Saturday, September 4, 2010

Crushed Tomatoes...

Oh these glorious tomatoes!    If you are thinking of canning anything this season, please consider canning your tomatoes.  Here's why:
"It has been proved that more than any other fruit or vegetable, tomatoes are the worst kind of product to be consumed, if they are stored in cans and tins. Tomatoes are very acidic to begin with. It is this acidity of the tomatoes that will cause the chemical that lines the can to permeate into the food. This chemical is known as bisphenol-A, or BPH. These cans contain about 50 mcg of toxic BPH, which can impact an adult severely, let alone a child. And thus when the chemicals permeate into the can, it leads to an increase in the toxicity of the canned tomatoes."
here's my source for this information

I know I use crushed tomatoes in many recipes...soups, stews, sauces.  There is no better feeling than having your own organic, homegrown tomatoes on the pantry shelf, and it really requires very little work to can tomatoes!  Here's a quick tutorial...

First go out and pick your tomatoes...wash off all the dirt.  Use whatever you have on hand and try to guestimate the number of mason jars you will need.  I usually use 500ml sized jars myself.
This mornings batch, with about 16 tomatoes yielded 5-500ml jars of crushed tomatoes.

First you need to take your washed tomatoes and immerse them in a pot of boiling water.  You can put a little notch into each one with a knife before putting them in the water, or not.  I find the peels come off pretty much no matter what you do.
When you see the skins starting to come off the tomatoes, (in about 30 seconds or so), put them into a bowl of cold water and peel the skins off...they should come off very easily.

Then take your tomatoes and quarter them...put them into a large bowl or measuring cup.
(this is the point at which I sterilize my jars, to have them at the ready)

Take your quartered tomatoes, (2 cups worth at a time), and crush them in your large stainless steel pot using a potato masher.  Keep adding and crushing until all of your tomatoes are in the pot.  Now put on the heat and get that tomato mixture boiling on high heat for 5 minutes.

Get your mason jars out and at the ready.  Put into each 500ml jar 1 Tbsp of lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of salt, (the salt is optional, but the lemon juice is MUST use lemon juice...unless of course you actually want to get botulism)!  Add the crushed tomatoes to within 1/2 inch of the rim.  Wipe your rims clean, put on the lid and place in a water bath canner for 35 minutes.  You must make sure your jars are covered with water...I find that with crushed tomatoes I have to add water to the canner several times.  Have your kettle on the go and top up your canner with boiling water.

That's it....get them out after 35 them on a level surface for 12-24 hours and label.

Don't they look beautiful!!!
xo maureen

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