We’re going to talk about how to make sun dried tomatoes. There are various methods available, and we’re going to focus on using a dehydrator, because it’s effective and very convenient. It’s a tremendous technique for storing fresh, garden-variety tomatoes as well.
We’re also going to share with you a sun dried tomato recipe. It’ll show you how to turn a batch of sun dried tomatoes into tomato paste (ketchup), tomato powder, juice, sauce, salsa and many other recipes!
How to dehydrate tomatoes
Many tomatoes have a lot of juice, which is often wasted. We recommend using beefsteak tomatoes (classified for their pith content), which come in both red and green varieties. Roma, heirloom, cocktail and cherry tomatoes work great, as well.
The reason for this, is that much of the moisture might not make it to the dehydrator. To avoid this, you could use a sharp knife and pour any juice from the cutting board back onto the tomato slices, but it’s much better to choose the right tomatoes.
We share a recipe for sun dried tomatoes in olive oil in another article. Simply combine the ingredients listed and soak each tomato slice before drying.
Sun dried tomatoes in dehydrator
- Clean and slice your tomatoes. They should be ¼” in thickness, and as consistently cut as possible to ensure that all portions are dried equally. A tomato slicer is a great investment that will save you time and effort in the long run.
- Set your food dehydrator machine to 145 degrees F. Place the tomato slices onto your dehydrator trays as completely as possible, while leaving breathing space between each.
- Dry for between 6 and 12 hours. This will vary based on the kind of tomatoes you use, and the quality and effectiveness of your food dehydrator.
- For long-term storage, remove as much water as possible. The end result should be almost dry and brittle, and the dried tomatoes will change shape and texture after cooling for 30 minutes. Afterward, use vacuum-sealed bags to lock out the effects of oxidation.
Recipes using sun dried tomatoes
A digital food dehydrator will do wonders for your sun dried tomatoes. We going to show you how to make tomato powder, and use it in recipes like ketchup, BBQ sauce and salsa.
Place your sun dried tomatoes in a food processor. Blend them into a fine powder. It’s recommended to powder as needed, as it’s much easier to protect your dried tomatoes from oxygen while they’re in solid form.
Making tomato paste, sauce or juice is a simple matter of adding water, either cold or boiled. You have the benefit of the tomato’s original nutrients, without chemical additives. Turn it into a delicious, hearty soup by adding onion, garlic and other seasonings.
How to make ketchup with tomato powder
- 1/2 cup tomato powder
- 1 ¾ cups water
- 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. each garlic powder, dried mustard, pepper, allspice, cloves and ground coriander seeds
Mix and boil everything in a saucepan. Stir continuously, bringing the ketchup to a simmer for 30 minutes until it reaches the desired thickness.
It’s a very simple recipe, and there are many more examples. Peruse our articles or look on the web, and you'll find many delicious, practical uses for your dehydrator tomatoes!
A tomato dryer machine is a terrific way to make the most of your fresh tomatoes!