Friday, September 23, 2011

Canning Tomato Sauce with a Vitamix



Do you have a Vitamix? I just was gifted one, and it came at the perfect time: just when I was about to can 150 pounds of tomatoes. Tomato season is about done in my parts, so I could have said this earlier, but for future reference, if you have one of these splendiferous blenders you can cut your tomato saucing time in half. This is starting to sound like a commercial, but...No peeling! No straining!

I chopped my tomatoes into big chunks, and, as you can see below, they were huge. I did chop out some cores that seemed a big woody. Put them all in the blender, seeds, skins and all, and turn it on, quickly go from 1 to 10, and then to high, until all the seeds are gone, about a minute or less. Each batch gets tossed into a big stockpot on a low flame to heat, while you continue the process. Proceed with your usual tomato saucing/canning techniques.

That's how I canned 150 pounds of tomatoes this year by myself!


18 comments:

  1. Color me jealous! I'm pretty pleased with my new food mill, but a vitamix? Blissful! Someday!
    And that tomato is the biggest thing I've seen! Wowsa.
    What all did you do with 150#?

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  2. Meg, your tomato fest was what prompted me to finally post this! I made sauce with all the tomatoes, half straight up sauce and half roasted tomato sauce. A woman I know gave me all the tomatoes in exchange for canning them, we split the finished product half and half. God, I love to barter!

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  3. That is a lot of tomatoes! My mom cans mine, and we swap- I dont wanna sound like a wimp or anything, but tomatoes tear up my (ridiculously delicate) hands like nothing else. I did employ the VitaMix to rough chop some toms for a batch of jam, and for watermellon puree for jelly, and it worked great! I know how easy it is to sound like a commercial!

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  4. What's the final texture like? I use the strainer attachment for my KitchenAid--it removes seeds and skin, but make a strained sauce, not a puree. One thing I like about it is that I can run the discarded seeds/skins through the machine a time or two and get even more juice out of it and wind up with very little waste. It's more fun to use than a Vitamix, IMO. Kids love it.

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  5. Now that is what I'm talking about!

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  6. Rebecca - I know! Way too much, but it was offered and I couldn't say no. Pretty nice that your mom does yours! I'm sure she gets some pretty good stuff in return.

    Chris - The final texture is just like tomato sauce. I can't really tell the difference. It doesn't make it thicker or thinner. I did have to boil it down (just like a conventional sauce recipe) to the consistency I prefer. I've wanted a KitchenAid for a long time, but still don't have one. The only reason the Vitamix came into my life is because my mother decided I had to have one. Lucky me! I think they are both amazing machines, and I'd love to have both. Maybe one day. One thing I'll say: the Vitamix is not very kid-friendly. It's pretty loud!

    Eve - It really made this huge job attainable. Really.

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  7. I have so few gadgets and appliances, but I do have one of these. It was a gift and I never use it. Now I have a plan. Thanks!

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  8. I've definitely got to get mine back from my mom...my big beautiful vintage baby. I think by time I get around to trying tomato sauce there will be no local tomatoes to use.

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  9. Denise - I'm like you, very little gadgets and stuff. People go crazy over these things!

    Angela - There's always next year!

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  10. I have a recipe that calls for blanched, peeled, seeded tomatoes but I don't think I can stand it. I'm going to do this. Soon, because all my tomatoes are sitting on the counter staring in my face. Thanks, Jules.

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    1. It was ages ago that you wrote, Shae, I'm sorry for not writing back! I hope it worked out for you. I would never do the amount of tomatoes that I do if it weren't for the Vitamix!

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  11. I must ask about the flavour please. I did this last year, my first year canning tomato sauce, and I and my [italian, picky] husband were not impressed. It's possible its the lemon juice the overly cautious recipe required, but my husband is certain its all the seeds and skins I insisted we use [fiber! nutrient!]. I'm trying to find the words to describe the taste--but bitter is all that's coming to mind, which is not quite right. It's simply not the clean flavoured or neutral sauces one gets from canned tomato sauce in a store. Long story short[er], how did you find your taste?

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    1. Hello, Karen! I don't find the flavor off putting at all, but that doesn't mean other folks might mind it. Somehow, I am thinking the lemon juice might have been what made your noses wrinkle up in distaste. I find that the lemon juice requested in recipes these days are overly cautious, as you note. There are a lot of people who still don't use any. It also may be the type of tomato you used.

      In fact, I just made some and went in the kitchen to taste it. I didn't add any lemon or citric acid in this jar, just tomatoes, and it was fine, a slight tang, and a little nip of metallic on the finish, but certainly not bitter. Granted, this is my puree that ends up being put into soups and stews and sauces. What do you do with your tomatoes when they come out of the jar?

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  12. anyone use the vitamax for pear canning??? if so how did you do it? thank you for any info.

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    1. Do you mean making pear sauce (like applesauce)? I'm not quite sure what you mean.

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  13. I found this old thread while searching. We used the vitamix last year to can marinara sauce too. We also have plenty of basil and oregano in the garden so I tossed some of each into the vitamix with each batch of washed, cut up, unpeeled tomatoes. Tossed in some cracked fennel seed and garlic in each batch too.
    It still takes forever to cook it down to a thicker sauce though. I found that adding powdered tomatoes can really reduce that time and thicken the sauce. Companies that sell food for long term storage usually carry tomato powder, which is just tomatoes that are dried and ground to powder. Handy to have on hand to use instead of tomato paste too.
    I have a counter full of tomatoes now and need to drag out the vitamix to deal with them.

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  14. I have found that the seeds make it more bitter. I was hoping to use the whole tomato, too, but the seeds really bothered my stomach--too acidic! Without seeds, really good!

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  15. I have found that the seeds make it more bitter. I was hoping to use the whole tomato, too, but the seeds really bothered my stomach--too acidic! Without seeds, really good!

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