Monday, September 10, 2012

Tomato Puree AKA Dehydrating to Beat the System!

My favorite thing!

Marked down veggies from the produce department can be a fantastic savings. Ranging from 29¢ to 49¢ per package (not pound) for fresh tomatoes is a fantastic bargain in anybody’s book.

I found a fantastic buy on plum tomatoes.  But because they had been marked down, I knew they wouldn’t last long in the fridge. They needed to be processed quickly.  I decided that puree would be the way to go. First, I washed them, then got my handy-dandy puree machine set up.  

This is one of my favorite gadgets. Because it is hand cranked, it is quiet. No roaring motor to drown out the sound of my favorite radio program while I’m working. The corkscrew inside pushes the tomato pulp through a fine cone sieve. Skins are spit out the end of the machine. Now what could be easier?

Here you can se it really going to town.  I dry the skins separately and powder them for later use.

Thirty minutes later, all those tomatoes are turned into delicious puree.  I do not season this plain puree, I simply dehydrate it as-is.  That way, I can use it in whatever recipe I want without having to worry about whether the seasonings will compliment the dish I’m making.

Ready to go into the dehydrator.

A few points to remember:
  • lightly mist your dehydrating racks to prevent sticking. 
  • Dry at 115 at least overnight.
  • I turn each plop over and continue drying. 
  • Sometimes, if it seems to be taking too long, I remove it from the fruit leather trays and finish drying on the racks to insure thorough drying.
  • The finished product will look a bit on the black side and be fairly leathery.


  1. How do you use it then?

    1. You can use them in soups and stews, seasonings for any recipe that calls for tomato sauce or tomato puree. Sometimes I take the crumbled bits and use them as salad sprinkles.