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How to Make Sun-dried Tomatoes

How to Make Sun-dried Tomatoes
The process of drying tomatoes in the sun started in Italy as a way of preserving excess tomatoes at the end of the growing season. Today, sun dried tomatoes are a gourmet product for use in salads and pesto. Although they are pricey, you can make your own without too much trouble. All you need is a warm spot and a sunny climate. Sun dried tomatoes do not lose their nutritional value, and are still high in vitamin C and lycopene.
 

Instructions

Buy Roma tomatoes, as they are firmer and less juicy than others. You can use another type of tomato, but the juicier the tomatoes are, the longer they will take to dry.

Boil a large pot of water. Plunge the whole tomatoes into the water and leave them in for 40 to 50 seconds. Lift them out and drop them into a bowl of iced water. Remove the skins, which should be loose and will slide off with very little effort. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the parts around the stem, as well as any damaged portions. If the tomatoes are large, scoop out the seeds.

Place the plastic wrap in a clean, sunny location, preferably one that is elevated, as this will prevent contamination from the ground. The metal roof of a building or a car roof works well. Make sure the plastic is securely held down, or else the wind may blow it around.

Spread the tomatoes out on the plastic early on a sunny morning and sprinkle them with sea salt. The salt should help keep bugs and birds off the tomatoes. Leave the tomato pieces out all day; bring them in at night. Repeat the process for several days until the tomatoes are sufficiently dried. When done, they should be flexible and leathery, rather than tacky or sticky, with a deep red color. The number of days required for the drying process will depend on the heat and humidity.

Tips & Warning

You can also dry tomatoes in an oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle them with sea salt and dry them in the over for several hours.

A food dehydrator can also dry tomatoes. Set it at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to 8 hours.

Removing the skin is optional.

Cook sun dried tomatoes in olive oil to increase their nutritional benefits.

For every 5 pounds of tomatoes, use 1 cup of salt.

Serving Suggestions: Sun-dried tomatoes can be served as a meze, as a garnish and condiment, and are used in many types of recipes.

Article By Trish Jackson, eHow Contributor

Copyright

© Cinthia D. Stafford

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019

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