It has been over a year since i posted on my blog (very very disappointed with myself) and i hope that this post will be the beginning of many, many, MANY more. I didn’t expect that my ‘come-back’ post would revolve around tomatoes.. but yeah.
A lot has happened during the year that i was away – I became a mom, to an itty bitty lil boy named Khaled.. Anyway, i will go on about that later, don’t even try and stop me! I am bringing this up because our little son has inspired us to be healthier parents. I can’t even remember the last time i had a Mcdonald’s craving meltdown (high five!). This small, curious human being looks up to us and the least that we can do is set an example on good, healthy, wholesome eating habits.
Now let me start off by saying that i’m a working mom.. I work from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily and only manage to reach home by 7:00 PM because of my daily traffic struggles. That said, cooking meals can become quite tedious (when all you want to do is spend some quality time with your child for the few hours that he’s awake before bedtime).
However, this recipe calls for minimal effort – MI NI MAL. And the reward is great! You get to have a bright red jar of beautiful super clean tomato paste without the added preservatives and rubbish. This paste stores excellently in the fridge as well.
All you’ll require is:
- A big sharp knife
- Crate of Tomatoes (10 pounds)
- 1 TBSP sea salt
- 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
- 1 TBSP Olive Oil
- Jam Jars (i get mine from Ikea)
- Baking sheet (large one with edges)
- Wash your tomatoes! 🙂 and chop them in half. Don’t worry about the seeds as the whole mixture will be strained later on.
- Place the tomatoes + oil + sat + lemon (lemon works as a natural preservative) in a big pot and bring to a boil (medium) until the juices are released and the skins fall off. Make sure that you stir them occasionally.
- Strain the mixture until you are left with clear tomato juice (seedless, bitless (not sure if this is a word), skinless) This usually happens after the third strain.
- Pour the mixture into the baking sheet and place in the oven (100 C)
- Stir the mixture every half hour and turn the baking sheet to make sure that all edges cook evenly.
- The mixture will start to thicken and reduce until you are left with a thick, bright red paste (smells beautiful too), this usually takes over 2 hours – but totally worth it, i promise!
- Make sure that your jam jars have been sterilized (i boil my jars + lids in boiling water then allow them to dry on a clean towel).
- Fill the jar with tomato paste, close the lid and turn the jar over (leave overnight then refrigerate the next morning). The jar should pop once you open it meaning that it sealed properly.
Tomato paste can be used for all sorts of dishes and cuisines – My baby has it with his pasta or mixed in with his purees or rice. Once you try this recipe, you’ll never buy the store-bought paste again.