Drying Vegetables at Home: Dehydrated Tomatoes
Once summer is in full bloom, the garden is producing more tomatoes than my family could ever possibly eat in one growing season. For that, I am thankful because it gives me the opportunity to set aside food for the leaner months of the year. One way to preserve tomatoes is by drying them.
Dehydrating tomatoes is a pretty simple process that can be easily done at home in your own kitchen using a food dehydrator. To prepare cherry tomatoes for dehydration I simply cut them in half. For larger tomatoes, I cut them into sections. I then put the tomato pieces onto the dehydrator trays and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Every 3 to 4 hours or so, I rotate the trays in order that they dry thoroughly. Drying times are dependent on the amount of water in the tomato as well as the humidity in the air. Dehydrated tomatoes should be dry to the touch.
After dehydrating the tomatoes allow them to rest for 30 to 60 minutes before packaging to avoid moisture build up inside of a closed container. I store my dehydrated tomatoes in sterilized, dry canning jars with a tight-fitting lid. I then place the container in a cool, dry, dark area (my pantry). I check the dried tomatoes often in the pantry to make sure that the tomatoes are still dry and that no moisture is seen on the inside of the canning jar. If I do see moisture I will need to use the tomatoes immediately or redry them. If I ever see mold I know to discard the food immediately.