All tomatoes can be dehydrated to be preserved for longer or used in a greater variety of meals. But small and sweet tomato varieties like cherry tomatoes are the best to dehydrate because they are quicker to process and offer a lot more flavor per concentrated quantity than larger ones.
In this guide, we will show you how to dehydrate cherry tomatoes if you want to preserve that rich red color and taste for future cooking.
How to Dehydrate Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes can be air-dried, oven-dried, or microwave-dried. If you want to make dried tomatoes that are vibrant in color, offer plenty of flavors, and rich in nutrients, then it is best to dehydrate these foods in a dehydrator.
Dehydrators are the best for drying foods because other drying methods can result in nutrient damage and often burn the color and flavor out of your foods. These devices are also extremely convenient since you can layer the racks with a lot of food and dry larger quantities of food simultaneously without using too much electricity.
Here is a quick look at the drying process for these foods and a list of what you need to get started.
What You Will Need
Step 1 - Wash
Before you start slicing, it’s always best to give all of those tiny red tomatoes a thorough wash. Rinse these food items and place them on a paper towel or kitchen towel to air dry.
Step 2 - Cutting
Grab a cutting board and a sharp knife and start cutting the tomatoes in half. It is best to cut them lengthwise so they can dry quicker. Larger cherry tomatoes can be quartered because if some pieces are too bulky, they might not dry all the way through.
Step 3 - Add to Your Dehydrator
Next, you can take your dehydrator racks and add the grape tomato halves in a single layer to the rack or baking sheet. Fill the rack but be careful not to layer any tomatoes on top of each other. Ideally, there should also be a little bit of space around each halved tomato so these foods can dry from all sides.
Next, set your dehydrator between 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit and set the timer for 9-10 hours. Your dehydrator should take care of all of the drying work on its own.
Step 4 - Remove and Bottle
If the tomatoes are not thoroughly dried, they can start to rot, or mold can begin to grow inside your container.
It is best to start checking on your tomatoes every hour once they reach the 6-hour drying mark. Take a quick look and test if the tomatoes are dried all the way through. Leave them in for longer if they are still bendable.
Once the tomatoes have fully dried, you can remove them from the dryer and allow them to cool down completely before bottling them in an airtight container.
Step 5 - Grinding or Powdering (Optional)
Dried cherry tomatoes can be used as whole chunks. These chunky flakes can be introduced when cooking soups or they can be rehydrated before using in salads. If you want to create cherry tomato spice or a cherry tomato sauce, it might be best to run them through a blender, food processor, or grinder before storing them.
Place the dehydrated tomatoes inside a blender or grinder and grind them down to a fine powder. The powder can then be bottled and stored the same way you would store halved cherry tomato flakes.
How to Store Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomato flakes or powder can lose their flavor and color if they are not stored properly. You can follow these tips to keep them preserved and protected to last for years in storage.
Use an Airtight Container
Dried foods should always be stored in an airtight container. If these foods are not stored, they will absorb moisture from the air and become sticky and hard. You can use an airtight plastic container for storing your dried cherry tomatoes or keep them in an airtight glass bottle like a consoling bottle with a rubber seal.
Store in a Cool and Dry Environment
Dried cherry tomatoes and other spices can be damaged if you keep them in warm areas for too long. It is best to store these foods in a cool, dry environment. They can be stored in the back of a cool cupboard, in a fridge, or a freezer.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight and bulb light can also damage these foods or cause a loss in that vibrant, red color. To keep your tomatoes nice and bright, they should be placed away from sunlight.
Uses for Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes
Dried cherry tomato flakes and powdered cherry tomatoes have so many different uses. Adding these ingredients can give your food a richer and sweet but tangy taste and will also add a splash of color to dishes that look bleak.
You can use cherry tomato flakes in just about any type of food. They are practical in salads, pasta, pizza, focaccia, quiches, tomato sauces, tomato paste, meaty foods, and many others. Cherry tomato powder can be sprinkled over foods like meats or potatoes, and the flakes taste great when you add them to cooked meals and stews. You can even rehydrate and soften these tomatoes up so you can use them for all sorts of healthy salads.
The Tasty Takeaway
Learning how to dehydrate cherry tomatoes is a great way to ensure that none of these delicious food items ever gets wasted. With a good dehydrator, you can easily process boxes of cherry tomatoes and make your own spices, sauces, and soups from the comfort of home.
If you need some advice on how to dehydrate other types of foods or are in the market for a good quality dehydrator, you should look at some of the other guides we have on Healthy Meals Hub. With our site, you can lead a healthier life because healthy foods taste so much better.