Recipe: Dehydrated Tomatoes

August 14, 2011 · 53 comments

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Dried tomatoes

What to do with the windfall of tomatoes? This year I was able to dehydrate the extras in anticipation of the long winter without tomatoes. I never buy store tomatoes at all as they have no taste, are mealy and are not organic. This year I grew a lot of tomatoes, especially the mini plum tomatoes and I have too many to eat raw. I also make tomato sauce with some, but since I now have a dehydrator, I thought I would dry them.

If you cannot tolerate tomatoes you may want to check out my No Tomato Sauce recipe and video.

Dehydrated Tomatoes

Ingredients

Fresh homegrown tomatoes of any variety

Instructions

  • Pick your ripened tomatoes
  • Using the mini plums I simply cut them in half
  • If you are using large tomatoes cut them into quarters, leaving out the stem
  • Add 1 gram of pure ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to a bowl of water
  • Submerge the tomatoes in this water for about 3 -4 minutes
  • This helps preserve the color (this step is optional if you do not want to add anything)
  • Remove the tomatoes from the water and place on the dehydrator trays
  • Run the dehydrator at 135 degrees for 7 – 8 hours
  • Alternatively you could dry them in the oven on 150 degrees for 4 – 6 hours
  • Check them and run longer if not dry enough
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container
  • These can stay for months this way

Variations

Store in refrigerator soaking in extra virgin olive oil (these will stay for only a week or two this way)

How to Use Dried Tomatoes

  • Add to any sauteed vegetable for a burst of flavor
  • Add chopped pieces to breads and other baked goods
  • Add pieces to salads
  • Simply soak in extra virgin olive oil and eat as a side dish

This post is linked to: Sugar-Free Sunday, Savory Sunday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Meatless Monday, Meatless Monday, Mangia Monday, Homemaker Monday, Weekend Carnival, Mouthwatering Monday, Made From Scratch Tuesday,Tuesday at the Table, Delectable Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday Tasty Tidbits, Tasty Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Made it on Monday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Creative Juice Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food Trip Friday, Pennywise Platter, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Favorites, Friday Food, Fresh Food Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Friday Potluck

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chaya August 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Am I excited to find this! I just got a book about cooking through dehydration and I have been slowly reading it and it is fascinating. I don’t think, I get it, yet but I am slowly being inspired.

You brought it to life for me when you linked it to My Meatless Mondays. I can’t thank you enough.

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2 Jill August 15, 2011 at 6:24 am

Hi Chaya,
Thank you so much for your comments! Dehydrating is really a lot of fun and you can do a lot of experimenting! Let me know how it goes!

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3 Rebecca August 15, 2011 at 6:48 am

That looks great! Our tomato seasons in Florida are around Thanksgiving and again in May so I’ll attempt it then. The vitamin C seems like a good idea.

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4 Jill August 15, 2011 at 10:32 am

Hi Rebecca,
You are so lucky to have such a long growing season!

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5 Leslie August 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

Thanks for the recipe! This is a great way to spread out the tomatoe season. My father is a tomatoe aficionado. That is the polite term of a man who obsesses during the winter months on his tomatoe seeds. Who has a binder in which he organizes his seeds with pictures and descriptions which you must go over with him every weekend that you see him until about March. Then he spends all of spring planting his tomatoes and babying them. Around May, he realizes that he planted to many plants so he gives half of them away to other people most of which my sisters and I get the brunt of! (I have 30 plants in my garden.) He has 70 of his beloved tomatoe plants in his garden this year which is down from over 100 last year because he didn’t want my mom to say that he was “obsessive.” This weekend one of the posts for his complex tomatoe suspension system for ultimate garden space utilization fell down due to a storm. I received a panicked call from my mother that my father needed help in the garden. Despite the blood, sweat, tears and the ungodly amount of mosquito bites, we were able to reassemble the structure. This time he added steel reinforcements to the ends. We only had two good sized premature tomatoe infants fall off the structure. Luckily, he was able to save his two casualties. Last year, he grew a 5 pound tomatoe. He was so unbelievably proud of himself. You wouldn’t believe how many pictures he has of that tomatoe. I think it pained him when it was time to eat it. Sometimes, we wonder if he loves his plants more than his family. LOL! Anyhow, I am really excited to give my father another recipe that he can use with the “fruits of his labor!”

