Zero-Waste Tomato Powder Recipe

Work to reduce kitchen and food waste by dehydrating tomato skins and using the powder to add aroma and flavor to savory dishes.

By Staff

If you make tomato sauce, why not also make a tomato powder from the tomato skins? I am amazed at the aromatic essence of tomato that is captured in the dehydrated skins. Tomato powder adds a bit of zero-waste comfort. When I use it for flavoring soups, salads, sandwich fillings or pizza dough, I recall summer in the depths of winter, and I feel more connected to the cycle of life.


Tomato skins (see tomato sauce recipe, opposite)

Paprika, chili powder or sea salt (optional)


  1. Lay the tomato skins on dehydrator racks or a drying rack for baked goods so that they are flat and not overlapping; a few millimeters of space between them promotes air circulation. If using a dehydrator, place the skins in the machine and turn on the vegetable setting. Check regularly but allow 4-5 hours.
  2. Alternatively use the oven on its lowest setting. Put a single layer of the tomato skins on a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and dehydrate for 5-10 hours — overnight is a good idea. Remove the skins when they are completely dry and flaky. Tip into a coffee grinder and grind the skins until they are as fine as any other dried spice on your rack. Add a pinch of paprika, chili and/or sea salt for variation. Store in an airtight jar.

How does creativity bring you comfort?

Considering everyday foods from a new perspective is stimulating because it stretches your mind. Making something inspired by a new perspective translates inspiration into positive action. This is how you can become the change.

More from The Mindful Kitchen:

More: A Roundup of Food Waste Solutions 

An environmental foodie on a holistic path, Heather Thomas is mindfully committed to creating positive change, nurturing nature connection, and transforming the way we eat. Part practical, part meditative, The Mindful Kitchen infuses the everyday with simple nature-related rituals to reinforce thoughts as positive actions-creating focus, awareness and translating intent into lifestyle. Bite-size philosophical notes, meaningful questions, joyful rituals, and an abundant feast of vegetarian recipes are mindfully stirred together in this new-wave cookbook. Offering over 100 seasonal recipes, this beautifully illustrated culinary go-to encourages you to make mindful choices through how and what you eat. Add empowering flavours for wellbeing — inspiration, curiosity, and awareness — and this is destined to be a must have in every kitchen library. With fresh takes on old favourites, and new dishes to tickle the taste buds, there’s a recipe for every season. Ranging from a classic bubble and squeak, to a refreshing elderflower champagne, recipes include: Leek and Hazelnut Risotto; Pumpkin Coconut Soup; Preserved Pizza; Zero Waste Veggie Stock; Rhubarb and Lentil Curry; Oatmeal Honey Bread; and Apple Cake Lasagne.

Reprinted with permission from The Mindful Kitchen: Vegetarian Cooking to Relate to Nature by Heather Thomas and published by Leaping Hare Press, 2019.

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