Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Using the Whole Tomato

Using the Whole Tomato

I'm tired of wasting. I am learning to make the most out of everything! Homemade anything is so awesome for the simple fact that I know exactly what is in the product I make. All natural, no preservatives or fake food chemicals.  I am loving using every part of the fruit or vegie that I can.

This weekend we canned Roma tomatoes. Love the way the cans fill my shelves, and I know I have a quality canned tomato without extra chemicals ready to use- makes awesome sauces, and soups!

A wonderful guide to canning exists on this page: Pick Your Canning Tomatoes
I could attempt to tell you the entire process, but their tutorial is so thorough that it is better to just let you know where I learned it from that try to copy cat their process. 

One thing I would like to note is: 
Be sure to always wash your produce: I use a cup of vinegar to a pan of water and let them soak in it for 10 minutes. It is so important to get the residues off the skins, you just never know- and the process is so easy.
A simple note and measure to ensure no one gets sick and your food is healthier for your family.

One of the steps taken in canning our tomatoes is to blanch them and remove the skins. In past I did this without thought- and tossed the skins!  But no more! What a waste!

Three wonderful things can come from the tomato skins! 

1. You can use them in a crock pot along with other vegie left over and cuttings and start a pot of vegetable broth.  A great blog about this is found at: My Humble Kitchen
2. You can put all the skins into a food processor and grind them into a pulp for tomato bark! Dehydrate the pulp, and yay! You have instant tomato paste later for anytime you need it! tomato bark
3. You can dehydrate them, as I did this time. The end result was wonderful flaky dried tomato,  that I whirred into the food processor for a minute until I had small flakes and poured into a recycled spice jar to add to my new homemade spices! Instant tomato flavor to add to anything! -All natural, all homemade.
I laid the tomato skins  on my dehydrator racks, set the dehydrator for 135F and let it go for about 10 hours to be sure we were completely dry. Times may vary due to weather and humidity. We had a cloudy weekend, so I wanted to be certain I got all the moisture out.

<-- this is how we started
        this is what came out ----->

<--I tossed these into the food processor

and this is my end result-
 pure tomato flakes! -->

Love it!

No waste, and a new spice jar for my cabinet! Awesome!!

You might also like the links found at:

Frugal Days - Sustainable Ways #74

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