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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dehydrating Tomatoes

Dehydrating Tomatoes...this couldn't be easier!
We have been getting so many tomatoes (which is starting to taper off a bit with all this 100+ degree temps) and last week I had 16 lbs of tomatoes that I had to do something with right away so I sliced them up and placed them out on some dehydrating screens to make some sun dried tomatoes! (with the large tomatoes I sliced them about 1/4"+ thick and with Cherry tomatoes I cut them in half, leaving some of the smaller cherry tomatoes whole).

I sprinkled a little herbs and spices over the top of each tomato. And added some salt to help draw out the moisture...but just a tiny bit of salt or else the dehydrated tomatoes would be overwhelmingly salty.

Since the temperature was 105 degrees that day I thought I might as well set them outside! I placed them on our back porch patio and put some extra screening over the top of them (to keep away the anxious flies). I left them outside as long as it was hot and sunny and then brought them inside to the oven to finish them off.

I put my oven as low as it would go which was 170 and put a thermometer in on the top tray to make sure the temperature didn't rise too high.

I ended up with a variety of sizes, from tiny tomatoes the size of grapes to large palm sized rings and they all turned out excellent!!

I was going to store them in the cabinet, but put them in a freezer bag and tossed them in the freezer because we had extra space. The 16 lbs of tomatoes ended up being a little less than 1 pound after they were all dehydrated. I really look forward to using these this winter for sauces, casseroles and soups!!

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