Tag Archives: dehydrated tomatoes

8/23/12 CSA SHARE: What we got and what I took home

POST #786
Here’s what they said we would get, what we got, and what I traded for:

Green Beans – .75 lb bag……………………..traded for basil
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes – 1.25 lbs
Spaghetti Squash – 1 pc
Yellow Onions – 3-4 pcs………………………traded for tomatoes
Chioggia Beets – 1 bun…………………………got watermelon
Red Tomatoes – 6 lb bag
Basil – 1 bun
Apples – bag of 5
Peaches – bag of 5

I was disappointed that I did not get the beets- I was thinking of fermenting half and doing angelhair pasta with the other half.

I traded the onions because I still have a lot left, and the green beans because I didn’t think I would get around to eating them ever.

Watermelon tomorrow for breakfast.

I am going to juice the apples – that will get me applesauce, too – the pulp is enough like applesauce for me to call it like that.

I ate the cherry tomatoes as a quick dinner.

There are enough tomatoes that I can get at least one dehydrator tray worth of tomato flakes/powder (I’m going to grind them up in the food processor and then spread all out on a teflex sheet and dehydrate.  I like to use tomato powder or flakes in recipes, and they save longer dehydrated slices.

I will still have some tomatoes left to eat in slices or chop into salads.  (For some reason, using tomatoes for “spaghetti” topping hasn’t been working for me recently.)

I’m going to dehydrate some of the basil, freeze some of it, and eat a lot of it.  Pesto!

Boy oh boy! Am I ever going to be busy for the next couple of days, what with all that dehydrating.

WHAT TO DO WITH LOTS OF TOMATOES – my tomato shares are coming soon

If you haven’t seen what I did last year with my two (surprise) shares, please check out the post from 9/2/07:
https://prettysmartrawfoodideas.wordpress.com/2007/09/02/buried-in-tomatoes/

I’m readier this year. I actually paid for two shares this time, on purpose.

Here is my information, based on judicious research as well as my experience and final action last year.

HOW TO MAKE SUN DRIED TOMATOES FROM FRESH TOMATOES

SELECT TOMATOES

  • The best tomatoes for dehydrating are Roma tomatoes (small oval-ish tomatoes). Romas are thicker, meatier, have fewer sides, and are less watery than other kinds of tomatoes.
  • Avoid mushy, soft, bruised, and rotten tomatoes.


TO PREPARE FOR DEHYDRATING

  • Remove any bruises or soft parts, as well as cores/stem parts (usually yellowish or greenish).
  • Halve or quarter tomatoes lengthwise, or thickly slice horizontally.   (Although dehydrated tomato pieces normally shrink to 1/4 of the original size, keep in mind that, the larger the pieces, the longer it will take to finish dehydrating them.)

DEHYDRATING

  • Place tomato slices evenly on dehydrator trays as close as possible without touching (remember that the end-product will be 1/4 the original size).  If desired, sprinkle with salt or herbs of choice.
  • Set dehydrator for 140 degrees for 1 hr.
  • After one hour, reduce temperature to 125 or 115 degrees (depending on which guru you believe — I do mine at 125 degrees)
  • Dehydrate until done – regardless of the kind of dehydrator you use (I recommend the Excalibur — mine is a 5-tray model which lets me easily check the progress of whatever I am dehydrating, and is easy to and fast to load and unload), this will depend on where you are and what kind of humidity there is.
  • When the tomatoes are properly dehydrated, they will be flexible, or leathery, like raisins.  They should be deep red in color, and not be tacky to the touch.
  • Cool the dehydrated tomatoes to room temperature (20 or 30 mins.), then place in zipper bags, leaving some small space for expansion.  Squeeze out as much air as possible when closing the bags.  (A vacuum sealer is ideal, and will prevent spoilage and retain flavor best, but judicious squeezing out of the air will do.)  Make sure any storage containers are completely airtight, as dehydrated tomatoes readily absorb moisture, and can quickly become moldy.
  • Store bagged dehydrated tomatoes in the freezer or in a cool, dry place.
  • Frozen dehydrated tomatoes will last for  9 – 12 mos.
  • Check packs of dehydrated tomatoes frequently for signs of moisture condensation for a week or so. At the first sign of moisture, put the tomatoes into the dehydrator and re-dry them


PACKING IN OILS
If you want dried tomatoes in oil, it is advisable to wait until just before you are ready to use them, and then refrigerate them only for a short time.
Place dried tomatoes in a jar with a good seal/top, leaving about 1 in. of space at the top, for expansion.  Pour in extra virgin olive oil to cover tomatoes and fill jar.  Check after 8 hours or so to see if you need to add more olive oil.

