How to Can Tomatoes or Preserve Tomatoes

Our tomato plants are even bigger than this picture you see here.  I think of mutant when I see just how large they have grown.  Compost is amazing stuff.  To teach my children about the compost process, I use compost as a lesson on why you must eat your vegetables.  They see us saving our scraps and adding it into the compost bins. And how we feed our plants with the compost the vegetables make.

I have other tomato plants that do not get the compost so they can see how the nutrients received from the vegetables allow the plants to be much healthier.  Will it make them eat their vegetables willingly.  Probably not.  But you can't say I'm not trying my best.

This is our first year organic gardening.  But it is not our first year tomato growing.  We grew tomatoes in New Jersey when we lived there. I actually grew up just outside of New Jersey and we always considered "Jersey" tomatoes the best in he world.  I now think the tomatoes we get off the vines out back are the best in the world.

Can you see this gorgeous Better Boy tomato inside.  So much meat and out of this world flavor. My husband has been bringing in large bowls full of tomatoes about once or twice a week.  Not enough to make sauce though (which needs a huge bushel to boil down into anything).  

So I decided to remove the skin from the tomatoes I will not use immediately.  Quarter and remove the seed and middle goo.  I do not need a large batch of tomatoes to jar.  One large silver bowl equals a quart of diced tomato meat.  So what I have decided to do is jar what I have when I need to.  Once I have enough tomato meat, I'll make sauce.  

The process:
  • Start boiling water in a large pot.  Water will be used to blanch tomatoes and add water to the jar.
  • Sterilize Jars in the dishwasher on the sterilize cycle.  
  • Boil lids and in a small pot of water on stovetop for 3 minutes then place on simmer until needed.
  • Wash tomatoes and cut a small X on the bottom of tomato.  place in large container.  
  • Pour hot water over tomatoes and allow to sit for 1 minute.
  • Starting at the X, peel tomatoes.  Quarter them and toss them into sterilized jar (pressing down lightly to fill jar).
  • Fill jar with boiling water or tomato juice.  
  • Place sterilized ring and lid on.  
  • Place jars in a water bath, submerging jars in 2 inches of water and allow to boil for 40 minutes.

To make a simple Sauce:
If you should have enough tomatoes to make a sauce them place quartered tomato meat into a blender to liquify.  Add liquid to a large pot and boil down until thick.  You could add your various ingredients at this point and make it flavored sauce.  

If you have not seen my favorite recipe for Tomato Sauce, see here.  Lately I have been shredding the zucchini and adding it to the tomato sauce.  Hey, I have to do SOMETHING with all that zucchini.  You can't really tell its there but it really adds lots of nutrition.

Happy canning!

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  1. I love homemade canned tomatoes. Such a difference. My yard is so shady- I have a ton of tomato plants but not a lot of tomatoes yet. :(


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