|Daily Portion (Dried)
|Daily Portion (Powder)
|15 to 30 minutes
|12 to 18 hours
|Heart, Eyes, Anti cancer
Tomatoes are one of the most widely available and popular of fruits and are an essential ingredient in many meals. Their health benefits are well documented. They contain high levels of Lycopene which in recent studies has been shown to guard againts prostate, colorectal and stomach cancer. Interestingly these studies have also shown that cooking tomatoes increases the levels of Lycopene.
So having a good supply of tomatoes always on hand is a good idea.
There are many different varieties of tomato, and depending on the size and end use, different ways of preparation
Whatever your choice of tomato, you need to first wash them in a solution of water and cider vinegar (this will get rid of any bacteria or contaminant on the fruit).
The easiest method of preparation is simple to cut the tomatoes into .5cm slices (1/4″), This method is fine for making tomato powder.
If you plan on using them for adding to stews and pasta or rice, I find that removing the skin makes them nicer to eat. To do this, first add the tomatoes to boiling water. Remove after one minute and plunge into iced water. The skin should slide off quite easily after this.
If you are drying small salad tomatoes, simply cut these in half after washing. Lay them cut side up when drying.
If the tomatoes are over ripe you can liquidise them to make a pulp and spread on greaseproof paper to dry. Once dry you can make tomato powder or cut the sheet into strips for use in cooking.
Drying is a great way to preserve tomatoes and extend their shelf life. If you dry them yourself you can also be sure that no chemicals have been added.
Drying can take anything from 12 to 18 hours in a dehydrator, and longer if you sun dry them. It all depends on what you want to use them for. If you are making powder they need to be hard and brittle, but if you plan to use them for adding to meals they can be stored once they are still pliable.
For step by step instructions on drying visit the Dehydrating page.