|Lycopene-rich tomato powder has many uses.|
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Something to do with Tomatoes Besides Canning
I love to can diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. I also enjoy freezing them. But this weekend I thought I'd try dehydrating tomatoes and then grinding them into a powder. Besides the powder taking a lot less space than jars, dehydrating and powdering allows you to store the tomatoes in their raw state.
A Tomato a Day?
Tomatoes are packed with the carotenoid lycopene. They also contain other healthy carotenoids such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. Tomatoes also are rich in other powerful phytonutrients such as flavonols, glycosides and others.
Tomatoes have long been associated with heart health because they contain lots of antioxidants which reduce inflammation. They also can reduce total and LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides. In addition to that, the phytonutrients in tomatoes can reduce the clumping together of blood platelets which often cause blockage.
Besides being heart-healthy, tomatoes (and lycopene) have been recently connected to bone health. And the phytonutrient alpha-tomatine in tomatoes has been shown to lower the risk of prostate cancer in men too.
Tomato powder is a good way to add these powerful phytonutrients to your favorite recipes. Here's how to make it!
Making Tomato Powder
Start with fresh, ripe tomatoes that have been washed with the stem areas removed.
You can remove the seeds if you'd like to get a finer powder but I just slice them as is.
|Slice the tomatoes and lay them out on dehydrator sheets.|
Lay the tomato slices on non-stick dehydrator sheets.
Dehydrate at 115 degrees F. until dry, about 24 hours.
Turn over and dehydrate on the mesh sheet until tomato slices are absolutely dry, about another 6 hours.
|This is what they look like after 24 hours of dehydrating.|
|Dehydrated tomato slices.|
To make tomato powder, place the dehydrated slices in a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec.
Blend until it becomes a smooth powder.
Place in a small spice jar and refrigerate until needed.
|Place dehydrated slices in your blender.|
|Blend until the slices turn into powder.|
|Place in a small spice jar.|
What to do with Tomato Powder
There are so many things you can do with tomato powder. Here are just a few:
* Season polenta, risotto or spanish rice
* Use it in soups and sauces
* Sprinkle on popcorn
* Blend into salad dressings
* Use it to thicken tomato sauce instead of tomato paste
* Flavor pizza dough or bread dough
* Blend into hummus or other dips
How do you use tomato powder? Let us know!
|Blend 1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato powder into your favorite hummus recipe!|