried tomatoes into a spice grinder. Turn on and grind until a nice powder forms. Make sure to leave the lid secured for a couple of seconds to let the powder settle.
I would love to hear how you use your dehydrated tomatoes! Leave your comments below.