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DIY: Sun-Dried Tomatoes

How does one sun-dry tomatoes? Easy - the same way you dry herbs from your garden.

Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomato Red Sauce

Photo: Dianne Venetta

I imagine if I immerse these in olive oil they'll return to a more palatable texture. The raw diet recipes we use call for soaking the sun-dried tomatoes in water prior to use.

The flavor of sun-dried tomatoes is exquisitely intense, wonderfully versatile, and – as I learned – the perfect addition to any raw diet.

But, have you ever wondered how to sun-dry a tomato yourself?

Mother Nature Working Her Magic

Sun-Dried Tomatoes On The Vine

Photo: Dianne Venetta

I planted these gorgeous Romas this spring and they dried by summertime all by themselves. Don't you love an independent vegetable?

I had never wondered about sun-dried tomatoes or how they were created. I figured the name said it all. I imagined them splayed out across specialty terra-cotta baking stones in Italy or California sunning until they reached crispy, crunchy, chewy perfection.

It wasn’t until I witnessed Mother Nature’s first sun-dried tomatoes in my garden that it dawned on me. (Actually, it was the scorch of summer and my lack of attention that did it, but who’s checking?) I planted these gorgeous Romas this spring and they dried by summertime all by themselves. Don’t you love an independent vegetable?

For all of you cringing right now thinking, “Please no, tell me you didn’t actually eat those rotten things,” rest assured: I didn’t. Who knows what may have tainted those shriveled beauties? I don’t eat anything from my garden without full certainty of its “wholesome goodness” prior to ingestion.

DIY Sun-Dried Tomatoes

So, how does one sun-dry tomatoes?

Easy – the same way you dry the herbs from your garden.

Tomatoes Slices In The Oven

Photo: Dianne Venetta

I used a mixture of Roma-style and regular tomatoes. (Is there such a thing as regular tomatoes?)

DIY Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (varieties of your choice)

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to low (150-200 F).
  2. Cut tomatoes into quarters and push the seeds out (or not).
  3. Spread them across a baking sheet. I used a vented sheet for more even drying.
  4. Bake tomatoes for about 4-5 hours, depending on the size of your tomatoes and the heat strength of your oven.
  5. At this point, your best course of action is to monitor them throughout the process, turning when necessary. If this seems like too much work, you can always lay them out in the sunshine for a hot couple of days. Mother Nature does know what she's doing!
  6. After about 4 hours, my small batch was ready; crispy-crunchy-ready.

In addition to being tasty as a salad sprinkle, these sun-dried tomatoes serve as a great base for uncooked tomato sauce.

Tasty, toasty and easy. You’ll want to try this one for yourself!

Dianne Venetta

Dianne is an author, entrepreneur, and mother. She writes the blog BloominThyme and volunteers as garden coordinator for her children's school garden. At the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses (or rosemary), kiss their child and husband goodnight, be kind to a neighbor and Mother Earth, then she's done all right.

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