Even though the season for fresh tomatoes is over, there’s no need to wait until next summer to enjoy their decadent flavor. Sun-dried tomatoes are just as delicious and nutritious as their fresh counterparts and, similarly, can be used in a wide variety of dishes. They can even replace fresh tomatoes in all your favorite recipes.
How are sun-dried tomatoes made?
Sun-dried tomatoes start out as ripe tomatoes. They are then pre-treated with salt or sulfur dioxide before being placed under the sun for four to ten days. The tomatoes lose most of their water content in the drying process. Cherry tomatoes typically lose almost 90% of their initial weight while bigger tomatoes lose as much as 93% of their pre-drying (fresh) weight. It can take anywhere between eight and 14 kilos of fresh tomatoes to produce a single kilo of sun-dried tomatoes.
After the drying process, sun-dried tomatoes can be preserved in olive oil and flavored with paprika, rosemary, garlic, and basil. Sun-dried tomatoes can also be purchased in puree or paste form.
Sun-dried tomatoes nutrition facts:
- Sun-dried tomatoes are low in calories: With just 72 calories per ounce, sun-dried tomatoes are some of the best, most delicious, least calorie-rich foods you can eat.
- Sun-dried tomatoes are low in fat: Sun-dried tomatoes only carry a single gram of fat per ounce and do not contain any saturated fats at all.
- Sun-dried tomatoes are nutritious: These delicious treats are very high in Vitamin C and dietary fiber. They are also rich in potassium, Vitamin K, manganese, and copper.
- Sun-dried tomatoes are high in sugar: One downside to sun-dried tomatoes is that they have high sugar content. A one-ounce serving of sun-dried tomatoes has as much as 11 grams of sugar.
- Sun-dried tomatoes are high in sodium: The other downside is that sun-dried tomatoes are extremely high in sodium. Because they are pre-treated with salt before drying, sun-dried tomatoes can contain as much as 600 milligrams of sodium per single-ounce serving.
Sun-dried tomatoes healthy serving ideas
- Cook sun-dried tomatoes with chicken, tuna, or sausages. Mix them with pasta and herbs of your choice, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with a green salad and crusty bread.
- Make tomato soup with sun-dried tomatoes. Serve the soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Make sun-dried tomato risotto.
- Top pasta with pesto mixed with sun-dried tomatoes.
- Use sun-dried tomatoes to make savory muffins.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes to garlic clams. Serve over linguine.
- Toss some sun-dried tomatoes and black olives into bread dough to make delicious focaccia with the flavors of pizza.
- Make a sauce for grilled fish or poultry with pureed sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, and parsley to cook couscous.
- Perk up baked potatoes with sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and Italian herbs.
- Whisk up a Mediterranean cheese dip with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, basil, and capers.
- Stuff homemade raviolis with sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta cheese.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes to a rice pilaf.
- Cook up a quick pasta meal by mixing cooked pasta with pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.
- Stuff calamari with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and herbs before grilling.