How to Get Vine-Fresh Tomato Flavor Even in the Dead of Winter

Posted by on 2/10/2015 to Vegetables

What do you do when you're craving the zip of fresh tomatoes in the dead of winter? I'll let you in on a little secret. Chefs know it, and savvy home cooks do too: when it comes to cooking with tomatoes in the winter (or anytime, really), tomato powder is hands down the best way to add sunny, bright tomato flavor to your favorite dishes.

How to Use Tomato Powder

Wondering how to use tomato powder in your cooking? It's easy! Spice up almost any meal of the day with the rich flavor of tomatoes. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make your own tomato juice! For an 8 ounce serving, add two to four tablespoons of tomato powder to one cup of hot water and season to taste.
  • Sprinkle tomato powder into omelets or scrambles for added zest.
  • Make your own special ketchup by using tomato powder as your base.
  • Boost the flavor of salsa by mixing some tomato powder in with your fresh ingredients.
  • Tomato soup has never been tastier when you use tomato powder as the main base. With a grilled cheese on the side, you've got a match made in heaven!
  • Tomato powder makes a quick, easy, and delicious marinara for pizza, spaghetti, and other pasta dishes. Add other dehydrated veggies like onions, garlic, and oregano, and you're really onto something.
  • Add tomato powder to chili to enhance the flavors of all your other ingredients. If you use meat in your chili, you'll be surprised at how a little tomato sauce really highlights the flavors. It's also a great secret weapon for homemade meat rubs.
  • Did someone say barbeque? Yes! Tomato powder makes a delightful barbeque sauce, and if you're not a meat eater, you can enjoy it on textured vegetable protein.

Easy Tomato Paste Recipe

Want to make your own tomato paste using tomato powder? Make as much or as little as you need. For a 6 oz can of tomato sauce combine ¼ cup tomato powder with ¼ cup of hot water and season to taste. To make an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, combine ¼ cup of tomato powder with ½ cup of hot water and season to taste.

Nutritional Slice: Health Benefits of Tomato Powder

In addition to being tasty, tomato powder is good for you, too. Studies show that a diet rich in vegetables, including tomatoes, can help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Tomatoes in particular are rich in antioxidants (the antioxidant lycopene gives tomatoes their beautiful red coloring), and they are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folic acid.

Pure Tomato Powder Goodness

It's true that you can buy tomatoes in the produce aisle during the winter, but they're usually imported from overseas and while they might look juicy, the taste is often...meh. Canned tomatoes are an option for cooking, but the texture can be mushy and they simply can't compete with the taste of fresh. Canned tomato paste is another option, but you typically only need a little bit, and then end up throwing the rest away. Jarred tomato sauces offer up convenience, but take a closer look at the label and you'll see that they're usually loaded with salt and preservatives.

Good tomato powder, on the other hand, should have only one ingredient: tomatoes. When it comes to our tomato powder, we use a special process to air dry fresh tomatoes at peak flavor, and then blend to make a fine powder. The end result? Amazing flavor that captures the sun-drenched flavors of tomatoes picked fresh from the vine. You can make your own tomato powder at home if you feel daring and have time to experiment, although it's best made with in-season fresh tomatoes. Start by thinly slicing your tomatoes and baking them on a cookie sheet. To blend to the consistency you want for cooking, use a spice mill or coffee grinder. An easier alternative is to order a jug of our tomato powder; when stored properly it will last up to two years!