I had just canned a pretty good batch of tomatoes last week and this week the tomatoe harvast has started slowing down.  I didn't want to can up such a small batch nor did I want to run the dehydrator for them either.  I had thought about using the sun oven again but I had t tied up with other stuff today.  That left just one option - sun drying the tomatoes.

If you have some really nice warm summer days, like we have here in Texas, you can really make use of the natural heat.  We are also blessed here in Texas that the majority of the time the humidity is relatively low.  This climate makes it perfect for sun drying vegetables.

Here is what you will need -

A dry sunny day

Drying racks/trays - I just used the trays out of my Excalibur dehydrator

Tomatoes

A knife for slicing tomatoes

And last but not least patience to let them dry naturally.

Okay let's get this easy process started.

1.  Wash and pat dry your tomatoes

2.  check your tomatoes for any bad spots and remove them.

3.  Slice tomatoes 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick.  Remember the thinner they are the faster they will dry but too thin and they will break when you handle them dry.

4. Lay out your tomatoes on what ever you chose for your drying trays - Make sure you have enough space between your tomatoes to allow for good air circulation since you won't have forced air to help it along.

5.  Remember you will need a tray or screen of some sort to sit on top of your tomatoes also.  You need to protect them from the things that will want to fly around and sit on them.

6. When you pick the place to put  your tomatoes outside keep in mind that you want your tomatoes to be somewhat protected but to recieve good sun and circulation.

7.  I happen to have a little 20.00 green house out front that has 4 shelves in it.  I layed my trays inside of there and left the front of it completely open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.  Be sure to check your tomatoes every frew hours to see if a particular area is drying faster than another so you can rotate them if need be.

9.  It will take any where from 24 - 48 hours to completely dry your tomatoes if the weather and your darling husband cooperate.  For me the weather cooperated and near the end of the first day the tomatoes were almost dry.  Then my darling husband decided to help me by watering some self-watering containers for me and drug the hose with a small sparying leak in front of my tomatoes and managed to stand in one place long enough that the majority of the tomatoes got wet.

Not a big deal,  They sun dried once they can do it again.  They ended up taking about 38 hours to dry completely.

Store your dried tomatoes in a mason jar in a cool, dark place or seal them in mylar bags for longer term storage.

Don't be surpised if your family eats them right out of the jar before you have a chance to use them for cooking.

To rehydrate simply place in a bowl and cover with warm water until plump.  Cool water will work also it just takes a little longer.

And remember -

Live, Love, Laugh, Learn....homestead.

 

 

 

 

 

Tip:  These could be re-hydrated in an emergency to make a paste also or added to soups.  Use your imagination, the uses for these things are many. 

Want to dehydrate 9 trays of fruits, vegetables, meats and more all at the same time just like Christine does? Go to Excalibur and get your very own Excalibur Dehydrator now.