Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tomato Skins to Tomato Powder (Easy Tomato Paste & Sauce From Tomato Skins)

Ever wondered what to do with those tomato skins when you are putting up your tomato's?  Last year I came across an article on making tomato powder from tomato skins 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.
You can also make a mean tomato soup using tomato powder.  I think this is an awesome addition to any food storage pantry.

 
The thing I wanted to do the most 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!
So here's what I do now.  First I go on and put up whatever it is at the moment. Salsa, whole tomato's, crushed tomato's, Rotel tomato's... you get the idea.  What I do differently now is to save the tomato skins.  

  Lay the tomato skins out on your dehydrator trays and set your heat to 115 degrees and wait  until the skins are dry.It doesn't take very long, a few hours.   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 just seemed easier to remove the skins using the screens. Only because they are pliable though.

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.  

I am forever running out of tomato paste. Not any more!  This is a great thing to have in my food storage. I know I didn't buy tomato paste or sauce at all this past year!  I decided not to grind all the skins and just store them in jars until I need them.  I also figured with the moisture content it would end up being hard as a brick in no time if I ground it all and then stored it.. So I put the skins in mason jars and vacuum sealed them. I just grind them as needed.  I know I'll be drying tomato skins from here on out. 
 

19 comments:

  1. Hey SciFi,

    Because of you, I have a couple of jars of skins. Last year, I dried them then coarsely ground them & put them in jars. I have't make paste out of them yet but plan on doing so this fall/winter.

    Thank you for the idea!

    However, I purchased a food mill last year & have been using it to 'grind' my tomatoes which destroys the skins this year. I guess I have to save back a batch to peel so I can save more.

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  2. I'm so happy you found this one useful. You know, you can dry actual tomato's to make the powder? I usually end up drying tomato slices at some point during the season. Good in soups and stews and you can grind them for your sauce too.

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  3. Neat trick. We are going to have to try that this year.

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  4. SciFi,
    I tried this using my electric dehydrator. Unfortunately, the skins never got crisp enough to grind. Maybe it had something to do with the humidity in the Houston area. Any ideas? I would try the oven, but we are so hot here that we try to avoid the over at all costs during the summer.

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    1. The only thing I can think of is that you didn't let them dry long enough. If they aren't crisp/brittle they will mold in the jar. (Don't ask me how I know this!)

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    2. Try the oven on "proof" or "warm" for a couple hours! Solved all my problems!

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  5. This is such great information (recipe?) to have in my putting food by file. LOVE it!

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    1. wooo hoooo I made the food files!!!

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  6. What a great idea to use the sometimes-wasted skins! I use tomato powder to thicken up my salsa when I'm making it with fresh tomatoes - works like a charm. Now I can't wait to dehydrate some of those skins. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

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    1. I'll have to remember your tip on thickening salsa. We are kind of salsa fiends around here. Thanks!

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  7. Wish I had know this last Monday when my neighbor and I put up 33 quarts of tomatoes. Had lots of skin we tossed in the compost pile. Oh well...next time. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Wow. That's a lot of tomato's! I wish I had a canning buddy to share the dang prep work with. I used to toss mine to the chickens, but that's not happening anymore.

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  8. This is a great idea. I wish you had a pin option so I could pin this directly to my Pinterest Board!

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    1. Trish, I guess I just never thought about adding a pin button. Let me see what I can do about that. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Thank you so much! Tomatoes haven't come in here yet in the Pacific Northwest so I'll try this one when my order comes in.

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    1. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I was a bit of a skeptic the first time I tried it. But it really is a great way to add to your pantry!

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  10. DFW, not a problem. If you dehydrate all the pulp, you can still grind it up seeds and all to make your powder.

    Sci-Fi Chick, add a few grains of rice or a single saltine cracker to you container of powder. This will slow down moisture build up.

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    1. Thanks Al. I never even thought about using rice. Silly too since I use it in my salt shaker!

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