Don’t let your sweet and juicy tomatoes go to waste! Learn how to make and can tomato sauce, so you have fresh tomatoes for cooking all year long. The only thing you’ll discard is the tomato peel. You can use the canned tomatoes in soups, stews, on pizza, to make pasta sauce or even drinks! Canning tomato sauce can be done without salt and is a fun activity for the entire family – kids and grown-ups will learn something new.
And it’s a skill for life. So if you’re old enough – open a beer or a bottle of wine and start canning your tomatoes!
tomatoes are the best!
Tomatoes are arguably one of the most famous vegetables in the world. Although today they’re a crucial part in the Mediterranean diet, they don’t actually come from the Mediterranean region.
No, no. This tasty vegetable is a Latino! That’s right, tomatoes come from South America and were brought to Europe by the Spanish people. With over 7,500 tomato varieties, we’ve come a long way today.
Tomatoes love a warm climate, but thanks to the magic of food preservation (specifically canning) we can enjoy tomatoes, not only during summer, but all year long.
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants, fiber and minerals. They’re rich in vitamin A, C, folate and potassium.
But it’s one special, less known, antioxidant called lycopene that is responsible for tomato’s amazing health benefits.
According to Healthline some of tomato’s benefits include:
- better heart health
- reduced risk for cardiovascular disease
- cancer prevention
- reduced oxidative stress and inflammation
- improved skin health
Cooking tomatoes actually enhances their health benefits. This is because the cooking process helps break down the cell walls to release the antioxidants inside, making them more bioavailable.
Remember to consume your cooked/canned tomatoes with some fat (avocado or olive oil) to get more of those beneficial antioxidants.
Why Can tomato sauce?
There are many reasons to make your own canned tomato sauce! Here are some:
- control ingredients – you can preserve your tomatoes with or without salt, add the herbs and spices you love while avoiding harmful preservatives
- save money and reduce food waste: canning your own tomato sauce ensures you use your tomatoes before they go bad, thus reducing food waste and saving money.
- preserve: have tomatoes at home all year long
- it’s easy and fun!
canning tomatoes essentials
- lemon juice (for safety reasons!)
- herbs – basil, oregano or parsley (optional)
- clean or sterile jars with lids
- large cooking pot
- large bowl
- thin cloth
How To Can Tomato sauce
canning tomato sauce Step-By-Step Guide
- Wash the tomatoes thoroughly
- Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the green parts with a knife
- Using a grater, grate the tomatoes all the way to their peel and discard the peel. Use a large bowl to collect the tomato sauce.
- For food safety reasons it is recommended to add “two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset acid taste, if desired.” (source)
- Optionally you can also add a sprig of your favorite herbs like basil or parsley to each jar.
- Fill the jars with the tomato sauce, leaving 1/2″ or 1 cm headspace at the top of the jar to prevent damage during the canning process.
- Wipe the edges of the jar and close tightly with a lid. Repeat this process for all jars.
- Process the jars in boiling water for 45 minutes, making sure the jars are covered with at least 1″ of water.
- Remove the jars and let them cool off on a cloth or towel.
- You’ll know the canning was successful when you press the center of the lid and there’s no flexing up and down.
How To Store Canned Tomatoes
Store your canned tomato sauce in a dark, dry place and use within the year.
How To Use Canned Tomatoes and Canned Tomato Sauce
You can use the canned tomato sauce in soups, in rice dishes, pasta dishes, on top of pizza, in cocktails and so much more!