I was lamenting the fact that my tomatoes are taking their own sweet time ripening. My garden has TONS of tomatoes, but they are in varying stages of ripeness, and the ripe ones start to get overripe before I have enough to can. Anyway, I dried some a little while ago (in slices), but yesterday I decided to do a little bit of experimenting. First, I sliced the tomatoes thinly and dehydrated them at 135 degrees until they were crispy (it took about 15 hours for most of them). Next I stuck them in my vitamix on low speed until they were all chopped up. Since I use my crockpot so often, my plan is to just throw them in with a little extra water in place of diced tomatoes. The little tiny jar on the left was quite a few tomatoes...I'm guessing about 10 big dehydrator trays full! I love that it takes up so little space in my already crowded pantry. The jar on the right is actually tomato sauce that I made "tomato leather" out of, dried it until it was crispy, and chopped it in the vitamix. It started out as about 2 cups of sauce, and is now probably only 1/2 cup or so!
So, even though I've been complaining about the lack of tomatoes to can, I'm actually not sure that I'll be canning them anyway! I may have found my new tomato preservation method. MUCH easier than canning, less time consuming (well, as far as active time), and less storage space. What's not to love?!