I Need Some Tuscan Sun!

There are a 101 reasons I need to make it to Tuscany... sun dried tomatoes are #67 on that list.  I was making a yummy marinara sauce the other day and it called for sun dried tomatoes.  Well the ones I bought were sulfate free, stored in olive oil and about $10 plus I think.  So I decided since I can't dry my own tomatoes in the sun or in the Tuscan sun for that matter, I'll buy a bushel at the farmers market for $13 and use my handy dandy dehydrator.  Super simple, plus I decided to freeze them, or if I get a chance I'll seal them and store them in the cardboard.

All I needed was a dehydrator, a lot of roma tomatoes (less water in them) and some sea salt!!!  -set to 130 degrees for 12-48 hrs till they aren't mushy-

Reasons to love FRESH in season local tomatoes;

  • An outstanding source of lycopene.  Why do we care you may ask?  Well it helps make the tomato so great with all its antioxidant properties.
  • "Tomatoes are a treasure of riches when it comes to their antioxidant benefits. In terms of conventional antioxidants, tomatoes provide an excellent amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene; a very good amount of the mineral manganese; and a good amount of vitamin E. In terms of phytonutrients, tomatoes are basically off the chart"(1).
  • "They support cardiovascular health by helping lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood *a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis"(1).
  • Supports Bone Health
  • Anti-Cancer Benefits
  • "Also diets that include tomatoes have been linked with reduced risk of some neurological diseases (including Alzheimer's disease) in multiple studies. Tomato-containing diets have also been linked in a few studies with reduced risk of obesity" (1).   

My only caution would be if you have arthritis and/or other issues with night shade veggies either stay way or limit them.  You don't want to be all stiff and sore.

* (1) http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=44