Drying tomatoes

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by jafl, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. jafl

    jafl Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know if you can make tomato sauce from dehydrated tomatoes? Also, would I need to do anything to keep tomatoes from sticking to the plastic trays of a tabletop food dehydrator?
     
  2. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    You can add dehydrated tomato powder in any dish where you'd use tomato paste or tomato sauce. The flavor should be the same and I think you'll be really happy with it. Tomato powder increases in volume about 1 1/2 times and increases in weight about 2 1/2 times when making it into a thick tomato paste, it will stretch further if you wish to make it into tomato sauce - increasing in volume about 2 1/2 times. Adding more water still, it can be thinned down to the consistency of tomato juice, it's color will be little darker and have a bit more of a bite than the tomato juice you are probably used to... add celery salt & a dash of tobasco. ;)
    Tomato powder is extremely hydrophilic... which means it just loves water, it will absorb moisture right out of the air & eventually 'brick'. This is not so much of a problem in dry climates, however. If you live in a high humidity area, like I do, upon opening your can/bag, you may wish to transfer most of it into smaller, airtight containers to prevent this from happening. If it does 'set up' or 'brick' on you , it's still useable. Break a chunk off and put it in water. It will soften up just fine.
    I've always just used regular cooking spray to stop stuff from sticking, but you could use a very light brushing of olive oil on the trays for tomatoes if you are averse to the sprays.
     

  3. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    I dehydrated tomatoes, but didn't like the way they came out, so I put some through my juicer and dehydrated that. I've used that a lot, snipping up bits of it for dips and sauces and even in cookked veggies. That was really good.
    It looked like a giant red fruit roll up! :D
     
  4. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    have you ever dehydrated the solids from your juicer?... I've done it to make fruitsnacks but nothing else
     
  5. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    Has anybody made spaghetti sause with spaghetti and meat and dehydrated and packaged that. I have thought about trying it and bringing it on a Scout outing. I have only made beef jerky and dehydrated apples with mine. I could use some pointers or a good book on dehydrating.
     
  6. jafl

    jafl Well-Known Member

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    I’ve read about dehydrated hamburger, and I would assume that if you could dehydrate spaghetti sauce- as something like fruit leather- you should be able to add minced hamburger. I don’t know what kind of texture you’d end up with, and I wouldn’t try to add pasta to the mix for drying- I don’t see how the texture of that combination could be anything but yee-yuk.

    I would assume that you could dry the sauce and the meat separately and mix them when you reconstitute them. Supposedly you can cook pasta simply by letting it soak in boiling water, but I don’t know if this actually works. I wonder if you cooked the pasta and then dried it, would it cook faster when you are ready to eat it or would it cook OK with the boiling water method.
     
  7. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    Yes I did! I thought they were a bit seedy, but very good...I did it for fruit leather and tomato leather, and got great results...very yummy. I think the product dried better having been juiced before hand .I kept the tomato juice to use as a soup base and the pulp was dried for adding to dips and about any thing else I could think of. I might run it through a strainer nexttime to get rid of at least some of the seeds.:)
     
  8. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    My friends buy the cheapest sauce and dehydrate that, like fruit leather. No need to dry pasta as it's already dry! Also, it does work to soak the pasta in hot water, but why bother, it's just as quick to boil it. (takes about 20 minutes the other way, plus once the water cools, so does the pasta. They do have a gadget for the standing in boiling water method, you might try checking out as seen on tv.com. It eliminates the need to dirty a pan cooking the pasta, but you still have the gadget to clean.
     
  9. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't thought about dehydrating premade sauce, good idea also keeping burger separate and adding all together. I was thinking about a meal for minimalist backpacking. Those premade meals are quite expensive.
     
  10. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

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    You are putting yourself at great risk for food poisoning trying to dry meat other than jerky. No ground meat is safe to dry, not even for jerky.
    I know some are doing this, but it really is dangerous.

    Lucy, Master Food Preserver/Food Safety Advisor
     
  11. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    I'll have to partially disagree with you there, Lucy. In my experience, the large FAT content in store bought ground beef/meat is what makes it almost impossible to dehydrate properly with a simple home food dehydrator, but I've made turkey jerky with ground turkey, venison jerky with ground venison, and beef jerky with fat-trimmed stew meat that was then hand-ground & they have stored for 6 months (vacuum-sealed), and I am far from any kind of 'expert'... but you are right in a 'better safe than sorry' approach ;)

    I'm also pretty certain that the dehydrated burger that is sold commercially (nitro-pak?) is done by the superior method of freeze-drying since they claim "up to a 25 year shelf life!"*

    "Premium Ground Beef in bulk size #10 cans. Each can contains about 18- 3/4 cup servings of freeze dried ground beef when reconstituted. Reconstitutes in about 3 minutes using boiling water."*


    * Freeze-Dried Ground Beef<br>#10 Can - <I>18 Servings <b>NEW Nitro-Pak.com The World Leader in Innovative & Affordable Preparedness Gear