Bottled Tomatoes

My sister-in-law and I completed 7 quarts in about 1 hour (with the help of 2 little people), this doesn’t include processing time but the cleanup is quick! Here are the instructions for bottling tomatoes at home.

Prepare bottles:

1- Pick, wash, and sort: You only want to use very ripe tomatoes, if they are a bit green give them another day or two and try again.

       2- Blanch and Cool: Lower a strainer full of tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds; or just keep them submerged until the skins begin to crack. Remove from boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and make the tomatoes easy to handle.

3- Peel and Core: Remove peelings. Slice in half and remove core (some people prefer to remove the seeds as well but I leave mine in).

       4- Pack Jars: Using only sterilized, chip free, home canning jars pack tomatoes into quart sized jars leaving ½ inch head space (pack them in tight as they will reduce during processing).

   5- Fill empty space: For each quart jar add 2 tbsp lemon juice and ½ tsp salt. Fill remaining space with boiling water (or boiling tomato juice), removing air bubbles by pushing a spoon handle down the insides of the jar.

6- Secure Lids: Wipe jar rims with a clean rag to remove all salt and tomato residue. Secure sterile lids with rings.

     7- Process: Process tomatoes in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes (for quart jars). After removing jars from water bath let them cool over night on the counter without touching them.

You now have tomatoes ready to use all winter long. I would love to hear ways you use your bottled tomatoes! I typically open a bottle, drain a bit of the liquid off and stick my immersion blender into the jar to chop the tomatoes. I then use the chopped tomatoes in tacos, spaghetti sauce, Spanish rice, casseroles, eggs, and anything else that asks for canned tomatoes.



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