Dehydrate Green Tomatoes?

pgriffJuly 13, 2009

We love fried green tomatoes, and I've seen lots of posts about dehydrating ripe tomatoes, but none for dehydrating green tomatoes for later frying. Anybody tried it?

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Deydrating green ones will concentrate their flavor, but before frying they would require rehydration. If you rehydrate they never have the same flavor as fresh. It may be better to freeze them instead. Tomatoes, even when green contain a lot of water, and once dried can get really tough, so frying after drying would probably end up like wood.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 1:59PM
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pgriff

I think I'll try it. I'm not sure if I should blanch them or not. Do you think green tomatoes have as much acid as ripe ones?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 10:46PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Green tomatoes have more acid than ripe ones!

I wouldn't blanch. Just rinse, slice and freeze on a cookie sheet, then bag for storage.
I'm watching this thread to see how they turn out. It would be nice if some of those could be saved for use later.

Deanna

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 12:18PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Yes, I agree, no blanch. You never blanch things prior to drying. Tomatoes don't need blanching even when frozen unless you want the skins off.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 1:56PM
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pgriff

Thanks for the advice. I wasn't sure. I froze ripe tomatoes for the first time last year, just washed, cored, bagged, vaccumed, & froze. Even my tommy toes. They turned out great, and were a conversation piece, because most of the people around here had never tried freezing them. My late MIL froze some in canning jars years ago.

I put some green tomatoes in to dry today so I can see how they will do. I sliced some 1/4 inch & some 1/8. After they dry, I will re-hydrate and cook them to see how they cook & taste. I may freeze some, just for a comparison. I also cooked up a big mess of them for dinner along with breaded pork steaks & creamed potatoes. Yum yum! :)

I usually freeze summer squash, but we're not too crazy about it because it gets too mushy.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 5:22PM
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louster(5)

Sorry to disagree, but there are things you should blanch before drying. Blanching helps set color and texture, and allows for faster drying and rehydrating for some vegetables. Mary Bell, in her "Complete Dehydrator Cookbook", recommends blanching for asparagus, green beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peas, and potatoes, but definitely not tomatoes. Just wanted to clear that up so that nobody tried drying green beans or anything without blanching.....it would be a shame if anyone's hard work went to waste with improper procedures!!!
Last year, I peeled, blanched, dipped in lemon juice and dried more pounds of potatoes than I like to remember. But it paid off, we still have one batch left, and the potatoes from this year's garden are just about ready.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 9:57AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The reason a potato could be blanched prior to drying is because they blacken quickly. Instead of a blanch, I dip the slices into a sulfur solution and that prevents blackening. I can see blanching broccoli before freezing or drying. It helps to keep the buds in tact. Sorry for the more direct statement, as I wasn't focusing beyond the initial question. Summer squash is realy watery and if frozen and thawed its really mushy. Instead of the summer squash, suggest that you try the crooked neck type, as they seem to have more flavor and a bit less water. Dipping a slice of potato into lemon juice is awful, and would not make them taste good. Leon juice has o realy effct on the potatoes, but coatng them with a flavored acid. It cannot prevent blackening. Partial cooking of pootato slices, then drying will give nearly the same results as a sulfur dip. The sulfur is the same used for making wines and keeping them from turning to vinegar. When the potatoes turn black, its oxidized and are not very appetizing. Again, not everything needs a blanch prior to drying.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 2:03PM
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louster(5)

I know this post is venturing far away from the original poster's question, but I would like to comment once more. Potatoes are blanched to preserve color and texture, and to facilitate drying and rehydrating. Potatoes dipped into a solution of 1/4c lemon juice to 2c water after blanching, and before drying are definitely not awful. I have used this method to preserve the potatoes I use for scalloped potatoes over the winter (for the past few years), and they are delicious.
Maybe the reason we disagree is because we use different methods of dehydrating? I have a Nesco with a fan and heater that dries things pretty fast, and have no experience with any other methods or dehydrators.

To the original poster.....I tried dehydrating green tomatoes the first year I had the Nesco....and had poor results, so have not tried again. Maybe I will try freezing this year and see how it goes. Seems like I also read somewhere either here or on another forum that you should coat them, partially cook them, and then freeze. I will nose around and see if I can locate that post and pass it on if I find it!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 7:10PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I would never use lemon juice as a dip for anything and because I covered this same exact subject in numerous threads previous to this one, I still do not blanch or do anything to potatoes except a dip into a sodium metabisulite solution. It prevents blackening and is the exact same way they dehydrate potatoes commercially. I have a plain dehydrator with a 20 watt heater and no fan. A large load of 8 trays of sliced potatoes takes about 2-3 days to completely dry, and they are very hard and white color.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sulfur source.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 10:53PM
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pgriff

My mess of green tomatoes are dried. I may try re-hydrating them tomorrow night for dinner to see what happens. :)

I haven't tried drying potatoes yet, but it's on my to-do list, and I may try doing them both ways to see what works best for me. We have a couple winery's here so they may sell the sulfur.

I bought a bushel of snap beans yesterday evening and dried half of them last night, and have the rest in the dehydrator now. They should be done by tomorrow sometime. BTW, I did blanch them. :)

I also dried some salted zucchini chips Friday. I heard they are good to snack on, but we weren't too crazy about them. That must be an aquired taste. Lol. (I may try drying some cucumber chips just to see how they come out tho)

Louster, when my friend freezes her squash she puts a layer on a cookie sheet and after they freeze she bags them up. That way they don't stick together, and she can just use what she needs at the time. She batters them before she deep fries them. I'm thinking that may be a good way to do the green tomatoes and I'm going to try some that way this year and see how they turn out. Or we could probably go ahead & batter them first and then freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet. I'd say we'd need to leave the salt out until we cook them tho.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 8:49PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

You need to blanch most veggies before you dry them, just like freezing. It destroys the enzymes that cause spoilage and deterioration. That is the purpose of blanching. I don't want to add sulfur to my home dried foods.
Most people seem to prefer frozen green tomatoes.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 12:54AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Some high water things like peppers and onions need no blanch prior to freezing or drying.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 8:50AM
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louster(5)

pgriff, thanks for the info...I tried to locate the post about freezing green tomatoes, and was unsuccessful. It seems to me that it had something to do with coating them, partially cooking, then freezing, but I can't be sure. Think I will try some partially cooked, and some raw and see which turns out the best. It would be so nice to be able to have fried green tomatoes in the dead of winter!!

Linda Lou, I don't like the idea of adding sulfur to my dried foods, either. Aside from wanting my dried foods to be as all natural as possible, I suffer from migraines, and I believe that the sulfur they use in wine-making is a migraine trigger. At least I seem to get one whenever I drink red wine......

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 10:19AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

There are two kinds of sulfite, either sodium or potassium. In a weak solution it dissipates quite fast when exposed to air. White wines need more sulfite as they tend to oxidize easier than reds.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 2:19PM
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pgriff

Hey all, Thought I would give y'all the lowdown on my dehydrated green tomatoes expierment. Don't do it. lol ksrogers was right. Even tho my hubby kind of liked them, they are dry & frankly kind of woody after re-hydrating and frying. Oh, well, all I lost was a few tomatoes. We liked the yellow squash I did that way, and it was better than frozen, but green tomatoes are better put in the freezer. :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:08PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

See, I am not always wrong.. Good luck in your future..

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 2:48PM
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