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Dried Red Tomatoes

Discussion in 'The Harvest: Recipes, Canning, Preserving' started by KeyLimePie, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Apr 23, 2008
    miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' In The Garden

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    I would venture to say that the white stuff is mould. and i am surprised after such a short drying time. I am not familiar with your machine, but does it have turn settings on the lid? If so, make sure these are opened all the way. And have you been rotating the trays? top to bottom and bottom to top. You might have to slice them smaller, and also watch out for them if some on a tray are drying faster than others. If this happens, move the thicker ones to the bottom of the tray closer to the heating element.

    Sorry you had to lose some. On the bright side--at least you are able to get tomatoes--my garden will be tilled next week. I'm just waiting to get my hands in the mud......
     
  2. Apr 23, 2008
    S0rcy

    S0rcy Chillin' In The Garden

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    In the oven I have set it to the lowest setting and used parchment paper. I intensely dislike the flavor of them after putting them on aluminum foil. It could just be me. A friend of mine uses nonstick baking sheets. Every half hour or so I would open the oven to let out the moisture and just kept shoving them in and taking them out, a sheet at a time. It made the house smell good! Each oven and area is different with atmospheric moisture, etc. Experiment with your oven, check every 10 minutes or so, it really won't take them long! They do tend to lose a bit of flavor when done quickly which is why I like to do them outside.

    Yes, for the dehydrator, I would slice them thinner! I would not eat any of the batch that was done and had mold on any of them. Some of those mold spores probably got onto the "clean" ones and could cause you problems in storage. Clean the trays thoroughly with a bleach solution before using it again and make sure you clean every part you can get to without destroying it. Try keeping the tomato slices spaced further apart, so that there is adequate circulation.

    Using less ripe tomatoes... That might help, but you would lose out on flavor of course. I go by smell for my tomatoes. A tomato ready for drying causes a tingling sensation in my nose and makes my mouth water. Not too much help I know LOL I'm just like that.

    Above all, keep trying! You're doing fine and I can almost guarantee that it will be worth all the effort and experimentation! I use dried tomatoes for hundreds of things, snacking, soups, marinades, bread, rice/grain dishes, slow cooker menu's, stuffing, relishes, glazes, stir fry's and feeding to a local mascot at the campus in order to wheedle him into getting close for pictures!
     
  3. Apr 23, 2008
    flinthillbillie

    flinthillbillie Leafing Out

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    I'd have to agree - don't use them if they've molded.
    As for oven drying, most ovens can't be set to a low enough temperature to dry tomatoes properly, but you can put a 100 watt lightbulb in your oven on one of those extension cord socket thingies and that should do the trick. I haven't tried screen drying outside but I've read that you should use fiberglass screening, not galvanized because the metal reacts with the tomatoes. I would think that where you are it would be too humid to sun dry anyway. Good luck with your next batch. Trial and error seems to be the way with those elec. dehydrators. Mine was second-hand and the only instructions I got from its previous owner were: "Plug it in!"
     
  4. Apr 24, 2008
    S0rcy

    S0rcy Chillin' In The Garden

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    flint, I wasn't sure whether you meant canada, or Oregon. We do have warm dry summers, so we can dry things easily outdoors here. I'm unfamiliar with Canada's conditions though :D
     
  5. Apr 25, 2008
    KeyLimePie

    KeyLimePie Leafing Out

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    Thank you all for your imput, you're so helpful & generous!

    I put the moldy slices in the compost but managed to save most of the rest of the toms, made a small bag full. Next time I'm going to try drying them in the oven, it starts at 170 degrees. I'll begin with just a small amount & see how well they do in that oven.

    If the oven does a good job then I'll FreeCycle that electric dehydrator, it seemed to take much too long to dry those toms, over 24 hours!

    I wonder if you could dry toms in an Easy-Bake Oven?

    Here in South Florida our tomato season will be ending in a month or so. Once it gets hot the fruit seems to cook on the vine, it splits & gets sticky & attracts bugs. But until then I'll be picking toms every day, eating them up & trying to preserve all the rest to enjoy through our loooooooong HOT summers.
     
  6. May 16, 2008
    mooman

    mooman Chillin' In The Garden

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    Anybody dry anything else? I was thinking about what you could dry and then bag to make a nice quick vegetable soup? You know, just throw a mix of dryed veggies in quart bags, dump them in water with some beef cubes or onion soup mix. Maybe a way to get rid of the huge excess of squash everyone ends up with.
     
  7. May 22, 2008
    miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' In The Garden

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    I have dehydrated onions, carrots, peppers, tomatoes , herbs. I have also done apples, bananas, (not good), and made fruit leather. I'm sure you could throw a mix together for soup. You could probably google dehydrator sites for recipes
     
  8. May 22, 2008
    Grow 4 Food

    Grow 4 Food Garden Ornament

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    What went wrong with the bananas?
     
  9. May 23, 2008
    miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' In The Garden

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    i guess it was my expectations. I was expecting the ones like you buy in the bulk food store. Mine were chewy, and I wan't real pleased with them. It was a long time ago, I think i tried another batch dipping them in honey(but I' not sure right now) they still didn't turn out the way I would have liked them.

    i may try them again some day, but for now, i mainly dry apples, as i make my own "instant oatmeal", and my dd likes the apples and cinnamon flavour.
     
  10. Jun 18, 2008
    backintime

    backintime Leafing Out

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    My favorite EASY dehydrated treat is to peel & core nice fruity apples, like Gala or Pink Lady, and slice them about 1/8 inch thick, dropping the slices into a bowl of pineapple juice (1 small serving-size can goes a long way!) This keeps them from discoloring and gives an extra fruity taste, though you can't really detect pineapple flavor. My college age daughters love to get "care packages" with these inside!
     

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