Turning Tomato Skins into Instant Tomato

| 7/31/2012 3:30:16 PM

Tags: tomato, preserving, drying, tomato paste, Allan Douglas,

If you freeze or can tomatoes you will end up with tomato skins to deal with.  I've always tossed them in the compost bin, although some will say I shouldn't because tomatoes are part of the Nightshade family and do not belong in the composter. Whether this is true or not is a topic for another discussion.  Today I want to discuss an alternative means of using tomato skins should you decide not to compost them: instant tomatoes. 

Removing Tomato Skins 

To remove skins from tomatoes for canning or saucing, drop them into boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds; just until the skin splits, fish them out with a slotted spoon and drop them into cold water (to stop the cooking process).  Once cool, core the tomato and the skins will peel away easily.  When freezing tomatoes, core and clean them, cut them into quarters and freeze.  After thawing, the toughened skins will slip right off. 

Drying Tomato Skins 

Drying tomato skins 

Collect the skins in a colander to drain off as much fluid as possible.  When you've finished doing what you're doing with the tomatoes themselves, set up your food dehydrator and spritz the trays with a non-stick cooking spray. 

Robert Usleaman
9/6/2012 1:31:54 AM

Interesting. Wish I read this a few days again, just blanched 30 lbs of tomatoes and had all this skins. Will have to try it with the tomatoes that just starting to turn on my plants in the back yard.

S.M.R. Saia
8/13/2012 11:52:01 AM

Wow, what a great idea! Thanks!

Allan Douglas
8/3/2012 1:29:27 AM

Hi Dave, Unfortunately I cannot claim to have thought up this trick. I read about it somewhere a while back, remembered it when I was skinning tomatoes for pasta sauce and decided to give it a try. It takes very little extra work, the skins dry quickly and the powdered tomato has a lot of flavor. Its great used as a seasoning and the paste works well for cooking. Thinning it for sauce… eh, not so much. Nightshades: tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and eggplants are supposed to be tossed on the burn pile, not the compost pile: at least the green parts. Some say the “fruit” part is OK to compost, others disagree. Still others claim it’s all hogwash as long as the plants aren’t diseased. I prefer to pay it safe, so this is a great way to use something I would otherwise have to toss out. I hear you folks have got a major dry spell going out your way: hope you’re able to keep Terra Nova Garden going – have any firemen friends?

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