As you know, this blog is mainly about my love of DIY projects in the kitchen. There is just something about creating something better, healthier and sometimes cheaper than I can buy at the store. It feels great to meander through the grocery store basically skipping all of the middle aisles(the notoriously unhealthy aisles) and visit only produce and the organic aisles. Here is another one of those projects.
Finding a recipe on Pinterest for making homemade tomato paste made me jittery with excitement. Here I am with end of the summer tomatoes and a possible DIY project that will assist me in NOT throwing away 6 oz cans of organic tomato paste when only a tablespoon or maybe two was used. Dehydrate my numerous cherry tomatoes, turn them into tomato paste and freeze into small portions. No future waste, I know what’s in it, and I am not creating any new garbage…win, win, win. Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t find a recipe and run with it: rather, I researched a half dozen recipes about how to make your own tomato paste. The few recipes I liked consisted of cooking the tomatoes, running them through a food mill, and pouring the results onto a jellyroll pan to hang out in the oven for 2-3 hours at 350 degrees. This is tough to do in August and the recipes also called for garlic and olive oil. I wanted to re-create the paste called for in standard recipes and the paste we buy at the store does not contain either of those ingredients. The dehydrator was a consideration rather than the oven but the consistency post food mill was more like a soup; not possible to hold the liquid on a dehydrator tray. Frustrating but at least hubby will have some tasty tomato soup for his future grilled cheeses. The recipe I pulled from Pinterest was a perfect way to use up the glut of cherry-like heirloom tomatoes. She used romas, but I figured my ping-pong ball sized tomatoes would be the perfect fit for the job. I dried about 24 of them in the dehydrator, poured a cup or so of hot water over them, and I processed in the Vita Mix.
Could this get any easier?
I sliced the tomatoes and dried them at 115 degrees for 20-22 hours.
I poured hot water over the dried tomatoes and let them sit for a few hours(save some the water). Process the tomatoes in the blender/food processor for a few minutes and add the saved water–if needed. I found not adding any water made for a more paste-like consistency. Stop the food processor/ blender intermittently and scrape down the sides, coaxing the tomato meat into the middle.
This is my homemade, organic tomato paste.
This is my homemade, organic tomato paste going into the freezer. The freezer door specifically.
1.Sharpen your knife and slice the cherry or tomatoes of choice into uniform slices.
2. Lay them in a single layer on dehydrator trays and dry them for 18-22 hours at 115 degrees.
3. Once dry, place them in a bowl and pour the cup of hot water over them. Let sit 2 hours or so. pp
Save the water.
4. Place slightly re-hydrated tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Process on high, stopping and scraping sides often until the paste-like consistency is reached. Add a teaspoon of saved water if needed.
5. Scoop two tablespoons into a small storage container and store in the freezer where easily accessed.
Admittedly, the caveat is this doesn’t make a lot of paste. But when hubby keeps bringing in bags of tomatoes from the garden, I am looking for any way to use them up. This is easy, and since it doesn’t consist of any boiling water, I am all over it.