Roasted Tomatoes – to can, or not to can?

My new ‘food-crush’ is oven-roasted tomatoes! And yes, I may have written about this before!

I love them so much that I decided to purchase another 25 lb box from my organic food provider (Farm Bound in southern BC –[and if you decide to sign up, please tell them I sent ya!]), just so I could process a few jars for future usage!

Plain roasted tomatoes

Prep tomatoes by cutting in half and placing in open-top roasting pan(s). They will cook down a lot so don’t be afraid to heap them in layers. I used both racks in my oven to speed up the process.

End of season bounty!

I chose to leave these tomatoes plain, enabling me to season them to taste in future recipes. Ie — pastas, soups, curry dishes, etc

After cooking down in the oven, I processed these tomatoes in a hot water canner.

The time-consuming part was the cooking and processing, so clear yourself an entire day to get it done, and I guarantee you won’t regret it!

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil, or avocado oil, are great choices
  • Sea salt, or pink himalayan salt
  • Fresh ground peppercorns
  • Italian herbs, garlic, onions, peppers are optional

Directions:

  • Wash your tomatoes to remove grit. If you’re using organic tomatoes, (which I highly recommend for various reasons), feel free to leave the skins on! It’s easier, and provides a more rustic sauce, as well as added fibre! Why waste what we’ve been blessed with?
  • Drizzle a bit of oil into the bottom of a large roaster.
  • Cut tomatoes in half (serated-edge knife works best), and place in the roasting pan.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a bit more oil.
  • Put into a 350 oven until done, stirring every 20 minutes or so. You will see the tomatoes begin to break down on their own. You can break them into pieces with a wooden spoon during cooking, or leave them as chunky as you like!
  • Add onions, garlic, peppers, italian herbs — cajun seasoning, chili flakes — curry powder — whatever you like — during the cooking phase, and remember to label your jars accordingly —
  • OR you can leave them plain as I have, and season as you use them in your favourite recipes!

If you choose to can them in jars —

You will need:

  • Jars of various sizes
  • New sealant lids, and re-usable rings
  • Large mouth funnel
  • Hot water canner with rack
  • Canning tongs

Directions:

  • Wash and rinse your jars.
  • Sterilize by placing in boiling water for a few minutes. (Do not discard hot water. Keep it for processing your hot jars!)
  • Remove the jars and place onto clean towels, until the hot tomatoes are ready.
  • Using a large mouth funnel, fill your jars with the roasted tomatoes — leaving a bit of head-space at the top. Approximately 1/2 inch. Remove air bubbles by inserting a knife or chop-stick down each side of jar.
  • Wipe the rim of your filled jars and place rubber seal lids on. Finger tighten the metal rings if you’re using mason-type jars.
  • Place filled jars into the hot water, making sure to cover the tops — and process for the recommended amount of time for your particular ELEVATION. (Google ” ‘location’ elevation”) For Dawson Creek, I processed my jars for an hour at a slow, rolling boil, covered.
  • Remove processed jars, placing them on a heat-proof, towel lined surface. Wipe excess water from top of jars and allow to cool undisturbed for at least 24 hrs.
  • The lids should pop, or suction down, ensuring that they are sealed for safety.
  • Store in a cool place out of direct sunlight, and use at your leisure!

Hints and tips:

I use various sizes of jars so I can use as little, or as much as I need — throughout the year. Having these jars on-hand cuts down on meal prep time, and saves you added sodium and preservatives, as well as potential contaminants (which may leech into your food from lined store-bought tins).

Allow some of the natural tomato juice to remain in your roasting pan so you don’t need to water down your sauce if you choose to can it!

Your jars are re-usable which will save you money year-after-year! It is recommended to use new seals each year, but save your old ones for storing herbs, leftovers, etc in empty jars. Don’t you just love green solutions?! ♻

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