Tomato Skins in a Food Dryer

Posted By: Daniel Gasteiger  //  Category: dry fruit, food dryer, food drying
saved tomato skins for the food dryerThe skins from a peck of tomatoes covered three trays in my American Harvest food dryer, but I overlapped pieces liberally.

Here’s a way to use a food dryer that raises eyebrows wherever I mention it: Dry tomato skins. I got the idea in a Facebook group about home preserving; one of the participants said that when she cans tomatoes she saves the skins and dehydrates them to use later in soups and sauces. I was canning a lot of tomatoes, so I decided to try it.

Unusual Food Drying

I saved skins from about a quarter of a bushel of tomatoes as I prepared them for canning, diced, in pint jars. When I set the skins on dehydrator trays, I intended not to overlap them, but given how thin they are, I decided they’d be fine even if some stuck together.

I dried the skins at 130F degrees overnight and by afternoon the next day (I didn’t bother to check until then), the skins were dry and brittle.

What to do with dry, brittle tomato skins? I scraped them off the food dryer’s trays into the pitcher of my blender, and pressed them down so they cracked and settled around the blender’s blade. Then I put the lid on the blender and ran it until the tomato skins were powder. Finally, I dumped the powder into a storage container and snapped on the lid.

Using Powdered Tomato Skins

powdered tomato skins from a food dryerThe skins from a half peck of tomatoes dried and pureed into powder only partially fill a small storage container. Will you use tomato powder as seasoning or as soup base?

The skins from a peck of tomatoes aren’t going to stretch far, but if you can a bushel or two of fruit, you’ll build up a compelling store of tomato powder. You might discover that tomato powder makes a great seasoning to set out with your salt and pepper shakers. For more conventional applications, try these proportions.

To make…

…tomato paste, mix one measure of tomato powder with one measure of water.

…tomato sauce, mix one measure of tomato powder with three measures of water.

…tomato juice, mix on measure of tomato powder with one measure of water, and one measure of cream.

 

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