Sun dried tomatoes are simple to make. You can use olive oil, herbs, vinegar and lemon juice to add some flavor, but the process is essentially the same.
In terms of sun dried tomato recipes, there are a lot of options. They go well with salads, rice, pasta, sandwiches and many Italian dishes. You can even use them to make a sun dried tomato paste, which we’ll show you how to make in this article.
One reason to learn how to make sun dried tomatoes, is quality. You can get the perfect texture, flavor and nutrients for your needs, at less cost.
Sun dried tomatoes in dehydrator
Using a fruit dryer machine to make sun dried tomatoes is an intuitive process. It’s like using your kitchen oven, and costs less electricity while ensuring better retention of nutrients.
- 10 firm, ripe tomatoes
- 5 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ½ tbsp. dried Italian herbs
- 3 ½ tbsp. apple cider or balsamic vinegar
- 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Ground black pepper
You can make these dried tomatoes without using the entire list of ingredients. This example is for sundried tomatoes in olive oil, and works equally well with plain tomatoes. Start by slicing your tomatoes into ¼”-thick portions and soak them with the remaining ingredients.
Set your vegetable dryer to 150 degrees F. Place your tomato slices onto the dehydrator trays, evenly spaced with breathing room between each one. Dry for about 6-10 hours, as needed.
The final result should be sun dried tomatoes in oil. They’ll be dry but pliable. Remember that the less moisture they contain, the longer they’ll last for dry food storage, and you can reconstitute them in warm water later on.
Store your dry tomatoes in a vacuum-seal container. We recommend the use of vacuum-sealed jars or bags to protect from oxidation and preserve their natural flavor.
Some advantages over oven dried tomatoes
One of the advantages of a home food dehydrator is their versatility. You’ll notice that our recipe uses Italian herbs, like rosemary and basil.
You can dehydrate herbs in your dehydrator at low heat, and preserve them throughout the year. This is perfect for extending the shelf life of your fresh garden produce and keeping seasonal ingredients from expiring.
Another benefit that oven dried tomatoes don’t offer is dry food that’s authentic and pure. Modern food dehydrators use heat and air flow mechanisms, and an efficient amount of heat for the space. This allows you to reduce working time by making large batches of beautifully dried foods.
There are also drying trays that are specifically designed for dehydration. Mesh screens, solid sheets (for liquid items) and regular dehydrator sheets will allow you to achieve more robust results with less effort.
Recipes using sun dried tomatoes
As you know, there are plenty of sun dried tomato recipes. What’s not so obvious, is that you can actually use them to create a delicious powder or tomato paste.
This recipe is tastier than regular tomato puree. This is due to the fact that vitamins and minerals will concentrate as moisture is being reduced in the dehydrator.
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Ground black pepper
Reconstitute your sun dried tomatoes in a large bowl of hot water. Strain in a colander after about 5 minutes of stirring, and combine with the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Blend slowly, increasing speed until liquefied.
You can also dehydrate your sun dried tomato paste. Pour the puree 1” thick in the solid variety of dehydrating trays and dry at 130 degrees F for about 8 hours.
Once fully dried, blend small portions into a powder. You can also save the dried portions in vacuum seal containers to prevent unnecessary oxidation, and turn them into powder on a weekly basis.
A fruit dryer machine is an excellent way to produce an endless variety of healthy, delicious dry foods!