Sun-dried tomatoes are a real treat but they are expensive to buy at the store, so we made a nice big batch of cheap sun dried tomatoes right from our own garden. They’re easy to make. Let me show you how.
Preparation for Cheap Sun Dried Tomatoes
Wash the tomatoes in your sink first, of course, and place them in a big container. Set up tomato slicing station with a knife and cutting board and medium-sized bowl, several large baking sheets and, of course, your big container of tomatoes. You can use any tomatoes but we like to use Roma for our cheap sun dried tomatoes. Choose one of your nice clean tomatoes, cut off the stem and slice the tomato in half.
Rub out the seeds and the juiciest parts of the tomato into the bowl so you can save all that good stuff for later. Then cut the tomato into even thinner slices and put them all onto a large baking sheet. Try to load the tray with skin side down but don’t obsess over it. It will all work out .
The Drying Process
You can begin the drying process by setting up a simple wind tunnel inside. Just set a regular box fan on any table and put all your tomato trays in front of it.
The breeze from the fan starts evaporating moisture right away. We put a cheap plastic tablecloth over the fan to help direct the wind toward our tomato trays. You can use this technique while you’re preparing all of your trays, but solar power is absolutely the best, most natural way. We cover all of our trays with a big window screen . It will take two or even three days in the sun to completely dry the tomato slices into raisin-like appearance and texture. We bring our trays in at night and put them in our tabletop wind tunnel so the tomatoes will continue drying through the night.
And remember all the juice and seeds that you collected in your bowl earlier? Just use a screen or a strainer to separate them so you can enjoy an amazingly fresh glass of tomato juice and dry the seeds for next year’s garden. We store ours in glass jars filled with olive oil and a little bit of basil. They’re great in salads, of course, and you can’t beat a bagel with cream cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Don’t forget that tomatoes grow extremely well in a cheap raised garden bed. We’ve got a great tutorial on how to build one for less than $20.
Have you made your own cheap sun dried tomatoes from your garden? Let us know in the comments below or post your pictures on Facebook.
As found on Youtube