User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27661
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I'm in love with dehydrated tomatoes!

I've been growing Principe Borghese -- listed as sun-drying tomatoes. They're the small pointy ones in the photos. I've been leaving them on the vine until they "couldn't get any redder" before picking them.

[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image4808.jpg[/img] [img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image4583.jpg[/img] [img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image4828.jpg[/img]

I tried slicing, salting and sun-drying on a cooling rack. It took 3 days under picnic netting (inside during the night) resulting in salt encrusted tomatoes that tasted like salt. (I had to reluctantly acknowledge that sun-drying was just not going to happen around here in the humid/muggy mid-Atlantic) Since then I've frozen a whole bunch already, but I finally decided to dig out the $15 Walmart food dehydrator out of the garage and try dehydrating them.

So I tried a batch last night. 10~20 second dip in boiling water, peel and remove stem end, cut in half lengthwise, arrange on the drying trays. Ran the machine overnight (about 8 hours) until leathery. MMM-MMM YUM!
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image4819.jpg[/img]

WHY didn't I do this sooner! :roll:

I also dried a sample of the already sweet and DD7 is eating them as soon as I can pick'em Sugar Plum children (shriveled up to the size of a pinky nail but they taste like candy now). The lackluster Lynn's Mahogany Garnet that was picked "as ripe as can be" skinned, sliced, and dried has regained some of it's lost luster.

I checked out some past threads on the topic.
I wish I COULD sun-dry. I'm sure it's much more nutritious than air drying. I AM going to try making zucchini chips next. :wink:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8586

I didn't salt -- that's why mine taste like candy (DD7 will love it. I wonder if I can get DD10 to try -- she doesn't like fresh tomatoes) but if I have any left :roll: I think I'll freeze mine like Alex said here. I'm out of EVOO at the moment (unbelievable!) but I've got to try brokenbar's recipe for dried tomato in olive oil too:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10072

Don't know how I missed this thread last year. But something to keep in mind, although TZ's input was invaluable. :> :
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10642

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27661
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I think I'm officially obsesed. I couldn't go to bed without loading up the dehydrator trays. Simply COULD NOT bear the thought of letting the dehydrator sit idle through the night when, by only processing a big bowlful of tomatoes, we could have more of the scrumptious little snacks. :roll: :lol:

This afternoon, I made 2 flavors of fruit leathers/roll-ups using Apple jam and Fruit medley berry jam I made last week -- a HUGE hit with the kids. :() Also banana chips, likewise, as well as zucchini and yellow squash chips for me. :wink:

I'm also marinating skinned/halved toms in red wine for the grown-ups' dried tomatoes. 8)

Humph! NOW I can go to bed. G'night all! :D

GeorgiaGirl
Senior Member
Posts: 228
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:08 pm
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA (zone 7)

Ooh, my mouth is watering just seeing the photos and reading your description! I actually have a fancy-schmancy dehydrator that I've only used ONCE... combine that with having way too many organic tomatoes this week than dh and I could possibly eat... I think I'm gonna have to try this tomorrow! Enjoy! :D
Julia in Georgia

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

I've always been a nut for anything with sun dried tomatoes in it. I don't know why, but the tomato taste is just so intense in any dish with sun dried added.

I told the wife this past spring I wanted to buy a dehydrator and dry some of the veggies we normally just give away. We always have veggies sitting on the kitchen counter that we don't need and no one has taken. I can't stand seeing them go to waste.

As usual, never enough time in a day to get everything done. I still haven't bought that dehydrator, but most of this seasons veggies have been used. I cleared the counter the other night by eating a lot of tomatoes, slicing some cucumbers and putting them in some vinegar water with onions, and finally slicing up some eggplant and cooking it on the grill with olive oil and a few herbs. I'm gonna buy that dehydrator this winter so I won't forget it in the spring again.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

yumoOo
Full Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 6:19 pm

what the purple "green" beans called?

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27661
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

YumoOo, they're called Purple Podded Pole Beans -- you'll find them fully described [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16621]here[/url]. I'm definitely growing them again next year. I thought they were starting to flag in the heat so I sowed a few more seeds in another part of the garden for fall. I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING! :roll: The original plants have picked back up after a couple of applications of ACT and are back in FULL PRODUCTION :shock: :lol:

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

applestar,

What is ACT?