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6 Jill August 15, 2011 at 10:35 am

Hi Leslie,
Thanks so much for sharing your hilarious story! I would love to see that 5 pound tomato! I must say, I don’t have anywhere near that amount but I do love my tomatoes — in fact we have had lots of rain here yesterday and today I am going to “rescue” my ripe tomatoes before it rains again!

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7 Leslie August 15, 2011 at 11:25 am

I probably can get a couple of his pictures of the baby…..err…um….tomato for you. LOL. Actually, it looks like he might have a couple 5 pounders this year but we’ll see. Our tomatoes are just about ready to ripen here in Michigan. It sounds like you are a little bit ahead of us. I am slightly jealous. I can’t wait for the first tomato!
We choose to look at my Dad’s tomato obsession with a sense of humor otherwise I think we would cry. It is a lot of work that extends to the rest of the family. Although, the work generally pays off in the end.

P.S. I like Mary’s idea of grinding the dried tomatoes for soups and sauces!

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8 Jill August 15, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Hi Leslie,
I think a sense of humor is essential when dealing with obsessions…

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9 Mary Korte August 15, 2011 at 9:33 am

I dehydrate my tomatoes at 105 degrees to help preserve the enzymes in them.
Another great use for them is to grind up the dried tomatoes into a powder which can be used later to make tomato soup or sauce or to add some body and flavor to soups like minestrone.
If dried sufficiently they will keep a long time. I think I just used up some I did a few years ago.
I planted 8 tomato plants this year and have high hopes for having a supply all winter between drying, canning and slow ripening the green ones when the frost comes.

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10 Jamie August 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I want to use tomato powder in my chili and minestrone this year. What is the powder to water ratio for paste? Will it taste the same as canned paste?

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11 Jill August 15, 2011 at 10:36 am

Hi Mary,
Thanks for sharing that information. Next time I will dehydrate at that lower temperature. I love the idea of grinding them up as well!

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12 Judy@Savoring Today August 15, 2011 at 11:32 am

Acquired a dehydrator this last year and love it. So many things to try! Thanks for the idea :)

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13 Kim of Mo'Betta August 16, 2011 at 9:12 am

I just got a dehydrator and have been looking for ‘recipes’ b/c it didn’t come with many instructions! I have a bunch of tomatoes that I wanted to dehydrate, so I’m glad I saw your post (on the Tuesday recipe linkys!)

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14 Amanda August 16, 2011 at 11:47 am

What a fun and intereesting idea! I don’t have a dehydrator, but I will give the oven route a try! Your photos are lovely!

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15 Hannah K. August 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Last year we tried dehydrating slices of tomatoes (1/4 inch thick) they turned out really well. We like breaking them up and putting them in soups.

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16 Abby August 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I have a dehydrator. I might have to try this!

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17 Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking August 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Oh I am so glad that I read this post!! We are harvesting quite a few tomatoes now and this sounds like an awesome way to preserve them/ I am blessed to have a dehydrator so I am going to be doing this like tomorrow!!

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18 denise August 17, 2011 at 6:36 am

Sounds like a great way to keep what you get in your garden.

Stop by and link up at What’s Cooking Wednesday!

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19 Rose @ Walnut Acre August 17, 2011 at 8:49 am

Thank you for sharing this. I have loads of tomatoes right now and have been freezing them but I’m excited to try something different.

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20 Lark August 17, 2011 at 11:33 am

What a great idea & tip! Thanks for linking it to “Made it on Monday”…I am wondering, after they are dried could I place them in some Olive oil and garlic and can them?

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21 Jill August 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Hi Lark,
You probably could can them. Sometimes I put them in a jar of olive oil and that stays in the refrigerator about 1 -2 weeks.

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22 Susan with Permanent Posies August 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I have too many deer to grow any veggies but when I live in West Texas, I grew my own and I agree, there is nothing better than home grown tomatoes. I used to have so many come off at once that I made all sorts of tomato sauce and salsas etc. I never knew how to dehydrate. Why do they go bad faster in oil than just in an air tight container?

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23 Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits August 18, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Stopping by from Made it on Monday. What a great alternative to freezing or canning tomatoes. Thanks for the information and the inspiration.

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24 ButterYum August 19, 2011 at 1:32 am

Sounds like a good reason to get a dehydrator.

