If you have a dehydrator, making dehydrated tomatoes is simple. It's perfect for making sun-dried tomatoes for your next recipe. They are quite easy to make but will need some close attention at the end of the process. Plan on at least 8 hours of drying time with most dehydrators.
If you don't have a food dehydrator but are curious, they are kitchen gadgets used by professional chefs and home chefs alike. Essentially, a food dehydrator is a tool that employs a constant, low temperature and a fan to dry out food. The process removes the water from the food but keeps the enzymes within the food intact. Some call the resulting product of food dehydrators "raw food." You can use a food dehydrator with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. To successfully dry food, the food dehydrator needs a constant low temperature and adequate air flow. If the temperature is too high, the food will harden too quickly, but the inside may remain moist and will be vulnerable to spoilage.
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 4 pinches salt
1. Slice plum tomatoes in half (or round tomatoes into quarters) and carefully scrape out the seeds, leaving the pulp intact. Turn halves pulp-side down and make a shallow slit about 1 inch long lengthwise into the skin. Turn back over and sprinkle lightly with salt to help the liquid drain.
2. Arrange tomatoes pulp-side up at least 1/2-inch apart on dehydrator trays and leave 1 to 2 inches in between racks for good air circulation.
Set dehydrator temperature to 135 to 140 F. (If your dehydrator does not have a thermostat, use a dependable oven thermometer on the bottom rack so you can monitor the temperature.)
3. You will most likely need at least 8 hours of drying time, more if the tomatoes are especially large and plump or if it is especially humid in your kitchen. Turn the tomatoes and rotate the racks as needed to promote even drying.
4. Keep your eye on them during the end of the process. The tomatoes should turn deep red and be completely dry yet still a bit pliable (and not crispy). Test the doneness by touching the tomatoes with your finger. They should not feel tacky or sticky. Remove each tomato as it gets done, leaving thicker ones to finish.
5. Store dehydrated tomatoes in a zip-top bag, squeezing out the air, in a cool, dry place for up to 2 months. If you refrigerate or freeze the bags, the shelf life will be extended to 6 to 9 months.
Use these tomatoes as you would sun-dried tomatoes, as a salad or pasta topping, or simply as a snack. If you use a lot of them, feel free to increase the recipe (as long as there is room in your dehyrator).
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||0 g|
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||0 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|