You might use them as a pizza topping or eat them alongside juicy olives. Did you know, though, that there’s actually far more to sun-dried tomatoes than just their delicious taste?
What are sun-dried tomatoes?
As their name suggests, sun-dried tomatoes are tomatoes which have been allowed to completely dry out. While traditionally this would’ve been done by leaving them in the sun, there are now much faster methods such as baking them on a low heat for several hours.1
Once the moisture has been removed from sun-dried tomatoes, they’re typically preserved in olive oil or vacuum packed.
Sun-dried tomato benefits
Wondering why drying out tomatoes might have its perks? There are numerous benefits to buying and cooking with sun-dried tomatoes, including the fact:
They have a long shelf life
You may have noticed that freshly picked tomatoes don’t tend to last very long, even if you decide to store them in the fridge. Sun-dried tomatoes have a much longer shelf life, making them an easy ingredient to stash away in the cupboard and throw into various dishes.2
They’re packed with vitamins and minerals
Just like regular tomatoes, sun-dried feature a range of nutritional benefits including vitamin C, as well as smaller amounts of vitamin K, manganese, and potassium.3
They’re a good source of lycopene
Lycopene is an antioxidant – a type of compound which helps the body fight off free radicals that can harm the cells and lead to certain diseases.4 In particular, it’s thought to help protect your skin cells from the sun. While all tomatoes contain lycopene, sun-dried tomatoes have been found to have higher levels than tinned or fresh.5
They’re high in fibre
Tomatoes contain a decent amount of fibre, with 100g of sundried tomatoes thought to have about 12g.6 Fibre is needed by the body for various reasons, including supporting healthy digestion and maintaining gut health.7
How to include more sun-dried tomatoes in your diet
With their fabulous flavour and unique nutritional profile, sun-dried tomatoes should definitely be one of your new favourite ingredients! Here are a few ideas on how to use them in your cooking8:
- Finely chop up some sun-dried tomatoes and add them to pasta alongside feta, olives, herbs, and a little olive oil.
- Use them as a pizza topping with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves.
- Add them to homemade bread recipes, including focaccia.
- Toss them into a savoury pie filling such as a Greek-inspired spinach and feta option.
- Blend a handful with fresh tomatoes and cream to make cream of tomato soup.
- Blitz them with cheese, garlic, and a little oil to create a mouth-watering dip.
- Combine diced sun-dried tomatoes with other veggies and couscous to create an easy lunchtime meal.
- Enhance the flavour of a nut roast by tossing in a handful of sundried tomatoes before baking.
Remember, if you buy sun-dried tomatoes which aren’t stored in oil, you’ll want to rehydrate them in water for a few hours before eating them.
Whip up some delicious pasta using sun-dried tomatoes and one of the flavoursome products in our cooking sauces and pastes range.
Last updated: 13 April 2021