Our family eats tomatoes in some form in at least one weekly meal, many times more. I usually purchase what I thought was a clean canned tomato sauce, with the exception of it being canned, BPA, etc. However, when researching this week I discovered it wasn’t so clean after all. Since this post isn’t about my utter disgust with the food industry, I’ll save my rant for later. Getting back to the topic on hand, I decided to try making my own tomato sauce. I researched and found several different methods of doing this. However, I’ve never canned anything in my life. I’d love to learn, but I just haven’t gotten that far yet. So I decided freezing might be the best method for me for now.
I purchased two pounds of Roma tomatoes, but you could use any type of tomato (the riper the better). Organic is best. I washed them thoroughly, inspected them for any bad spots, and removed stems.
I used a stock pot, covered them with water, and simmered them on the stove for about six hours, cooking them uncovered so that the water would reduce. While the tomatoes cooked, I cut and sauteed onion and garlic. You could use more or less of these ingredients. It is just a matter of taste preference.
When the tomatoes were pretty soft and looked more liked stewed tomatoes, I allowed them to cool a little. As you know I have a few picky eaters, so they don’t like chunky tomato sauce. When I added the tomatoes to my Ninja Kitchen System with food processor along with the sauteed onion and garlic, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to add some extra veggies. I had a variety of colored peppers in my fridge for fajitas on another night. I added some of those and pureed it all together. Then I added Italian seasoning, sea salt and pepper to taste and pulsed the food processor enough to mix the seasonings into the sauce. (By the way, I LOVE my food processor. I use it for many recipes for sauces, baked goods. My favorite use is to grate cheese. I purchase block cheese, because it is healthier and cheaper. Then I just grate it in the food processor. Much better than grating by hand and it only takes a minute!)
Getting back to the sauce, using quart size freezer bags I separated the sauce into portions for different meals like chili, pasta meals, and small portions for pizza sauce. I sealed them tightly, labeled the bags accordingly, and laid them flat in the freezer for space saving storage.
This may sound like a lot of work, but it really wasn’t. The bulk of the time and work is done by the stove in cooking the tomatoes. It only takes a few minutes to puree them and transfer sauce to bags.
I used a little of the homemade sauce that night on homemade pizza. Everyone raved about how much they LOVED the sauce. There’s no going back to the old canned sauce now, and why would I? I have homemade tomato sauce. I know exactly what is in it, and there is no MSG, BPA, overabundance of sodium, or other necessary chemicals. It is packed full of vitamins and veggies to keep my family physically healthy. It puts smiles on their faces knowing I made something full of wholesome goodness and love just for them. It warms my spirit to know I am caring for my family, which is worth rubies and a whole lot more!