Sunday, July 22, 2012

DIY Tomato Powder"From Skins to Tomato Paste"

I came across an article on making tomato powder from tomato skins the other day and was instantly intrigued. After seeing how simple making tomato powder is, I'm sorry I didn't start doing it sooner. I'm also thinking about all those skins I tossed to the chickens before I found this idea. I'm betting that won't happen again. The chickens might be disappointed but I'm sure not!

Why would you want tomato powder?  It's got so many uses. Sprinkle it liberally on meals like soups, stews, pasta sauces,taco mix, pizza toppings. Put some "zip" in your omelet or eggs. Shake it on veggies to add a bit of flavor.  It livens up all kinds of dishes.

The thing I wanted to do the most to do though was to be able to make tomato paste and tomato sauce.  I figured if it worked I wouldn't have to buy it in the can anymore.  I figured what the heck, I'll give it a shot and see. The worst thing that could happen was that the chickens would loose a snack. I've tried making tomato paste  on the stove and I have to tell you... It ain't as easy as it sounds. All that cooking time and stirring and hoping the whole time it doesn't burn, I didn't enjoy it at all.  Besides, it's just to hot in the kitchen during tomato season to do it.  So I decided to try this idea of making it from tomato skins. Now that I've done it I sure wish I had known about it sooner. It's awesome!

First thing you do is peel your tomato's and save the skins.  Lay them out on your dehydrator trays and wait it until the skins are dry.It doesn't take very long at all. They will be like brittle paper when they are done. 


 I laid some  straight on the trays and some on trays with screens. (For the life of me I can't figure out what I did with the rest of my screens.)  They both work fine, it'd just easier to remove the skins using the screens.

I took some of the dried skins and ground them up in my little coffee/spice grinder. That was it!  Tomato powder!

 To make tomato paste from it, just add a tablespoon of water (more or less) to each tablespoon of powder until you get the consistency you are looking for. 
 To make tomato sauce start with one tablespoon of tomato powder to two parts water. (more or less)  For tomato juice just add one tablespoon to 4 tablespoons of water.(more or less)  It's kind of a "feel" thing and not exact measurements.  Just add water until you get the consistency you want for whatever you are making.  
You can also make a mean tomato soup using tomato powder.  I think this will be an awesome addition to any food storage pantry.
I am forever running out of tomato paste. Not any more!  This will be a great thing to have in my food storage. I know I'm going to stock up on it!  Of course I'm not sure yet just how long it will last but I'm testing that now.  I decided not to grind all the skins and store them in jars until I need them.  I figured with the moisture content it would end up being hard as a brick in no time if I ground it all. So I put the skins in mason jars and vacuum sealed them. I'll just grind them as needed.  I know I'll be drying tomato skins from here on out. 
 Hey! I just had another thought....I wonder if  I can make bouillon cubes with it? Hmmm....



36 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I have looked around to find how to do this with little success and you are right, making paste on the stove is not easy. Will definitely do this!

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    1. No problem Aggie. How in the world would I have found this brilliant idea and not share it with you??? LOL!!

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  2. What a brilliant idea!! Thanks for sharing. Well, my chickens won't thank you any more than yours will. I'll definitely be giving this a try this year.
    Judy

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    1. Yeah, the chickens aren't gonna be loving any of us after finding out how easy this one is!

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  3. That. Is. AWESOME!!!

    Why have I never heard of such magic before now?

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    1. Girl, I asked myself the same thing when I realized how easy it is!

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  4. Sci,

    It's been a while since I pulled out the dehydrator. Reading your post, I maybe pulling this baby out again. Especially I have a bunch of tomatoes getting ready to harvest.

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    1. Sandy? You don't have your dehydrator out? Shame on you!!!! LOL You know how much I love drying foods. I can't imagine not incorporating it in food storage. Ok Ok I'm off the "dryer" kick now. Yay for you and tomato's!!!!!

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  5. oh you just know that i am definitely trying this! thanks so much buddy!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. kymber you are going to love this. So simple and SO easy. I know you can dry tomato's for use later as tomato powder but I never knew about being able to use the skins as well. I just love this!

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  6. Sci! I posted about this back in 2009...post was called Kitchen Scraps and Food Storage. Not just tomato powder...spinach, broccoli, orange, cucumber, even melon powder! (You haven't lived until you have a watermelon CAKE!) I sometimes use my tomato powder to make a super quick tomato or cream of tomato soup. 2 tablespoons tomato powder or thereabouts, 1 teaspoon cornstarch (makes it thicker and creamier) 1 teaspoon butter and about a cup and a half of water or milk. Melt butter, add cornstarch, add about half the water or milk, whisk smooth, add the tomato powder, whisk and add rest of water or milk.
    I would post a link to my post, but on this silly little laptop, I have no clue how to do it! (Will be so glad when my computer is fixed!)

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    1. Lamb, I know I must have missed that post because I'm sure I would have remembered it. I'm going to head right on over to your place to check it out. I love the idea of a watermelon cake!!! I'm also going to be trying your neat recipe for tomato soup! Sounds yummy.

      As for your laptop, I'm just glad you are back online! :~)

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  7. Great post, no more throwing out tomato skins for me!
    I know you can let tomatoes cook on low in an open turkey roaster in the oven to reduce it, probably would also work to reduce for paste. I make pasta sauce by putting everything in the crock pot and let it do it's thing all day, much easier than watching a pot on the stovetop.

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    1. Ladyhawthorne I like making my pasta sauce in the crockpot too. Especially when it is as hot as it is now. Anyway to help keep some of the heat out of the house.

