How to Make and Use Tomato Powder
In dire need of tomatoes for your new Bolognese sauce recipe and cant get your hands on these quintessential vegetables because they are out of season? Now you know why you need to figure out how to make and use tomato powder. Trust me! This fairly new addition to your kitchen stock can be quiet a lifesaver at times and what is better, you can make them right at home.
How to make Tomato Powder?
- Set your oven’s temperature to 175 -250 degree F. You don’t have to preheat the oven as the entire process of drying the tomatoes is gonna take close to six hours.
- It is immaterial if you have picked up the tomatoes from your garden or if you got it from your market as long as you have picked up the type of tomatoes you like to use in your cooking and selected fresh ones. Remember that different types of tomatoes will generate tomato powders with different flavors.
- Now, cut out the stem and then core the tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes into very thin slices with the help of the sharpest knife at hand and lay them out on a silpat carefully. Ensure that they are laid out in a single layer with the edges of the tomato slices touching.
- Place the silpat on a roasting pan so that any juices that escape can fall on this pan.
- Now all you have to do is bake the tomatoes! Keep checking on them every hour and turn them over when they begin to solidify. This usually starts happening towards the end of the 3 hours. You might not need to adjust the temperature but if required you can as sometime there are differences from machine to machine also.
- When checking on the tomatoes if you notice that some of them have already become dry and crisp, remove them and continue cooking till the rest of the slices reach the same state.
- Now add the crisp tomato slice to your food processor or coffee grinder and grind them to a fine powder which can be sieved. Sift them once to remove the larger particles and then grind these once more. Your tomato powder which is a tasty concentrated form of the sweetness and tanginess of tomato is ready.
- Tomato powder can also be made by drying the tomatoes in the sun for one or two weeks in a cloth and then grinding them to a powder.
- Store the tomato powder in an airtight container and then stuff them in the freezer. This way they will last for years. Though they stay well on your shelf too, they are highly hygroscopic, and a little humidity is enough for them to clump or cake together.
How to Use Tomato Powder
- You can make tomato paste from tomato powder by mixing it with water in a ratio of 2:1 and at the same time if you mix it in a 4:1 ratio with some added seasonings you would have made yourself some yummy tomato sauce.
- This can be used as a yummy seasoning and thickening agent for your sauces, soups.
- They can be even added to your popcorn or savory pancakes.
- When making homemade pasta or bread add tomato powder to the mix for a particular tangy taste!
- You can also use it as a seasoning for foccacia, risotto, deviled eggs or polenta.
- Tomato powder helps to spice up your salad dressings like French, Russian or 1000 Island dressing and dips like hummus or mayonnaise. They help to make wonderful pasta sauces and are perfect to flavor the vinaigrette used in a Macaroni salad recipe.
- You can also prepare a cream of tomato soup in minutes by just mixing the tomato powder with hot milk!
- They make cooking easier and faster and are also very handy as they can be carried along with you when you go camping or hiking!