Preserving the Harvest: Tomato Snacks

Ever wonder what to do with the wealth of tomatoes that come in from mid-summer until frost? One of my friends at the hospital gave hers away and I was the lucky recipient of one of her “gift” bags. There were too many to eat so I set about devising a way to use them. I didn’t want to just dehydrate them. I wanted to make them special.

First, I washed them well with Veggie Wash.

Washed and Ready to Go

Then I sliced them onto the dehydrator trays.

All Sliced

Next I seasoned them. I used Himalayan sea salt and Italian seasoning on some as well a pizza seasoning on the rest. I used a light hand for this because I remembered that flavors intensify when they are dehydrated.

Ready for the Dehydrator

Try as I might, the seasoning wasn’t completely even but that was okay. I wasn’t in it to win a contest.

The dehydrator (I broke down and bought an Excalibur) was set at 115 degrees or thereabout (I can’t see the dial because it’s sitting where the microwave used to live and it’s in sort of a “cave”).

I monitored the progress and, after 24 hours, they were still too moist to take out. I waited and extra 12 (your time may vary according to the humidity) and they were perfect.

24 Hours Later

Peeling them off the ParaFlexx sheets, I stored them in a quart size freezer bag. Of course, I had to have some samples, too.

Ready to Store

The end product is chewy, not crisp. There’s still a bit of moisture left no matter what (unless you dry them at a high temperature) so I would advise storing them in the freezer.

Now for something I will do differently next time. I left the peeling on. It’s rather tough when it’s dry. I’d scald the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 or so seconds (I’ve heard keeping them in there for anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute but that makes for a mushy tomato) and slip the peeling off. Then slice and prepare as above.

Happy harvesting!

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