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  8. I usually have some tomato powder in the cupboard; I like throwing a bit of it in soup for flavor, and it also gives a good taste to meatloaf.

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    1. I've never used it before but boy I will be now for sure! Meatloaf huh? Hmmmm.....

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  9. Can you store the tomato powder? If so how and for how long?

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    1. Anon, I have it stored in a mason jar which I've vacuumed sealed. Since this is my first time trying this I can't say how long it will last, but I'm thinking it should be fine for several months at least. Of course if I'm wrong I'll be sure to let you know.

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  10. I have been mulling over the idea of dehydrating tomatoes for tomato powder to save on canning and to make it all lighter. My hen will have to get some of the skins!

    Since I love tomato skins left on for a sandwich, I was going to dehydrate the tomatoes, skin and all. I hd not thought of just using skin after canning!

    I am going right over to Lamb's post.

    Thanks for validating my musings of what could be done.

    If there is moisture content, how do you expect the tomato skins will not get moldy? When I dry things crispy in my Excalibur, I have found they never mold or get like a rock when ground and stored.

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    1. PP I promise, there is still much chicken love going on! LOL!! They get all manner of goodies daily. But they are going to have to do without the tomato skins from here on out.

      I think I understand your question. When I was talking about the powder turning to brick I was thinking more about the powder sitting in something like a shaker. Not the actual skins themselves. Those I have vacuum sealed. The humidity in the air here can affect powders. Heck, it even makes salt "sweat"!

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  11. Thankyou so much for this. I will be doing this next summer. We had an wonderful season for tomatoes over here on the south east coast of Australia last summer. It never ceases to amaze me how generous you bloggers are with sharing your hints.
    Blessings Gail

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    1. Gail, it never ceases to amaze me that our seasons are so "flipped"! Summer here, winter there thing always messes with me. As for sharing hints.. shoot girl, that's what many of us are here for. To try and make things a bit easier on someone else walking the same path.

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  12. Sci, Thanks for this post!

    When I make tomato sauce I quarter the tomatoes, add a few to the pot, bring the temp up to boil and & crush them & keep adding more tomatoes. Once soft I run them through a food mill w/the larger holes & the skins are pretty much left whole. I've been putting them in the compost pile but think these would also work to dehydrate?

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  13. Yummm tomato sauce.... Hehehehe... You bet those skins would work! And what an easy way to skin tomato's! Thanks for stopping by today.

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  14. Now this is a brilliant idea! Didn't get any tomatoes this year except the cherry ones, but I need to try this out!

    I do like the tomato powder in the pantry, especially for tomato juice!

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    1. Dang! I didn't even think about tomato juice. LOL Thanks Jim. I know that next year I will be making more of this for sure. I just hate that I "snapped" about doing it so late in my tomato glut!

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  15. A great use for tomato skins. FYI: for making paste and thick sauce, the trick is to roast your tomatoes in a covered roasting pan in the oven for a couple hours at 300 - no stirring, no burning. When the tomatoes are soft pour off the watery liquid. Send the pulp through your food mill and you have a nice thick puree. To further reduce it to make paste, put it back in your roasting pan, uncovered this time, and bake at 300 for several more hours until very thick. I've forgotten mine in the oven overnight and still had a very usuable paste. The summer I had bushels of tomatoes I was happy to put a bushel of tomatoes into 8 pints jars of tomatoe paste - I was tired of canning tomatoes by then. Hope it helps some of you. Willow Haven Farm Lady

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    1. Thank you so much. This sounds like something I can do with all those frozen tomato's I've got. Just as soon as it cools off enough to fire up the oven again!

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  16. Great idea. I wondered how time consuming it would be to make tomato powder from whole tomatoes, since they have so much water in them. About how many tomatoes do you think you used to get the yield of powder that you did?

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    1. You know Rose, I can't see how it would take all that much more time. I've dried a whole lot of whole tomato's this year and they might take a bit longer to dry but I know they will work just fine. One thing that I do is to squeeze out some of the juice and seeds before slicing them for drying. It seems to help.
      As to how many tomato's it took, I can't honestly say since I was drowning in them and just kept working at getting them all processed. I do know that I did 16 trays like the one in the picture and it netted 2 packed quarts of skins. It took a little less than 1/4 a jar to get a tablespoon full. Seems like alot to me...but...

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  17. That's a great idea. I did not know you could make your own tomato powder. I will store this away for later use when I will grow tons of tomatoes. For those of you that don't have a garden or just no time to try this, you can buy tomato powder from www.srmarketplace.com for just a few dollars. Get the pantry can size as that has a LOT of tomato powder. Most other stuff for my long term storage I buy in the larger #10 cans. The website also has some recipes that show you how to use the tomato powder and freeze dried tomato chunks. Both are great items.

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  18. I have made tomato powder for years and it is wonderful!! You do have to be very careful not to expose it to any moisture while adding it to a hot pot or if the humidity gets to high. It WILL turn to a brick in the jar if this happens. I was toying with the idea of putting a small muslin bag of rice in the jar to help with moisture. Any thoughts? Also, I have done this with green tomatoes too and I use the whole thing not just the skins.

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    1. I just put it in clean dry mason jars and use my FoodSaver to vacuum seal it. I would think that the rice bag would absorb most of the moisture. You might have to keep an eye on it though. I put mine up "whole" and grind the tomato's as I need the powder. So far so good.

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  19. I have to say this is the most exciting thing I have heard of in the way of food preserving in my life. Really. I hate throwing away the peelings of tomatoes, apples... (full of pectin) but tomato paste from peels. Yeah!!! I think you may be the hero of my day, or even better... my kitchen hero! You rock. Thanks for sharing... just another Okie redneck!

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