by Texas Homesteader
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Recently I had a large quantity of tomatoes to preserve. In the process of making my sauce I removed most of the seeds and tossed them into my compost before I even cooked the tomatoes down.
When the tomatoes were cooked I used a sieve to separate the cooked tomatoes from the skins so I would have smoother sauce.
Now I read somewhere that instead of throwing them away you can dehydrate the skins and grind them into powder to use to thicken soups or make your own tomato paste.
Oh yeah, I’m *SO* gonna do that!
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You see, I’d already made quite a bit of tomato sauce with my tomatoes. Then I turned much of that tomato sauce into pasta sauce which I subsequently canned so we can enjoy it all summer long.
I’ve gotten quite a bit of mileage from those tomatoes already. But am I through with them yet? What about the tomato skins I’d removed? Hummmm…
Dehydrating Tomato Skins
So here’s what I did: I took the leftover cooked tomato skins and used my stick blender to roughly puree them.
Then I laid a dehydrator sheet on one of the trays of my * Excalibur Dehydrator and plopped the whole pureed mess onto it.
I used a pasta-rolling pin to smooth it all down to a more uniform thickness. (note: I left some of the skins intact to experiment with drying times. I also put some tomato skins that were left intact on another tray.)
Dehydrator Temp At 125 Degrees
After the Excalibur was loaded up I turned it to 125 degrees and allowed it to run for about 5 hours. After that time I pulled out the dehydrator trays to check on things.
The skins that were left intact were already dry. But the puree wasn’t dry to my liking.
I separated the tomato puree from the dehydrator sheet and flipped it over so the dry side would be facing down and the still-wet side would be able to dry more thoroughly.
Then I allowed it to dehydrate for about 3 hours longer until the tomato puree was dry & leathery.
I pulled out my coffee grinder that I keep just for veggies and popped some of my dried tomato skins in and whirred it until it was a fine powder. Oh yeah, that’s the stuff!
I store my tomato powder in a repurposed glass spice jar. I’ll use this tomato powder to make my own tomato paste for our french-bread pizzas that RancherMan loves. And also to flavor our food or thicken other tomato products like my blender salsa.
So out of those tomatoes I got some homemade tomato sauce, some pasta sauce and now even dehydrated tomato paste. And except for the canning lids (because my reusable *Tattler Canning Lids are all being used right now) I created NO landfill-bound trash when I canned my marinara.
Plus I know just what’s included in the food I’ve preserved – only natural, healthy stuff. I think that’s a lot of mileage from a bundle of tomatoes!
Other Dehydrating Posts
- Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Fresh Carrots
- Dehydrating Tomato Sauce Into Leather For Pizza
- Cubed Tomatoes Dehydrated For Winter Cooking
- Preserving Produce: Dehydrating Celery
- Dehydrating Fresh Pumpkin For Easy Storage
- Dehydrating Spinach To Enjoy All Year Long
- Using A Dehydrator To Preserve Fresh Onions
- Dehydrating & Storing Cabbage
- A Solar Oven Dehydrates Jalapenos
- Dehydrating Shredded Potatoes For Hash Browns
- Bell Pepper Dehydration
- Using A Solar Oven To Dehydrate Garden Produce
- Using It ALL – Dehydrating & Powdering Tomato Skins
- How To Make Dehydrated Blueberry Powder
- Dehydrating Plums
- My Simple, Zero-Waste Herb Drying Setup
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What a great post, glad you share did on Our simple Homestead Blog Hop! Always fun reading older posts that I missed! I’ve dried thin slices of tomatoes before but never made tomato powder. On my “to do” list for this summer! As one of the co-host I’m going to feature your post on Thursday! Look forward to seeing what you’ll be posting this week!
– Nancy ( Nancy On The Home Front )
If you only have a few skins Lisa you can do what I do – use residual heat from your oven being on to cook something else to dehydrate. Just make sure the previous cooking is done & the oven is turned off, then place your skins in a cast-iron comal and place in the still-warm oven. It works great for me.
What an absolutely fantastic idea. I have never thought of this but what a great way to get extra mileage out of our tomatoes. Brilliant. Thanks for much for sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings
What a great idea! I want to learn how to make our own pasta sauce… once I get that down i can think about other things like tomato powder.
What a neat idea. My husband has a dryer and loves to preserve things but we never thought of tomatoes. Great posts. Stopping by from Good Morning Mondays.
That’s such a great idea! We get edible wild mushrooms around here and I dehydrate and grind them for soup thickener, but I never thought about using tomato skins. Cool! I have a new plan for this year.
Once again, thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!
This would also be great seasoning in a seasoning mix too. Pinning and putting tomatoes on my grocery list.
You’re a genius! I’m SO doing this. Thank you for the awesome idea!
Great idea… and I have also learned that there is something in the skin that is especially good for us, but is mainly found in the skin, so I sure don’t want to throw that away. Thank you. 🙂
I’ve read that many nutrients are often concentrated in the skins, so that certainly makes sense. Plus anything I can use as food instead of throwing in the compost is a win/win in my book!
