When tomatoes aren’t in season, it’s powerful to search out these price shopping for. Even if beautiful purple ones catch your eye, their style is commonly bland. Conversely, sun-dried tomatoes are predictably tasty, nutritious, and all the time out there.
This article profiles the various kinds of sun-dried tomatoes, the methods your well being can profit, and gives important suggestions for cooking and shopping for these tangy jewels.
Commercial Drying Methods
Since the Nineteen Nineties, tomato farmers have two drying choices. They can both sun-bake their tomatoes or use dehydrating tools. In the US, most retailers take the dehydrator route, whereas labeling their merchandise “sun-dried.” This observe is authorized, as allowed by the US Department of Agriculture.
Regardless of how tomatoes are dried, they’re equally luscious and nutritious!
Most generally, the varieties grown for drying are plum, grape, and cherry tomatoes. These sorts are preferrred, having low moisture ranges. Many sellers protect their tomatoes with sulfur dioxide or salt to lengthen their shelf-life and vibrant shade.
Types of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Dehydrated tomatoes might be dry-packed, oil-packed, or blended right into a paste. Generally, all three sorts have a tart-sweet taste, extra so than recent tomatoes.
Dry-Packed Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Sun-dried-tomatoes with out oil have a chewy texture, much like dried fruit. They usually are available in plastic pouches, reduce into halves or “julienned,” that means sliced into skinny strips.
Oil-Packed Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Oil-packed tomatoes are plumper than dry-packed, being steeped in oil and jarred. The oil makes them extra caloric. Some retailers taste their oil with herbs and spices, akin to rosemary, garlic, and paprika. Oil-packed tomatoes might be entire, chunky, or julienne-cut.
Sun-Dried Tomato Paste
Sun-dried tomato paste is available in handy tubes. Some pastes include pure flavorings, akin to spices, salt, vinegar, and olive oil.
Why Dried Tomatoes are Healthy
Drying ripe tomatoes focus their vitamins, rising their meals worth. Three items of dry-packed tomatoes have 40 energy and a hint of fats, on common. This serving dimension brims with nutritional vitamins, minerals, and compounds that excel in illness prevention. Below are 4 well being powers of sun-dried tomatoes.
1. Ward Off Strokes
Tomatoes are filled with lycopene, a sort of “antioxidant.” This outstanding class of plant compounds shields cells from injury to their DNA, proteins, and membranes.
You can truly see lycopene! It’s the pigment that colours produce yellow, orange, and purple. Drying tomatoes improves lycopene absorption.
In a 12-year study of middle-aged adults, these with the best lycopene ranges have been least weak to strokes. It seems that lycopene averts many stroke danger components, akin to blood clots.
Compared with different fruits and greens stoked with lycopene, tomatoes have essentially the most. Plus, dried tomatoes include extra lycopene than uncooked ones! You’ll take up lycopene finest by pairing it with some healthy fat. For this function, oil-packed dried tomatoes are preferrred.
2. Aid Heart Function
Tomatoes have a number of vitamins that promote heart health. For starters, their potassium lowers blood strain. 1 / 4-cup of sun-dried tomatoes has more potassium than a medium-sized banana. Meanwhile, the magnesium and calcium in tomatoes buddy as much as regulate your coronary heart rhythm.
In 2012, Italian researchers found that lycopene lowers cholesterol. Furthermore, it protects blood vessel partitions from irritation, which narrows and hardens them. In flip, restricted blood stream overworks the guts. This weakened situation units the stage for coronary heart failure and coronary heart assault.
Research exhibits that consuming seven servings of tomatoes weekly can reduce the risk of heart disease by 30 percent.
3. Fight Prostate Cancer
Prostate most cancers outcomes from damage to the DNA of prostate cells. Statistics present one of these most cancers is frequent in males age 55+. A 2014 study discovered that consuming lycopene-rich meals guards towards prostate tumors.
4. Thwart Age-Related Vision Loss
A cataract is a protein movie that clouds the lens of the attention. People age 60+ usually get cataracts. They trigger blurry imaginative and prescient, glare, defective shade notion, and hazardous driving, particularly at night time.
Macular degeneration destroys central imaginative and prescient. It’s most prevalent in folks age 50 and over. This illness happens when the macula, a part of the retina, progressively declines. With macular degeneration, straight strains look bent, colours seem dim, phrases are blurry, and central imaginative and prescient wanes. It turns into more and more laborious to acknowledge faces.
Thankfully, having sun-dried tomatoes in your food plan helps you dodge cataracts and macular degeneration. Credit goes to the Vitamin A and three antioxidants in tomatoes — zeaxanthin, lycopene, and lutein.
Are you a teen studying this? If so, please don’t dismiss the above well being advantages, considering they solely apply to seniors. Beginning now, you may hedge towards future ailments with common servings of tomatoes in any healthful type.
There’s just one downside to sun-dried tomatoes — their salt content material. Still, dry-packed sorts are typically decrease in salt than oil-packed. For occasion, three items of oiled tomatoes can have as much as 330 milligrams of sodium. That quantity speeds you nearer to the sodium limit of 2,300 milligrams per day.
Still, you may simply trim the salt degree in store-bought dried tomatoes! Just submerge the quantity you want in a bowl of heat water for half-hour, permitting the salt to launch. Then, utilizing a strainer, rinse the tomatoes in cool water. Lastly, pat the items dry with paper towels.
