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 preserves to keep eating them past their season. I usually buy “second chance” tomatoes to make the sauce 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 with spots or bruises. Because of how they look, these tomatoes usually go for half the price. And we don’t care how they look to make 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-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene.
  • Lycopene is a potent antioxidant and has recently gotten much attention from researchers. Lycopene is also one of the rare compounds that improve with cooking. It has anti-inflammatory and heart-protective properties. However, most research suggests that eating whole fresh tomatoes is more effective than taking lycopene as a supplement.
  • Tomatoes also have a protective effect against many types of cancer.
  • Tomatoes, together with eggplants, potatoes, and peppers, belong to the nightshade family. Numerous anecdotal cases show a connection between eating the nightshade family and the worsening of arthritis symptoms. 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.


Tomato Preserve


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

    1. You might choose to peel the tomatoes or not. It totally depends on how you will use them, your preferences, and whether or not you have time for this.
    2.  Over medium heat, warm up the oil and sauté the onions in a large skillet or pot.
    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 them 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 cooking your sauce.
    5. Remove a jar from the water while it’s hot, empty it, and pour the sauce in immediately. The jar and tomato sauce should still be hot to ensure you don’t introduce bacteria. Close the jar with a lid, turn it upside down, and let it cool.
    6. Once cool to the touch, store your tomato sauce in a pantry or fridge. Use in recipes like BorschChakhokhbili, or Red Lentil Soup.
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