Sun-dried tomatoes are regular, ripe tomatoes that have been left to dry out in the sun. The tomatoes don’t in fact rot, but instead simply lose a lot of the water. The fruit shrivels up and becomes significantly smaller, and all the nutrients and taste is condensed down into a tiny little package. These tomatoes have a much more intense flavour than a full, plump and ripe tomato.
Usually they will be pre-treated with salt before they’re left out to dry in the sun, and in the case of cherry tomatoes, almost 90% of the fruit’s weight is lost during the drying process.
But, this doesn’t mean they’re bad for you. These tomatoes are packed full of goodness.
Given that fresh tomatoes contain potassium, sun-dried tomatoes offer the same – though, given that they are far smaller, they have far more potassium in proportion to a regular fruit. Just one cup of sun-dried tomatoes contains 1.8g of potassium, which is around 40% of the amount you require in a day. This makes sun-dried tomatoes a great part of a healthy lunch or dinner, and perfect for combining with other foods that will give you the rest of your daily potassium requirements.
Sun-dried tomatoes are also packed to the rim full of antioxidants. These antioxidants fight free radicals, which are natural by-products from the chemical processes throughout our bodies. They damage cells and cause premature ageing, but antioxidants tackle them and stop them from damaging your skin, muscles and tissue. This can help maintain good heart health, reduce the chance of developing cancer and even protect you from sun diseases.
A cup of sun-dried tomatoes will give you roughly a quarter of your daily requirement of vitamin C, and 16% of your vitamin A intake.