Learn how to make tomato powder at home!
Tomatoes can be processed and preserved using various methods. These include drying, putting them in oil, or turning it into powder form. Let’s see, how to make tomato powder at home.
How to Make Tomato Powder at Home
Wash the tomatoes thoroughly and remove the stems. If you want to dry the skin and pulp separately, gently peel off the tomatoes. Place the skin on a tray lined with baking paper that is slightly oiled.
Place the pulp on a separate tray lined with parchment paper. Spread the pulp thinly on the tray using a spatula.
If you plan to do the sun drying method, cut the tomatoes in half. Cut them lengthwise if it is more than 2 inches long. Gently scrape off the seeds without removing the pulp. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on top of each tomato. This is to absorb the moisture.
Place the tomatoes cut-side down a shallow wood-framed tray. The trays should have nylon netting at the bottom. This is to allow air to circulate.
If you want to dry it as one, then cut the tomatoes thinly. Place the tomatoes on a tray lined with baking paper. Make sure that the tomatoes are not touching or not on top of one another.
2. Drying tomatoes
READ ALSO: How to Dehydrate Tomatoes at Home
Drying tomatoes in the food dehydrator
Dry the tomatoes under low heat setting. The temperature should be around 135 degrees Fahrenheit or 57 degrees Celsius.
Continue to dry until brittle. The tomato being brittle is a good sign. This shows that its moisture has been thoroughly removed.
You need to check it every hour and rotate the rack from time to time. This is to make sure there is even drying.
Every hour, gently press the tomatoes flatly using a spatula. This will help in reducing the drying time.
In case you are drying the pulp and skin separately, the skin will dry completely after around four hours. The pulp dries after around 5 to 6 hours.
Drying tomatoes in the oven
Preheat the oven at around 180˚F or 82˚C. For bigger sized tomatoes, preheat the oven at 225˚F or 110˚C.
Place the tomatoes inside and bake them until the tomatoes turn deep red in color. Leave the oven door slightly open, or about 3 inches. This is to let the moisture escape.
The baking process will take around 40 to 50 minutes. Check the tomatoes every 20 minutes, and flip the slices. This is to ensure even cooking.
Every time you check, press the tomatoes with a spatula. Do this until they get flatter. This will help make the drying process faster.
For bigger sized tomatoes, the baking time may take around an hour to an hour and a half.
Dry the tomatoes during a hot day with relatively low humidity.
Place the trays of tomatoes in a place with direct sun. The trays should be raised from the ground.
Place it in an area where air can circulate under the trays.
The trays should also be covered with a protective netting or cheesecloth. This is to prevent any insects from flying in.
Make sure to place the trays in a dry and ventilated space when the sun goes down or when the weather is bad. This is to prevent it from having molds.
Check and turn the tomatoes every after a day and a half. This ensures that the tomatoes dry evenly in both sides.
The drying process may take about 3-4 days or even longer.
Things to remember when drying tomatoes:
- The tomatoes don’t have the same amount of moisture. They also don’t have the same experience in temperature and air circulation when drying. This means they don’t dry at the same rate.
- If allowed to dry for too long, they will become tough and leathery. If they are not dry enough, mold and mildew will develop.
- Be observant and watch the tomatoes carefully while they dry. It is best to remove them one by one before they become tough.
- Don’t use aluminum baking sheets or foil inlining the trays. The acid from the tomatoes may react with the metal. This can make the tomatoes harmful to consume.
3. Cooling tomatoes
Remove the trays from the oven or dehydrator. Do not remove the tomatoes yet. Leave them to cool completely.
You can also allow them to sit overnight. This is done to dry off any moisture left. This is usually done with sun-dried tomatoes.
Cut the dried tomatoes into smaller pieces before putting them in the grinder. This makes grinding easier.
You can also use a mortar and pestle to break them into pieces before putting them in the grinder.
Dump the dried tomatoes into a blender or food processor. Grind until you get your preferred texture.
If you want a finer powder, you can switch to a coffee grinder.
5. Storing tomato powder
Store the tomato powder in an airtight container. This will prevent any moisture from getting inside the container.
You can also store them in plastic bags or zip lock bags. If you do this, make sure to remove as much air as possible. It is best to vacuum seal it. This is to help prevent molds and mildew from developing.
The powder can be stored for a month at room temperature.
If you keep it in the refrigerator, it can be stored for up to two to three months.
READ ALSO: How to Store Dried Vegetables
Uses of Tomato Powder
Tomato paste – Mix two parts of powder to one part of water.
Tomato sauce – Mix one part of tomato powder to 6 parts of water to make a sauce. To make an equivalent of one 15-oz can use 2 cups of water with 1/3 cup of tomato powder.
Tomato juice – Put 2 Tbsp. of tomato powder in 8 oz. of cold water. You can also add a splash of clam juice.
Instant tomato soup – Add 2 Tbsp. of tomato powder to 8 oz. of boiling water. Add a pinch of garlic or onion powder. Season with salt and pepper.