Ah, the summer tomatoes are so flavorful! I often make tomato preserve to keep eating them past their season.

Ah, the summer tomatoes are so flavorful! I often make tomato preserve to keep eating them past their season. I usually buy “second chance” tomatoes to make sauce that I then put in jars and use throughout the winter. I encourage you to go to your local farmer’s market and ask for tomatoes that have been rejected because they have a spot or bruise. Because of  how they look these tomatoes usually go for half the price. And we don’t care how they look for the purpose of making tomato preserve. Just make sure you cut the dark spots out and cook the tomatoes before they start spoiling.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes are rich in beta-carotenes, vitamin C, potassium and lycopene.
  • Lycopene is a potent antioxidant and has gotten a lot of attention from researchers recently. Lycopene is also one of the rare compounds that improves with cooking. It also has anti-inflammatory and heart protective properties, however most of the research suggests that eating the whole fresh tomato is more effective.
  • Tomatoes also have a protective effect against many types of cancer.
  • Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family, together with eggplants, potatoes, and peppers.
  • The nightshade family has been implicated in worsening symptoms of arthritis, so if you experience joint pain you might want to try taking these foods out of your diet for several weeks to see if your symptoms improve or go away.

Canning might seem like a complicated business if you have never done it. It really isn’t. For more information on canning read this article Canning Confidential – Everything You Need to Know About Canning Your Own Food.

tomatoes

Tomato Preserve

Ingredients:

5 lb ripe tomatoes, cubed
1-2 onions, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Bunch of parsley and/or cilantro (optional)

Directions:
  1. You might chose to peel the tomatoes or not, it totally depends on your how you are going to use them, your preferences and whether or not you have time for this.
  2.  In a large skillet or pot, over medium heat warm up the oil and sauté the onions.
  3.  Add the tomatoes to the onions. When they boil, reduce the heat to low, add salt and pepper and cook for at least 30 minutes. You can cook longer if you wish to make your tomato sauce more condensed and less watery. Five minutes before turning off the sauce add garlic and herbs.
  4.  Place the glass jars and the lids in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil to sterilize for at least 10 minutes. You should turn off the burner for your jars at the same time as you finish up cooking your sauce.
  5. Take a jar out of the water while it’s hot, empty the water and pour the sauce in right away. Both the jar and tomato sauce should still be hot to ensure they are both bacteria free. Close the lid to your jar, turn upside down and place on a towel or to cool.
  6. Once cool to the touch, store your tomato sauce in a pantry. Use in recipes until those great fresh tomatoes show up again in your local farmer’s market! (Borsch, Chakhokhbili