Questions? Write Me at

Questions? Write me at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.

Preserving Garden Produce: Tomato Sauce

Last November I froze the last of my tomato harvest along with some tomatoes a friend had given me, so that I could deal with them later when I had more time.  My intent was to process them in January or February, but I didn't get to them until April!  The best laid plans... right? ;}

Frozen tomatoes turn soft and 'mushy' after they are thawed so they do not work well for chunky applications.  I chose, because of it's universality, to turn the whole box into tomato sauce and ended up with the equivalent of 30 1/2 pints of sauce that I froze, and more that went into a gallon freezer zip bag for a friend because I did not have another container!  I  froze my sauce because I did not use a recipe that had been tested for a safe acidity balance and, hey, I had just opened up a huge space in my freezer when I pulled the box out! ;) It is just not worth taking the risk of developing botulism in the sauce (it has no smell or flavor & is deadly!) because I didn't follow a recipe and then canned and store it on my shelf.

If you are wanting to can your own tomato sauce, try this recipe from the U of Minnesota Extension that I discovered from an extension agent at a gardening workshop I attended this spring. This recipe has been tested for safety and can easily be pureed to create a tomato sauce.  (I used my recently purchased handheld stick blender and LOVED it!  It was so worth every penny I spent on it! :D)  Please note, the ratios of individual vegetables (onion, pepper, celery) can be changed, but to maintain safety for canning and storing, you have to keep the 12 c tomato to the 2 c vegetable ratio. 

Happy Garden Preserving! :)

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