Unless you like the stringy texture of tomato skins in your canned tomatoes, odds are you have plenty of skins that are destined for the trash. But, I’m here to tell you that those ‘useless’ skins can be used for good – you just have to dehydrate them.
You don’t need a pricey dehydrator. I have a Mr. Coffee one that has 5 racks and I picked it up at a garage sale for $5 – score – it works just fine for this recipe.
How to Dry Those Tomato Skins
- Spread the tomato peels on the individual dehydrator racks. I use all 5 of my trays and spread the peels out on them. The tomato peels are usually stacked on each other – don’t worry about taking the time to lay them down individually, just pile them up; in the end, we’re grinding them all up into small pieces anyway.
- Start dehydrating the skins. As they begin to dry out, stir them around to help the drying process. Because we piled them up, we need to give it a good stir to move the dried pieces out of the way.
- After dried, scrape off all of the skins into a large bowl. Use a chopstick to punch through the racks holes to get any stuck on bits.
- Put dried flakes into a food processor and grind into tiny little pieces. These tiny pieces are fine for toppers on numerous dishes, but a lot of times it’s better to have them in a powder for adding to soups, sauces, and whipping up tomato paste. To get them finer, just put them in a spice grinder and turn them into a fine powder.
- Store in an air tight jar in the spice cabinet.
To make tomato paste, simply mix 1 part powder to 1 part water. For tomato sauce, use 1 part powder to 2 parts water. I love this powder, because all too often a recipe calls for a tablespoon or so of tomato paste or sauce. I hate to waste the rest of the can and I hate worrying about finding a recipe just to make sure the rest doesn’t go to waste.
Other ways to use the tomato flakes and powder…
- Breakfast Eggs
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Steak Rubs
- Pizza Dough
- Italian Recipes – Mix With Cheese
- Taco Seasoning