In The Kitchen: Tomatoes

· by delijan · Read in about 2 min · (341 words) ·

I recently got twenty pounds of California ripe tomatoes as an addition to my regular Bountiful Baskets. That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, it looks like this:

Twenty Pounds of Tomatoes

See, not quite as much as you thought it would be! These were ripe, meaty and delicious!

I love tomatoes. They are really good for you, high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant! They also contain vitamin C (when eaten raw) and potassium.

They are also a very versatile food. You can eat them raw in salads, salsa, and gazpacho. You can cook them into tomato sauce and paste or make them into stewed tomatoes and even Ketchup! I’ve turned my box of tomatoes into all of these and more.

Today, I’ll show you the first thing I did with them: Dehydrated Tomato Slices.

Equipment

Food Dehydrator

This is the setup.

Tomato Dehydrating Setup

I washed and dried the tomatoes. Next, I cut off the top and put it in the yellow colander. I will reserve these for making Ketchup later.

Removing Tomato Tops

Next the tomato is cut into slices. They should be about 14 inch thick. Mine are a bit too thick, which means I will have to dry them even longer. A quarter of an inch is actually better.

Sliced Tomatoes

Line up the tomatoes on the grid tray. They can be touching, because remember, they will shrink during drying.

Tomato Slices on Dehydrator Tray

These have to be dried “hot” because there is so much water in them. I set the dehydrator to 155 degrees. I made three trays, and placed them in the middle areas.

After about 12 hours, they looked like this.

Dried Tomato Slices

The slices are dry when they are stiff and crackly. If you make thick slices, as I did, make sure to cut one open and look at the center. It should be dry all the way through!

These can be eaten as a snack, although they are very chewy. They can be rehydrated and used in salsa. You could add them to soups or stews. And they also work great to make tomato paste for Ketchup!

Enjoy!