I would have never thought of making tomato powder to add to other things with tomatoes. I usually just make a LOT of salsa as I really like to have fresh salsa all year long. Thanks for sharing on #yuckstopshere link up. Please come share again with us next week.
I love to make homemade fresh salsa too Nicole, and over time my homemade salsa gets watery and I used to just pour the juice off. Now I pour the watery juice into a microwavable mug and heat it up, add some tomato powder to thicken it back up & add it back to my salsa. Nothing wasted.
Brilliant! I began using my stick blender to puree my tomatoes into sauce WITH skins on. Then strain through colander – I’m going to try this in my excalibur and store it alongside the hot pepper powder my son makes for me in the same manner.
I always think the blended skins will blend in fine when I’m making sauce, etc but I always end up at least marginally disappointed. Next time I’ll do like you & strain out the blended skins and then dehydrate what’s been strained out for this tomato powder. I must say though that I have found the tomato powder very helpful in several different circumstances – thickening a soup or my blender salsa in particular. Love it!
I love using tomato powder but haven’t tried doing my own yet. Mainly because I can’t seem to grow enough tomatoes! Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday.
Thanks for sharing this on Fabulous Friday Party! This sounds like something my mom use to do with her tomatoes. I still have her old Tomatoe grinder that we would put the tomatoes and it make this cool sauce and then we would sautee it in the pan with garlic.. so so good! This is a great post.. thanks for sharing it
I love the idea of putting the tomato skins to use instead of just composting them. I can always use tomato paste to thicken my homemade sauce. I am going to give this a try! Thanks for sharing at Green Thumb Thursday!
That’s a great idea! I’ve dehydrated plain tomatoes, but I love the thought of using the peels when I make a sauce.
Just be sure to grind them to complete powder first Anne, even using a sieve to filter out any larger bits if necessary. It works like a charm!
Great use for tomato skins! I use skins and all when I make sauce so there’s no leftover skins. When I make a tomato powder I use the whole tomato. Slice them up, dehydrate, then blend or process to a powder. It’s all good with tomatoes!
Such a great use of tomatoes and I will just have to try that…I like the idea of having tomato powder around for that tomato paste. I never seem to have enough. Congratulations…your post was picked for the feature at Simple Saturdays Blog Hop!! Hop on over again this week!
You’re amazing! You got three different things out of one tomato. Thanks for sharing this on Merry Monday.
Well….I never would have thought of doing that! You are just full of awesome ideas! Thank you.
You’re amazing! I can’t pin this fast enough! I don’t have an Excalibur yet, but I bet I can get similar results with my little Presto!
(blushes) Thanks for the pin Laurinda. It would absolutely give you similar results – my Excalibur is wonderful for larger-quantity dehydrating but for smaller quantities I still use my smaller household dehydrator. Give it a try!
Very cool way to use the whole tomato. I hate to waste. This sounds delicious too.
Which method did you end up liking better, the puree or the individual peels? I think I would prefer individual peels because there are less steps involved, less drying time & easier to turn into a powder.
You’re right – it was fewer steps and less drying time but I think I liked the puree more – I was able to process more peels in less space and the coffee grinder made it all into the same powder so I didn’t see a difference there.
We roast our tomatoes before putting them through a tomato mill (it saves me standing over a volcanic pot and getting distracted just long enough for it to burn on the bottom) then dehydrate the stuff that comes out of the mill’s side spout. Like you I use my coffee grinder (one kept for spices and such) and use the powder in soups, stocks, stews etc. It’s a great product to have on hand.
Interesting Cassie – do you dehydrate the seeds as well? Once I kept the seeds and ground them up, my powder seemed a little bitter. Is that the seeds making the bitterness? What would you recommend?
I had the same idea last summer, but never tried it.
I likened it to making ‘tomato leather’.
I wanted to know if I could powder it.
I asked the question on several blogs and dehydrating pages, but nobody gave my a reply.
My goal was to have a powder that I could combine with powdered dry basil leaves to make tomato/basil flavored potato chips. What do you think of that idea???? Maybe I can get a reply from you – or one of your readers?????
Using my coffee grinder to grind up the dehydrated skins made a pretty fine powder of it, and you could further filter it though a fine-mesh sieve perhaps to get the finest powder? It sounds like a great idea – let me know how you like the chips.
I must say; you do get good use out of your Dehydrator.
Who had thought that a person can make tomato powder. I never would had thought but what a great idea in using up Everything.
Have a great day and a better day tomorrow
LOL – I know Colleen, I always just threw the skins in the composter before. I can’t remember where I read it but decided to give it a try. In this case I was already dehydrating the last of my cabbage so I had my bad-boy Excalibur fired up anyway and just threw the skins on a separate tray & let them dehydrate together. You have a great day too my friend!