VARIATION:
If you wish to add herbs to oil-packed dried tomatoes, “layer” them in as you add the tomatoes, then add the oil.

My Juicy Day: V8 Juice (sort of), Apple Juice, and Coconut Water

I started out the day with a big glass of apple juice I had made from the last four apples from my winter fruit share.

After work, I went down to Chinatown with my friend Lesa. I haven’t been there in forever. We bought Thai coconuts on the street. The lady at the stand opened them up for us and gave us straws, and we just stood on the corner and sipped the coconut water. Lesa gave me her empty coconut. After we walked around some more, we decided to have another coconut juice, so I ended up coming home with four coconuts. I’ve taken out all the meat…. and I’m thinking maybe a pina colada in the morning, with the pineapple I have in the refrigerator.

I thought I should probably make a serious vegetable juice at least once today although I really had no plan. I just looked in the refrigerator and pulled out some vegetables. (This week, I am sort of limited food-wise to whatever is in the refrigerator or in my dehydrated vegetable stash I made last summer).

V8 JUICE (sort of)
6 med. carrots
1 small beet
3 handfuls of dehydrated tomato powder, rehydrated in 1 C water
Handful dehydrated greens
1/2 sm. head red cabbage
1 red bell pepper
1/ sm onion
1 clove garlic

  • I juiced the beet and 5 of the carrots in my Champion juicer. (I just forgot the sixth carrot).
  • I put the juice (about 1 C) into the VitaMix with the last carrot, the rest of the vegetables, and the tomato soak water..
  • I added about 2 large glasses of water so that the product would be drinkable (i.e., juice and not pate)

It came out more purple than red, but it wasn’t bad. I probably could have called it soup, if I had put it in a bowl.

DINNER TONIGHT

DINNER TONIGHT

Sorry no specific recipes. I just looked at what I had from the CSA tonight, and what I had left over from last week, with some almonds and dehydrated tomato slices (thanks to the 40 lbs of tomatoes last month!) I had on hand.

I chose:
red kale
several turnip leaves
an onion
a red bell pepper
two Roma tomatoes
1 med. small turnip
1 beet
arugula leaves
1 red lettuce leaf
1/4 clove garlic
@ 1 tomato worth of dried tomato slices, soaked
some almonds
Thai curry paste
sea salt
apple cider vinegar
extra virgin olive oil

I made massaged greens salad with the kale and turnip leaves (see recipe in recipes section), 1/4 onion, all sliced very thin, 1/4 bell pepper minced, a squirt of Thai green curry paste, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a dash of olive oil (extra virgin, of course).

I made a pate with @ 1-1/2 C almonds, 2 Roma tomatoes, the dried tomato slices, 3/4 red bell pepper, 1/2 onion, 1/4 clove garlic, all ground fine in the food processor.

I made a beet/turnip/onion salad with the turnip, the beet, 1/4 onion, and @1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar. I processed everything fine in the food processor, to the consistency of apple sauce.

Because my room-mate is a foodie, and cares about presentation, I placed the greens neatly on the plate, put three arugula leaves on the plate and flattened two balls of the pate on top of them, and then put 1/2 of the red lettuce leaf on the plate and arranged an interesting drizzle of the beet/turnip/onion salad in the shape of the leaf. She ended up wrapping the pate in the arugula leaves, and the beet/turnip/onion salad in the lettuce. (I ended up copying her wraps, and I wrapped the greens with the pate)

You know… I did not stop to think about food combining tonight. I absolutely did not think about 80/10/10 (because I never do). I know I need some fat and protein, so there were the almonds and the oil (I did consciously think about that). This was a totally “intuitive” meal.


I feel okay, and I am really happy that I had a delicious meal. I do not feel any ill effects, and I am going to save the leftovers and eat them tomorrow at work. I really do not even feel that I need to be giving excuses, although I am, simply so you will not go saying “Oh, but you should have….” Let’s put it this way. I ate a good healthy meal. My body is happy, and I am not having any rash break-outs (that is how my body reacts to wrong eating).
I am full, and I am looking forward to tomorrow, not to the next thing to eat.