Canning and preserving food is great talent and requires a little skill and some patience to accomplish the task successfully. Canned food, when done at home is healthy and hygienic too. Preserved food is very often a life saver for us.
It saves a lot of time, energy and money, especially when you have a lot of cooking to do, but lack the time to go grocery shopping and do extensive peeling and chopping. Moreover it comes as a boon in bad weathers and snowy days when all you have to do is pop out the cans and bring the food out.
Canning tomatoes is considered important for most of the food lovers as tomato is a part of everyday diet and is used liberally in most of the recipes. Here is a step wise process to can tomatoes and keep them stocked for future use:
- For canning tomatoes you need 10-15 good quality red tomatoes, processing pot for the cans, another pot for blanching the tomatoes, lemon juice as an acidifying agent, knives and wooden spoons. Also, you need 4-5 canning jars to store the tomatoes.
- Wash the tomatoes under running water and dry them with a clean towel. Chop off the core of the tomatoes and make a cross at the bottom with the help of a sharp knife. Put a pan or a large kettle of water to boil on the stove on medium heat. Once the water is boiled place the tomatoes in the kettle and allow them to blanch for a few minutes.
- Take out the softened blanched tomatoes with the help of a spatula or a spoon and place them on a clean plate. Allow the tomatoes to cool before you start peeling the skin or you may burn your hands in the process. Peel off the skin and keep the tomatoes aside.
- Now take the canning jars and start filling them with blanched and peeled tomatoes. Push the tomatoes inside without the risk of squashing them as they are already soft after the blanch treatment. Arrange them nicely inside with the help of a spoon. Now pour some lemon juice in the jars and finally pour in the hot boiled water inside to fill the jars and allowing only some space on top. Close the lids and clean the jars from outside.
- Now comes the final process of canning. Arrange the jars in the canning processing pot and close the lid and allow to boil. Carry on this processing for at least 40 to 50 minutes. Once done let the jars cool and then bring them outside. The lids will get fixed by now. They can be double checked for complete safety. Clean the jars with a soft cloth and arrange them on a shelf. Your canned tomatoes are absolutely ready to be stored.
Tips and Warnings
- Your home canned tomatoes will come handy now whenever you run out of fresh tomatoes or if it seems impossible to step out for grocery. Canned tomatoes are an ideal ingredient for most of the gravies, curries, salsa, sauces, sandwich spreads and various dips and chutneys.
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