With my own tomatoes toast, I was thrilled to get Romas from a friend’s garden. She had more than she could handle and was glad to pass them along. I’d thought about buying Roma tomatoes to dehydrate because sun dried tomatoes are a basic ingredient in many raw vegan recipes. Actually, they are used in scores of cooked recipes, too. If you get sun dried tomatoes with nothing added and organic besides, you can break the bank at the checkout. To get a box full of Romas and take some time plus the cost of electricity to dry them will help maintain my budget this winter. A box of the beautiful red jewels was delivered to me at work:
I filled the sink with water and washed the dirt off the fruit (yes, tomatoes are a fruit). Then I sliced the larger ones in four lengthwise slices and the smaller ones in three and put them on dehydrator trays I’d wiped down with a microscopically thin layer of olive oil. That was to keep them from sticking when they were ready to come out of their warm home.
Some 24 hours later (more or less) I checked them and rotated the trays. Here’s what they looked like at that stage:
I don’t have a thermostat on my dehydrator so I can’t accurately set it for a constant temperature. It’s very basic but it works. I got it years ago from VitaMix. It’s no longer manufactured.
Back to the tomatoes. The next evening, I checked them again and they were ready to be packaged.
A little snack-size plastic bag held one tray full of dehydrated tomato slices. I had 13 trays filled so I had 13 snack bags when I finished.
Since the little bags aren’t made for keeping foods longterm, I put all of them into a freezer bag labeled with the contents and the year.
My dehydrator doesn’t dehydrate foods evenly so I put it in the freezer to await the future. The slices that had solid skin on one side were still a little soft and I don’t want mold in my ‘maters. BTW, as I unloaded the trays, I snacked on some of the slices and they were GOOD.
Making your own faux sun dried tomatoes is very easy. It does take time but anything worth doing does. And think how good they’ll be in a marinara sauce this winter!