Prepping Sun-Dried Tomatoes
If you don’t intend to cook dinner dry-packed tomatoes, they want reconstituting earlier than use. By hydrating the items, they’ll get softer and simpler to chew. Below are three plumping choices, every taking half-hour.
- Soak the tomatoes in heat water, as described above for salt removing.
- Steep them in a low-sodium or salt-free broth.
- For salads and chilly dishes, submerge tomatoes in an answer of heat water and one tablespoon of vinegar.
Once the tomatoes really feel pliable, drain them in a colander. If utilizing a broth for soaking, reserve it for including to sauces. Lastly, blot the tomatoes dry with paper towels.
Sun-dried tomatoes in oil don’t require soaking. Simply take away the quantity you want from the jar and drain off the oil. Then, blot the items to attenuate the oily residues. Leave the remaining jarred tomatoes submerged in oil, including extra if vital for full protection.
Note that after opening a jar of oil-packed tomatoes, you need to refrigerate them to keep away from bacterial progress. When the jar is empty, take into account saving the oil to taste salad dressings and sautéed dishes. If the oil comprises spices and herbs, style it first to make sure it doesn’t conflict with a given recipe.
Since sun-dried tomatoes have a daring style, you don’t want many to taste meals. Some recipes specify whether or not to make use of dry-packed or oil-packed tomatoes. If not, the selection is as much as you. Just use the proper preparation for the kind you choose. Here are methods to include sun-dried tomatoes in your meals.
- Add them to scrambled eggs and frittatas.
- Tuck them into crepes.
- Chop up tomatoes and stir into muffins.
- Crown pizza with dried tomatoes.
- Add to salads, dressings, pesto, soups, wraps, and sandwiches.
- For a bread dip, puree them and combine with oil and herbs.
- Colorize home made cornbread with chopped tomatoes.
- Flavor pasta and rice with sun-dried tomatoes.
- Blend them into sauces and hummus.
- As a fairly appetizer, stuffed dried tomatoes with cheese.
- Use as a baked potato topping.
- Mix into macaroni and cheese.
- Pair them with roasted potatoes.
For extra serving concepts, right here’s a roundup of 20 healthy sun-dried tomato recipes.
How to Store Sun-Dried Tomatoes
To protect meals shelf-life, hold unopened containers away from warmth and mild. When saved this fashion, dried tomatoes will keep recent for six months.
After opening the packages or jars, retailer the tomatoes in your fridge. Then, eat them inside two weeks.
With sun-dried tomatoes in oil, refrigeration solidifies the oil, congealing the tomato items. To loosen them, hold the jar at room temperature till the oil liquefies. After eradicating the tomatoes you want from the jar, promptly return it to your fridge.
Selecting Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Signs of Quality
Dry-packed tomatoes ought to look considerably plump and waxy. Pass on brittle ones. Many retailers add sulfur dioxide to protect the brilliant shade of purple tomatoes. Preservative-free tomatoes are usually darkish brown.
Avoid shopping for oil-packed tomatoes in tins, as they’ll probably style metallic.
Signs of Spoilage
Before utilizing dried tomatoes, sniff them to make sure they’re not spoiled. Rancid oil smells soapy or metallic and feels cheesy when rubbed between your fingers.
Top-Quality Brands of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The hyperlinks under take you to Amazon sellers.
Sun-Dried Tomato Paste
Shopping for Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Where to Find Sun-Dried Tomatoes within the Store
Supermarkets hold dried tomatoes in numerous departments and aisles. You might discover each dry and oil-packed sorts close to the jars of pasta sauce. In produce departments, look for them by the recent tomatoes.
Some grocery shops inventory jarred manufacturers with canned greens. Another potential spot for packaged tomatoes is the aisle for dried fruit and nuts.
Where to Buy Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Currently, the supermarkets the place you should purchase each sorts of sun-dried tomatoes embrace:
- Whole Foods
Your native pure meals retailer might carry them, too.
For sun-dried tomato paste, store at an Italian market or on-line, as few shops promote this product.
How to Dehydrate Tomatoes at Home
You can dry tomatoes in your oven, a dehydrator, or the solar. This article particulars every methodology. For a demo utilizing a dehydrator, watch the video clip under.
Drying tomatoes deepens their style and boosts their dietary worth. Since you want little to punch up meals, you get a number of servings from a given jar or bundle.
Dry-packed tomatoes have fewer energy than these in oil. Plus, they are typically decrease in salt. However, for straightforward chewing, dry slices want half-hour of soaking in a heat liquid. Oil-packed tomatoes are softer than dry, and you should use them straight from the jar. To decrease their energy, drain them properly, adopted by blotting with paper towels.
Try to eat sun-dried tomatoes a number of occasions weekly. Doing so will tighten your defenses towards a stroke, coronary heart assault, coronary heart failure, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Plus, in the event you’re a person, you’ll have a decrease danger of prostate most cancers.
Sun-dried tomatoes have numerous makes use of. Let your inventive juices stream!
The advantages of consuming sun-dried tomatoes embrace a excessive focus of nutritional vitamins and minerals, akin to vitamin C, potassium, and iron. They are additionally an excellent supply of fiber and antioxidants, which may also help enhance total well being.