Why you should bottle tomatoes and how to do it
Tomatoes are very popular all over the world. Whether in sauces, pastes, and of course ketchup, the tomato has become a fundamental ingredient in thousands of recipes. Today we’ll talk about how to bottle tomatoes and why!
What happens when you bottle tomatoes?
Tomato pastes, canned tomatoes and preserves are great to have on hand. If you keep them in your pantry they can last a long time. However, when you buy them in the store, they contain preservatives. These help give them a long shelf life, but aren’t very healthy. This is why the best option is to make your own tomato preserves at home.
How to bottle tomatoes
You may not believe it, but making your own tomato preserves at home is very simple. Here’s how to do it:
- In a large pot, boil the tomatoes for a few minutes. What we’re aiming to do here is soften the skin to make peeling them easier.
Tip: One simple trick for peeling tomatoes is to make an X on the bottom of the tomato before you boil them. This helps the skin soften better and more uniformly.
- After boiling them for approximately two minutes (ripe tomatoes take less time) remove them from the water and put them in a bowl of very cold water to halt the cooking process and remove the skin. An excellent option to speed it up is to add ice cubes. Once they’ve cooled off, the process will be much easier. This also helps make sure that they retain their color and flavor much better.
- You don’t need to remove the seeds or any part of the inside. Cut the peeled tomatoes into quarters and put them in a glass jar with a lid. Fill the jar to the top. You can press them down a little to fit more in.
- Once all the tomatoes are in a jar, fill the jar with water, almost to the top, and add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Apart from providing flavor, this helps preserve them.
- Wipe the rim of the jar clean and close it tightly. It’s best to use special jars designed for preserves that come with a ring around the tip to keep them watertight.
- Once closed, put the jar in a pot of boiling water. The pot should be big enough to fit the jar in so that it is completely covered.
- Once it’s completely submerged, leave it to boil for 45 minutes.
- Remove it from the water and let it rest overnight or for at least for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, keep it at room temperature with no direct sunlight. You now have tomato preserves, good for a whole year.
Why is so good to bottle tomatoes?
Bottling foods or making preserves out of them has always been the best way to keep them fresh. Whether they be tomatoes, peppers, or olives, there are so many reasons to do it. Some of the many advantages include:
- Glass is hygienic.
- It doesn’t interfere at all with the flavour.
- There is no interference by oxygen or other gases. It’s practically impossible for the food to oxidize or otherwise be damaged.
- As a result of this last point, it preserves the food for much longer than normal.
- It’s resistant to hot and cold temperatures, so many different foods can be prepared this way.
- It’s easy to keep and use foods like this.
- There’s no concern that micro-organisms will damage the food.
- It preserves smell and freshness.