Make Your Own “Sun-dried” Tomatoes & Bring a Piece of Summer into the Fall
With tomatoes in abundance at the farmers’ markets, it’s the perfect time to make your own sun-dried tomatoes! It’s easy to do and you’ll have a bit of summer’s sweetness to take into the Fall.
So, which types of tomatoes work best? It depends on your taste and what you’d like to do with them. Yellow sungolds are the sweetest, purple cherry tomatoes add a depth of color, and standard cherry tomatoes have the tang and acidity with which you’re likely the most familiar. You can also use standard full-size tomatoes as well to make “tomato chips!”
You can make your own “sun-dried” tomatoes right at home with a food dehydrator. The length of time required will depend on both the strength of your food dehydrator as well as the thickness of the tomato slices.
Try these dehydrating tips and view the before and after photos:
1) Place the slices with the cut side facing up (skin side directly on the tray). This will help the tomatoes dehydrate more quickly.
2) Place as many as you can on one tray. The tomatoes will shrink up significantly as they dehydrate.
3) Follow the directions for your specific dehydrator and check often the first time you make them. Standard times can vary from 5 hours to 15 hours.
4) Make sure to keep the temperature at less than 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Centigrade) to keep the tomatoes “raw.” Dehydrating at less than 115 degrees will ensure that the tomatoes retain all of their live enzymes.
Editor’s note: I like to make spelt pasta with a bit of olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh chives. And sometimes I just eat sun-dried tomatoes by the handful as a raw food snack!