Powered by Blogger.

Sun Dried Tomatoes - The natural way

Do you love sun-dried tomatoes in your pasta?

Do you have excess tomatoes that you won't be able to use?

Or, like me, you practice composting at home, and grow your own vegetables (well, at least some of them). Tomatoes are one of the easiest to grow and you'll have your steady supply of fresh and organic tomatoes.

If you answered yes to any of this, then making your own sun-dried tomatoes may be for you. Given the price of sun-dried tomatoes at the supermarket, plus the fact that you'll never be sure if they used organic tomatoes, it makes sense that you make your own. Plus, if you're from the Philippines, the weather makes it possible to make your sun-dried tomatoes the natural way. (There are other methods of doing it, say using a food dehydrator, an oven, or some claim you can use your parked car on a sunny day.)

Here is a list of things that you would need:

1. Fresh and ripe tomatoes
2. Salt
3. Herb (I use basil)
4. Pepper (optional, if you like the flavor on your pasta or the dish where you'll use your tomatoes)

Additionally, you'll need the following:

1. Frying or baking pan (metal is ideal, but any plates would do)
2. Net


1. Prepare your tomatoes.

Wash them thoroughly and cut into slices. Depending on your preferred size, you may cut it into half or quarters. Cut out the hard part.

OPTIONAL: If you want to remove the skin (I prefer to leave the skin), the fastest way to do it is to put your tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 30-45 seconds, and then plunge them in a bowl of cold water. The skin would slide off easily after this.

2. Season it.

Place your cut tomatoes on your pan or plate, make sure that they are evenly spaced. Then season it with salt, your choice of herbs, and if desired, some pepper.

3. Place it under the sun.

Cover your pan with net to make sure flies don't come in contact with your tomatoes. Leave it under the sun, depending on the weather your tomatoes would be good in at least 3 days.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S DONE: When your tomatoes are completely dry but not brittle, flexible with a leathery feel to it,  and deep red in color, your good to go.

AT NIGHT: To ensure that bacterial growth is controlled, I put the pan with the tomatoes untouched inside the refrigerator at night. This will also hasten the dehydration process.

4. Use it or store it.

You now have a perfectly healthy ingredient to your usual  dishes. What cannot be consumed can be stored for future use.You have two options for this:

BOTTLE IT: Place your excess sun dried tomatoes in a glass, putting enough olive oil to cover all your tomatoes. Keep this refrigerated.

FREEZE IT: This is best if you plan to use your sun dried tomatoes at a much later date. Put it on a reusable plastic container (avoid using Zip Locks) and put it in the freezer. It is advisable to take it out of freezer a few days before you intend to use it, and put in a glass bottle with olive oil (same bottle as above, if available.)

Enjoy your healthy sun dried tomatoes!

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...