Some people might think I’m crazy, but I find it so satisfying to make foods from scratch myself.
When I first when vegetarian, we had a whole shelf of the pantry dedicated to cans. Chickpeas, kidney beans, refried beans, baked beans, and canned diced tomatoes. Things have changed quite a bit since then, and now its stocked with dried beans instead.
I feel empowered now that I know how to cook my own beans and diced tomatoes, and I don’t have to rely on processed foods.
Save money, less packaging ends up in land fill, and get more nutrients from fresh, whole foods. Win win win.
Here’s some tomato maths for you:
5 fresh average-sized tomatoes = 1.5-2 cups of diced tomatoes
1.5 cups of diced tomatoes = 1 x 400g / 14oz can of diced tomatoes
So for every 400g / 14oz can of diced tomatoes your replacing you need 5 tomatoes.
You can make this in large quantities and freeze in batches of 1.5 cups (1 x 400g / 14oz can) or 3 cups (1 x 800g / 28oz can).
Look at all those numbers! It must be true.
I don’t like to blanch the tomatoes, because most of fruit and vegetables nutrients are in the skin or just under it. Plus I’m kind of lazy and it seems like a waste of time to me.
But here are the instructions to blanch tomatoes, if this takes your fancy:
- In a big pot of boiling water, add whole tomatoes and boil for 1 minute.
- Drain water in a colander.
- Drop tomatoes in a bowl full of water + ice.
- Once the tomatoes are cool enough to touch them, peel the skin. It should come off easily.
- 10 tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F.
- Chop tomatoes into 8 – 16 pieces, depending on how big you want them.
- Throw into a baking tray. A glass baking tray works best here because of all the juices.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- To freeze ahead, freeze in batches of 1.5 cups (1 x 14oz can).
Alternatively, you can simmer the tomatoes in a pot for 5-10 minutes. I haven’t tried this method and really like how they turn out with the baking method.