Don’t throw out the tomato skins when you’re canning! You can use them to make a delicious tomato powder to season dishes!
Save your skins… your tomato skins, that is!
If you are new to canning, I’m gonna tell you something: you gotta skin the tomatoes before you can them. Well, I mean you don’t have to, but you’re gonna want to. Otherwise the skins come off during the canning process and they roll up into little chewy slices in your pasta sauce or salsa. I’m not gonna tell you how I know. But I *may* have made this mistake when I first started canning!
For those of you that have been canning for a while, you know the pain of peeling an entire harvest’s worth of tomatoes. If you can like we do, that’s a looooot of tomatoes to skin!
Normally, those skins just get tossed in the garbage – or hopefully the compost at least! But, you don’t need to throw them out! Those slimy tomato skins are actually an awesome resource for another delicious homegrown food product!
Say hello to tomato powder… made 100% from tomato skins that would otherwise be wasted!
Is your mind blown?! Or are you thinking “Kaylee, why on earth would I want to save the tomato skins?? That seems like a lot of extra work on top of canning tomatoes!”
Well, yes, it is some extra work. But not much! Because you already gotta peel those suckers before canning! So you might as well toss the skins into the dehydrator instead of the compost pile! And here’s why!
How to use your tomato skin powder:
To be honest, it took me a while to get on board with this homegrown product. The idea of dried up tomato skins just didn’t sound appetizing to me. But once I did finally try it, I was hooked!
Tomato powder made from dried tomato skins is delicious! It actually packs a really great tomato-ey punch of flavor, so just adding a little bit to dishes can really improve the flavor! Plus, they also add some extra fiber to your diet!
Here are some of my favorite ways to use tomato powder:
- Add the powder to soups, stews and chilis to infuse them with a robust tomato flavor.
- Sprinkle on top of pasta or french bread for some extra flavor. Or, add it to your grilled cheese sandwich before grilling for a punch of flavor.
- Mix it into your homemade cheeses (we love it in our chèvre!)
- Make your own custom seasoning blends by adding some sea salt and other dried herbs.
- Mix it with some homegrown garlic powder (here’s how to make your own!) and dried basil for a delish Italian flavor. This is super similar to my sun-dried tomato and garlic seasoning and just as delish!
- Or, go south of the border with some dried chili pepper flakes, cumin and paprika to make a delicious taco seasoning!
How to dry tomato skins & make tomato powder:
- Tomato skins
- Dehydrator or oven
- Blender or food processor
- Prepare your tomatoes for skinning by washing them with cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Cut away any black spots or other problematic areas. Only use tomatoes that are healthy, untreated with pesticides and free of fungus and diseases.
- Use your favorite method to skin your tomatoes. One method is to cut an “X” in the bottom of the tomato and then drop it into boiling water until the skin starts to crack and peel back. Another method is to cut the “X” in the bottom, and then lay the tomatoes on a cookie sheet and heat at 400*F until the skin cracks and starts to peel back.
Once your tomatoes are peeled, lay the skins in a single layer on your dehydrator trays. Or, if you are using the oven-method, lay them on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Dehydrate the skins on medium-low (around140oF) for about 8-10 hours, flipping once half way through. Alternatively, you can cook them on the lowest setting in your oven for about 2-3 hours, flipping halfway through. Either way, the skins should be slightly crispy but not burnt once they are ready.
- Let the skins cool completely.
- Process the skins into flakes or powder using a high power blender or a coffee grinder.
- Enjoy as a seasoning in your favorite dishes!
Store in an air-tight jar or container. Be sure to label and date it so you don’t forget what it is when you pull it out of the cabinet 6 months later!