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27661
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Aerated Compost Tea -- great thread going on about that here:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17097

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27661
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Just coming back to report that the $15 Walmart/Durabrand dehydrator is on it's last legs, so to speak. The plastic trays started falling apart. Out of the 5 trays, with 3, the interior grid has fallen through altogether, and two of the rings have broken in several places. With the last two trays, the grids are falling down and are sagging. To be fair, DH did say it might be because this unit had been forgotten in the garage for several years and the alternating hot summer heat and the freezing winter cold had already deteriorated the plastic. (Trying not to think about what that means in terms of possible contamination to my food.... :roll: )

As far as I can tell, they don't sell extra trays specifically for this brand. I'm upgrading to a Nesco 700W dehydrator with adjustable temp. If it turns out that the Nesco trays are compatible with Durabrand's then I'll buy extra Nesco trays and have two dehydrators, since the heat/fan mechanism is still working. 8)

The new dehydrator should also arrive just in time for me to harvest and dry my Stevia. I tried a couple of sprigs in the old one but they got a little crispier than I would like -- I think slightly lower temp would be gentler.

I've started dehydrating any leftover fruit -- rather than letting them spoil in the fridge with no one wanting them. Bananas, melons, fresh pineapple, strawberries.... They've all been a great hit. They also make great snacks to take to the pool. Much easier than taking fresh fruit. I'm also filling up a quart jar with just 1/2'd and stem end cut out, lightly salted dehydrated Principe Borghese. AMAZING how much they shrink. I had a whole big bowlful and it only half filled the jar. I should have a full jar in the next couple of weeks. I guess I would already, had I not canned 2 500L (pint) jars of strained PB's last night :() I'm going to put them up in EVOO as soon as I can get some good white wine vinegar and EVOO. :-()

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

applestar,

I think you mentioned you have dehydrated banana slices. How do you like them? I've never dehydrated anything, but will start next spring. When I purchase mixed dehydrated fruit for snacks, I always pick out the banana slices and toss them. For me, it tastes like very hard cardboard.

I'm curious if the home made product is any better than the commercial product.

Thanks

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27661
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

The instructions said to dip in lemon juice to prevent browning, but dry as is for pure banana flavor. I think they're right -- well actually, I haven't tried dipping in lemon juice -- I've tried drying to semi-soft leather stage as well as to crisp. Both are great hits with the kids. The semi-soft ones are "like taffy" -- these were the other half of just-right-for-eating that the kids didn't eat. The crisp chips were getting spotty and soft and would've been used in banana pancakes or banana bread or tossed in the freezer, but was sliced up and dried -- I basically had to "paste" the slices off the knife onto the drying grid it was that soft.

Maybe the "cardboard" chips in the mixes were processed while still green?

DD10 is loving the pineapples too. She said, "They're SO JUICY!" So I had to explain that it's actually NOT juicy, but she's right in a way -- as soon as you start chewing one, your mouth just FILLS with saliva. Mmm-mm!

FYI - I keep the semi-soft leather slices in an old glass peanut butter jar in the fridge.

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

applestar
I will try the dry banana at home. It is my favorite fruit. I sometimes wonder if the commercial dried banana is in fact dried plantain. They seem tasteless. I read somewhere that some cultures dry bananas and grind them into banana flour. I bet some interesting dishes could be made with banana flour.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

ignorantmonkey
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:03 pm
Location: Tijuana Baja Mexico

Tomato jelly

My aunt in Ensenada Baja does a great tomato jelly...She boils em without the skins...adds sugar and keeps boiling...and boiling....until it becomes a spreadable (and unique yummy) jelly to spread on toast....

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

Hi monkey,

Since the origins of the tomato are in central and south America, your aunt and others could probably teach all of us a lot about tomatoes. I never thought about tomato jelly, but I love jalapeno jelly and jalapeno cream pie.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

a0c8c
Greener Thumb
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:00 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Tomato jelly is delicious. Haven't had it in a while :( I've always enjoyed dried fruit. The great thing is, Mexico isn't really that far for me so I can go get fresh, and I mean FRESH sun dried tomatoes that are out of this world. Some places in Mexico just seem like the perfect place to sun dry fruits. They make it to the border towns atleast by day two after they're completed and you can walk through the market, spend a couple bucks, and walk away stuffed.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

Return to “TOMATO FORUM”