Getting Creative With Tomatoes

Finally, the goal has been reached for the canned tomatoes for 2010 and I’ve been jumping for joy!  The tomato plants didn’t get the message and they’re still producing.  Last week when I mentioned that I wasn’t going to skin and can the cherry tomatoes, no matter how many pounds of cherry tomatoes we have, several suggested drying them and grinding them to a powder so I did!

First I dried them, with the skins on:

I left them in a sealed jar overnight and the next day, they went through the blender.  Tomato powder!

I used some of the powder last night instead of tomato paste in my enchilada sauce and it was fantastic!  More cherry tomatoes are in the dehydrator right now!

Also, I did a little research on sun dried tomatoes.  Most commercial sun dried tomatoes are dried in dehydrators these days.  I can do that!  The dried ones with no oil or spices are about $7/pound at Wal-Mart.  Those in a jar of oil and spices are about $8 for 8 ounces at the grocery store.  I don’t like skins on my sun dried tomatoes so I used larger tomatoes that I skinned, quartered, and removed some of the seeds.

These will be stored in a freezer bag in the freezer.  A few days before I need sun dried tomatoes, I’ll take a few out, marinate them in olive oil and spices and . . free (or almost free) sun dried tomatoes.  But, this plan only works if I stop munching on them.  They’re so good to eat just like this.

Comments

  1. 2

    says

    Might try that with cherry tomatoes. We have oodles of them. I never munched on dried tomatoes….but we don’t get enough regular tomatoes for me to dry them.

  2. 3

    says

    You know I am so jealous of all your tomatoes but I have some turning red now so I’m doing better. 🙂 With all I dried last year, not once did I think to snack on the dry tomatoes! Drying is very addicting!

    • 4.1

      says

      Love ’em on pizza! I have several recipes that call for sun dried tomatoes and if I don’t have my own, I usually just leave them out because they’re so expensive.

  3. 7

    says

    What a great idea!!!! My tomato plants (actually they look like walls of tomato plants in my raised bed gardens) are demanding that I pick more today and I was trying to think of creative ways to use them all. I will, of course, can more diced tomatoes and make salsa, but I think I’ll dehydrate some for tomato powder!! Thanks!!

    • 8.1

      says

      For the cherry tomatoes, I slice them (around the equator instead of stem to blossom end) and dry them with the cut side up. For the ones I’ll use as sun dried tomatoes, I skin them, quarter them and remove some but not all of the seeds.

      How long it takes depends a lot on your dehydrator. To get the cherry tomatoes dry enough to pulverize, I dry them at 135° for about 18 hours. I want them to be really dry . . crunchy dry. For the ones that will be sun dried tomatoes, I dry them at 135° for maybe 8 – 10 hours. Test them from time to time. You want them to be leathery — not sticky and not too dry.

  4. 9

    says

    I was going to ask how long you dried the tomatoes but I see someone else did. I had so many one year we couldn’t keep up with them!

  5. 10

    Cathy Stoddard says

    Judy,
    Those are the most beautiful sun-dried tomatoes I have seen!!!
    Gorgeous!! You go girl!!!
    What kind of dehydrator do you have?

  6. 11

    carol c says

    good deal Judy
    come down here, lay them tomotoes on the top of the truck in this heat, they be dried to a crisp in a day-lol

    • 11.1

      says

      Believe me . . it’s probably as hot here as it is there. Our temps have been in the 100 – 103 range with heat indexes in the 115 – 120 range. It’s been miserably hot. I could dry them outside but I’d prefer not having flies and dust on them so I use the dehydrator.