After purchasing a food dehydrator this summer, I have come to know it as my best friend for extending my garden crops. I have dehydrated many vegetables from my garden, and I have already frozen them for future use in soups, stews and other recipes.
Compared to the dehydrators we once owned, the new dehydrators come equipped with thermometers and motors. The extra bonus? You don’t have to keep moving the trays around.
firm, ripe paste tomatoes (Roma tomatoes)
plastic storage freezer containers, vacuum packaging and home canning jars–your choice
- Wash tomatoes.
- Dip in boiling water for 30 seconds, then dip in ice or cold water. Remove skins.
- Cut tomatoes in slices that are 1/4-inch thick. Place on racks, leaving space between each tomato.
- Dry (until crisp) at 145 degrees for approximately 8 hours or more.
- Place tomatoes in a freezer bag and freeze for 48 hours. This will “pasteurize” the tomatoes and kill any larvae (eggs).
- After pasteurizing, store in sealed bags or jars. Store where you have the room–in a cool, dark place (freezer or shelf).
- Shake bags or jars several times per week to distribute moisture.
If you don’t mind tomato skins, you can omit Step #2.
Use dehydrated tomatoes as:
- a low-calorie substitute for chips when dipped in ranch or honey mustard dressing
- sun-dried tomatoes mixed with dried basil, oregano and garlic, then boiled in oil and simmered for five minutes. Store in refrigerator. Do not can.
- tomato spice when mixed with thyme, allspice, peppercorn, etc.
- bits or powder
- part of a recipe, when softened with a little water before use