Fermented Tomato Powder

2014-08-31 02.54.20This is one experiment which is neither a failure or a success but somewhere in the middle. Yes, I turned tomatoes into powder but it doesn’t have as much tomato flavor as I expected it to have and I haven’t found a great use for it yet.

I was inspired by this recipe. I packed a bunch of very ripe tomatoes into a jar and left it to sit on my porch for a while. Actually I kind of forgot about it and left it out there for 8 days. I got lots of bubbling but because it was packed tightly and sealed I didn’t have anything nasty growing in it when I finally opened it up.

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I decided that I didn’t want to mess around with making a bunch of little balls so I just spread the fermented tomato mush out on a pan and set my oven on its lowest temperature setting and let it dry. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ideally I would have used a dehydrator with a temperature setting for this step so that I could make sure that I dehydrated it at a cool enough temperature so as to not harm the healthy probiotics that the fermenting created. Since I don’t have a dehydrator I used my oven on its lowest temp setting with the door propped open slightly to lower the temp even more. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once the tomato mush was completely dry I used a mortar and pestle to grind it up. I ended up with some powder and some flakes. If I’d wanted a finer powder I could have used a spice grinder (or coffee grinder). 2014-08-31 02.54.06You can see in this picture how a big quart sized jar full of tomatoes shrank down to less than half of a spice jar of tomato flakes. Because the flavor isn’t amazing and it produces so little, I’m not sure if I’ll repeat this experiment or not. It would most likely work better with paste tomatoes which have less liquid but this year we didn’t grow any. I’ll definitely be growing paste tomatoes next year so that I can make tomato paste and thicker sauce and may try dehydrating it again then!

 

Remember that I am not an expert at food preservation, so while you are welcome to be inspired by my experiments please do you research on safe food preservation techniques first!

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