:)
ButterYum

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25 Erin @ EKat's Kitchen August 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I miss the bounty of tomatoes from the lower 48 – Last time I dehydrated my own tomatoes, they didn’t hold up in the fridge :)

Thanks for linking up to Friday Potluck :)

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26 Miz Helen August 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Hi Jill,
Great information and great recipe! Hope you have a great week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
Come back soon,
Miz Helen

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27 Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen August 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I’m visiting from Fresh Food Friday. What a great way to preserve summer tomatoes to enjoy in the winter.
Sam

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28 Amy August 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm

What a wonderful way to preserve tomatoes! I can think of millions recipes that would be lovely to have the addition of these tomatoes.

My blog turns 1 today and I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog as a way to say thank you for your supports in the past year. Please come over to check it out if you’re interested. http://utry.it

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29 emily August 22, 2011 at 1:26 am

Thank you for linking up to Tasty Tuesday at Nap-Time Creations. I really hope you can come back and link up again this week! http://nap-timecreations.blogspot.com/

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30 Penniless Parenting August 23, 2011 at 2:35 am

This looks good. I have a bunch of volunteer tomatoes that I wanted to use up, was going to can the lot, but now I’m thinking I should just dehydrate. Is the taste like sun dried tomatoes or different?

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31 Jill August 23, 2011 at 9:20 am

The taste is just like any dried tomato.

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32 Bibi August 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

Great instructions. I never dehydrated my tomatoes, but I have a garden full this year so I will give it a try. I know million recipes I could use them in during the winter.

Thank you for sharing this at Foodie Wednesday.

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33 Bianca August 25, 2011 at 1:54 am

Hi,
Would you still need to soak these in the water if you weren’t adding the Vitamin C? Or would you just cut them up and dry them out otherwise?
Thanks.

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34 Jill August 25, 2011 at 9:49 am

No need to soak before drying if you are not using ascorbic acid.

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35 Pam March 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Hi, Would anyone like to recommend a good dehydrator?
Thanks in advance

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36 Jill March 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm
37 Ambika Choudhary Mahajan September 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Though that does sound interesting, do dried tomatoes taste the same as fresh tomatoes in curries? And doesnt drying them kill some of the nutrients found in them?

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38 Jill September 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hi Ambika,
Dried tomatoes have a more intense flavor. Drying is at a temperature of 135 which preserves most of the enzymes.

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39 Elaine April 29, 2013 at 3:46 pm

If you dehydrate them well and store them in sealed glass containers they should be good for up to one (1) year.

If you store them in tightly sealed containers & freeze them, they should be good for up to three (3) years.

Learned this in the Master Food Preservation course (1/2 day/week X 5 months) taught by the Univ of ID Agriculture Extension Center in Garden City (Boise), Idaho.

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40 Elaine April 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Learned in Graff Academy (Atlanta GA) Raw Chef Certification course that nothing should be dehydrated at over 98oF, to preserve the highest percentage of enzymes

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41 Elaine April 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm

If you are going to buy a dehydrator, Excaliber is the gold standard. That being said, they are expensive. There are other new brands available, but I only have used Excalibur (have 3).
However, the company has a website and you can get re-conditioned dehydrators at about 1/2 price of new ones.
Also, look on Craigs List, or at yard sales. I bought an old Excalibur for $25. It is not pretty-a yucky yellow plastic color- but still works just fine.

The sheets, like Silpat, are also expensive, but necessary to prevent drippings from juicy recipes. BUT, you can find them much less expensively on Amazon, or you can just use Parchment paper on the mesh trays.

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42 Elaine April 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Tomato Powder

You can chop the tomatoes up into small pieces, dehydrate them until they are crisp, them put in a mini-food processor, or regular size, and pulverize into tomato powder.

You can then store them in a glass container, add a sealed packet of Silica Gel – you can buy these, or save the ones that come in food products – and the powder keeps well. You probably would not want to freeze this.

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43 Lisa J August 30, 2013 at 8:23 am

When I dehydrate tomatoes, they never get “crisp” – only the texture of a sun dried tomato. So, I cannot seem to grind them into anything more than a paste and the machine groans at that.

What’s the secret to CRISP?

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44 Jill August 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

@Lisa J,
Put them in the freezer and then grind them!

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45 Michelle September 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm

When I dehydrate my romas I cut them in half and sprinkle dried Italian seasoning on them, I makes them so much better!

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46 www.google.ca July 8, 2014 at 10:16 am

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