When harvesting a tomato crop, some of the tomatoes can be set aside for drying. It is very easy to dry tomatoes, in the future you get a good supplement for everyday meals and baking. The attractive appearance of dried fruit immediately awakens the appetite, so they will not stale for a long time - they will immediately want to eat.
How to choose
To dry tomatoes must be selected, as there are a number of specific requirements:
- Tomatoes should have a dense skin.
- The size of the fruit in diameter should not exceed 10 centimeters.
- Tomatoes should be slightly unripe.
- On the skin and pulp should not be signs of disease or damage.
Hothouse fleshy varieties of tomatoes are better not to use for drying, the pulp of such fruits flows along with the juice, which is very inconvenient when preparing the preform. Preference should be given to street or greenhouse varieties with a dense seed chamber, while the color of the skin is not important, you can take any fruit.
The composition of dried tomato pulp does not significantly change, and this means that it still includes most of the known minerals: magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc, iron and other nutrients. The benefits of tomatoes are preserved; therefore, when consumed in dried form, blood is purified, slag is removed and free radicals are neutralized.
Regular consumption of dried tomatoes can enhance the immune function of the human body and even reduce the risk of cancer. It is especially useful to eat dried tomatoes to mature people and small children.
When the tomatoes have already been selected, they need a little preparation. The skin is not cleaned from them, the peduncle is cut out with a sharp knife. Salting tomatoes is not necessary. Adding salt triggers the formation of excess juice, causing the tomatoes to dry for a long time.
After the leg is cut, the tomatoes need to be cut with a sharp knife on the plastic. The thickness of the plastic must be at least 5-7 millimeters. However, too thick to cut vegetables should not be - it will lead to long drying, and in appearance they will be less beautiful than thin slices. Then you can start drying.
How to dry tomatoes at home
There are several ways to dry. The principle of their operation is similar, since thermal effect on the pulp is used everywhere. The more intense the thermal effect, the faster the drying process will take place. Time for drying takes from several hours to several days. It all depends on the chosen method. You can use household appliances, it helps to save time. Even in the absence of household appliances, tomatoes can be dried at home, for example, in the sun.
Outdoors (in the sun)
The easiest way to dry is to lay out the tomatoes on a sunny windowsill and wait for them to dry completely. Lay out sliced plates of vegetables on the windowsill, lined with cling film or parchment. It is necessary to lay in one row, so drying will proceed faster.
If the weather is warm and the sun shines every day, then it takes no more than 5-6 days to dry. During this time, the slices are reduced in size by 1.5-2 times, and their flesh becomes more saturated color, and hard to touch.To assess the readiness, you need to try one slice. If it tastes like a long time, it becomes plastic, but it smells fragrant and has sweetness - it means you can stop drying, the tomatoes are ready.
When drying in the sun, tomato slices need to be turned every day. So they dry faster.
With electric dryers
For the drying of vegetables and berries specially used electric drying. The device allows you to get the final product in just a few hours. For piquancy, you can add a little seasoning to the tomatoes, they will enhance the taste and give a subtle flavor. Here is an example of a recipe:
- 1 kg of tomatoes;
- 1 tsp sunflower oil;
- ½ tsp paprika;
- a mixture of greens (basil, dill, onion);
- ground black pepper.
Spread tomatoes and pepper on sliced tomatoes with a thin layer of oil. Then on the grid in the dryer lay out the pieces and turn on the device in the network. Heating should occur at least 2 hours, with readiness checking every hour. If tomatoes do not dry well, they increase the intensity of heating. When the slices are ready, they are allowed to cool to room temperature, then they can be stored for storage.
In the oven
If there is no electric dryer at home, you can use the oven. Put parchment paper on a baking sheet and grease it with a little oil. On the parchment stack tomato mugs. On top of the mugs, you can squeeze a couple of garlic cloves - this will add flavor to the vegetables. Sprinkle with dry basil or parsley. Greens will give not only taste, but also a beautiful appearance.
Send a baking sheet with vegetables in the oven heated to 100 degrees and slightly open a shutter. The drying process takes 4-6 hours. 2 hours after the start, readiness is checked every half hour. Heating is stopped as soon as the fruits become plastic and hard.
In the microwave
In the microwave, tomatoes can be dried in about 20-30 minutes. The moisture from the fruit evaporates instantly, however, the juice may splash on the walls of the oven, which may complicate further cleaning. You can cook tomatoes in the microwave according to the recipe, for which you will need:
- 0.8-1 kg tomatoes;
- a pinch of red pepper;
- ½ tsp oregano;
- ½ tsp parsley or cilantro;
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil;
- 1 garlic clove.
Tomatoes spread on a large flat plate, greased with vegetable oil. Squeeze garlic over the vegetables and add spices. Place the plate in the oven and turn on the heat at a power not exceeding 800 watts. When the flesh begins to dry, you need to adjust the heating by the minute. Then take the slices and cool at room temperature.
For drying in a microwave oven, you need to use heat-resistant dishes.
How to dry cherry tomatoes
Since tomatoes are small, they dry faster than regular fruits. You can cut them lengthwise into small pieces or divided into two halves. After that, they add spices and start drying in any manner described. Below is a recipe for drying cherries.
- 0.5-0.8 kg of cherry;
- 1 tsp olive oil;
- ½ tsp Provencal herbs;
- a pinch of paprika.
Cut the fruit in half or in 3-4 pieces, put in a cup, add oil and spices. Gently mix the contents so that all the slices are in spices and oil. Then put the slices in an electric dryer or oven and dried. Periodically check the fruit for readiness. Dried slices sprinkled with a small amount of salt and removed for storage.
How to assess readiness
The end result depends on the desired consistency. You can cook completely dried tomatoes, then they will be very hard, but they can be added to food during cooking. The best option is the state in which the flesh is bent in the hands, and the taste is chewed for a long time. In this case, the slices are pleasant to the touch, do not stick to each other, they are well separated from the surface.
To assess readiness, it is enough to touch the tomatoes, but this should be done with extreme caution, as they are very hot. You can pierce the fruit with a fork or knife, the devices pass through the finished pulp with some effort.
Properly dried tomatoes can last for several years, while their taste properties are fully preserved. For storage use glass jars or plastic containers with a resealable lid. They pour the finished product and put in a dark place in the kitchen.
Dried tomatoes can only be stored at room temperature (in the cupboard, storage room table). In the cold, they can form mold, and in the heat the fruits begin to soften. Freezing dried tomatoes is also not recommended.