With anything we preserve, our goal is to create a zero waste product, this includes working with tomatoes….we use the entire tomato including the peels.
When we put up whole tomatoes the process is to blanch and peel them, reserving the peels to be made into tomato powder. The process is extremely simply, the flavor is amazing, and the uses for it are endless!
We put up roughly 150 pounds of tomatoes each year, some from our garden-some from local farmers, and the end result is salsa, spaghetti sauce, chili sauce, stewed tomatoes, and whole tomatoes. So, along with all of these tomatoes we have a lot of peels. Oh, they could have went to the chickens or the compost, but why not dehydrate them? Since timing is everything while working with fresh produce we freeze the peels until everything has been put up.
Once canning season has slowed down we thaw in the skins until they are soft enough to work with, then into the dehydrator they go!
The peels are extremely thin, so slightly stacking them on top of each other will still dry them. The dry time and the temperature they need to dry at is different for each dehydrator and each home; refer to your manual for the correct time and temperature.
Once they have dried, I used a spatula to remove them from the trays, but laying the peels on parchment paper will make your job much easier….yeah, ask me how I know, some people have to learn the hard way first.
The peels dry thin and are quite pretty.
I use my Nutri Bullet to grind it to the desired consistency.
Beautiful red gold flakes!
I add a food grade oxygen absorber pack to each mason jar, and this should keep them fresh for up to one year. For anything longer than a year, I would suggest vacuum sealing the jars.
I add tomato powder to anything I wish to have tomato flavor; I can also use a bit of the tomato powder, add small amount of water to make tomato paste! Simply add the water slowly to the tomato powder until the desired consistency is reached.
There you have it, a zero waste product and a splash of summer for the long winter months. Enjoy!