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Tomatoes and More Tomatoes

Sheepy’s Dad has lots and lots of tomatoes. The agreement is that I will dry as many as humanly possible and she gets half. What a great deal for me!!

Here are the 4 boxes that got it started.

I found out that if I spray the trays with non-stick cooking spray the tomatoes release easily and I don’t have to wash the trays as often between batches.

The first 9 trays. Hubby had another 20 trays at work, which he brought home a few days later when another 4 bushels of tomatoes were dropped off. It takes me about 40 minutes to wash, slice, and fill 15 trays!

I love this dehydrator! It will handle up to 30 trays, although I don’t put more than 15 on at a time. Hubby has two bases at work, so I have two dehydrators going almost all the time. It takes between 18-24 hours to dry one batch of tomatoes. 

Dehydrating tomatoes is so much easier on me than bottling them. I get to work for a few hours and then the dehydrator does the rest. I don’t have to babysit the canner or worry about jars breaking. All I do is slice and stack!

So, what am I planning on doing with all these tomatoes? I made my first batch of lasagna last week. I blended the tomatoes in my blender until they were a powder, added water, garlic, onion powder, and salt to make the sauce. I was very tomato-y flavored. If I had let the sauce simmer on the stove, I’m sure it would have mellowed the flavor a bit.

Here’s a link to Diane Hopkins blog post about V8 Powder: although I have only dried tomatoes, the idea is the same. At the end of her post are two great tables that show how much tomato powder to mix with water to make tomato paste, tomato sauce, tomato juice, or stewed tomatoes.

I’ve lost count of how many bags of tomatoes I’ve sealed. These are the two that are ready to head to the storage room.

I am sealing my tomatoes as they come out of the dehydrator, not powdering them first. That way if I want stewed tomatoes I can crumble the tomatoes a little and just add hot water.

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