It has been said that if life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? Here in Phoenix, we have lots of heat right now–lots and lots of heat (my lemons.) Instead of complaining about it (who are we kidding, I’m still going to complain about it), I decided to put all that heat and sunshine to good use, and make my own DIY Sun Dried Tomatoes (my lemonade). You can make them easy peasy too!
DIY Sun Dried Tomatoes
It was actually remarkably easy to dry tomatoes, and is the one time the intense heat created an advantage. It would normally take 4-7 days for tomatoes in the sunlight to dry, but because we have 114-119 degree temperatures in the summer here in Arizona, I was able to dry them in two days!
When drying your tomatoes, be sure to adjust your drying schedule to the heat/humidity in your area, as you will not have the same results as quickly as I did. If you live in a cooler climate or an area with more humidity, allow extra days for drying.
- 2-3 Fresh Tomatoes (Roma tomatoes are best, as they have fewer seeds, but I had hot house tomatoes handy)
Slice your tomatoes into thin pieces. Place the tomato slices on a wire baking rack (the kind you use to cool cookies).
Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt. Place another wire baking rack on top of the tomatoes. Place the racks in a place where you will have direct sunlight for at least six hours. If you tomatoes are not dry, bring them in overnight, and put them back in the sun the next day.
I was concerned about ants and other bugs, so placed my baking racks in a cookie sheet with a little water in the bottom. The bugs will drown before they got to the wire racks, but fortunately I did not have any bugs attempt the climb.
Make sure the tomatoes are completely dried out before you use them, and use them quickly, so they do not spoil. You can store them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days after drying.