"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
August 30, 2013
Make Your Own Delicious Tomato Sauce
by Dian Thomas

Home canning and freezing are good ways to have nutritious food products on hand. Fresh, quality produce preserves well for later use. It’s even better when you are able to grow your own.

Be sure to follow a reputable canning guide to avoid food safety issues. It’s best to follow a tested recipe from a trusted source, such as the USDA’s Extension Services or the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Be sure not to use Mom’s canning recipes — at least not when you’re canning tomatoes or vegetables. The acid content of produce has changed over the years, and canning times have changed right along with it.

Fruits that are high in acid such as peaches, pears, and other soft fruits are good candidates for water-bath canning, while low-acid vegetables, such as corn and green beans, must be canned using a pressure canner.

Light and Lean Tomato Sauce

One of my favorite times of the year is when the tomatoes begin to ripen. I love locally grown tomatoes, because they can be fixed in so many ways and are readily available. Here’s a recipe for a light, lean tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes and frozen in canning jars. The best part of cooking my own food is that I know the quality of the tomatoes, onions, and garlic that go into the sauce. There are no hidden fillers, fats, sugar, or corn syrup in my sauce.

15 tomatoes
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
5 cloves garlic

Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Cut the stems from 15 tomatoes (I use medium or large) and place them cut-side down on the tray, leaving about 1/2 inch between them to allow for hot air circulation. Cut a small X on what is now the top of each tomato. Add two large peeled and quartered onions and five cloves of garlic to the baking sheet and place it in a 350° F oven.

Let the vegetables roast until the tomatoes are softened and their skins slip off. Remove the tray from the oven and let the vegetables cool for a few minutes, then skin the tomatoes with a pair of tongs, if desired. Place all of the vegetables into a blender and process.

Pour the mixture into a large, heavy saucepan and simmer at a low temperature, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have thickened to the consistency of a spaghetti sauce. This may take several hours.

You can add your favorite seasonings now, or wait until you determine the sauce’s use. The intensity of some herbs change during storage, so go a little light with the seasonings until you are sure you will get just the intensity you want. Remove the thickened sauce from the range and allow it to cool.

Pour into pint or quart jars. Fill the jars to within three-fourths of an inch of the top and freeze. Don’t put the lids on yet or the jar might break when the sauce expands during freezing. Put the lids and rings on after the sauce is frozen. The sauce will last one year in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator and use in your favorite tomato-based dish. This is delicious!

A review about Dian’s book Tipping the Scales in Your Favor by Sue D. Nym says:

“This is a very inspiring story of taking charge of one's life and changing it both physically and emotionally. I have been trying to get some inspiration for my own struggles, and this was a great example of what one can do if they are determined. It offers great tips, advice and examples of real-life struggles that made her story more amazing because it wasn't a sudden success that came and went. She really worked hard to get where she is and continues to work hard which is how it really is for so many.” To read more about Dian’s book Tipping the Scales in Your Favor go to www.dianthomas.com.

For Fun Ideas: If it is ideas you are looking for, Dian had authored more than 19 books and has a special offer on some of her best sellers at www.dianthomas.com.

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About Dian Thomas

Dian Thomas was blessed with the good fortune to be born near and raised in the remote, breathtaking Manti-La Sal National Forest in southeastern Utah, where her father was the forest ranger. She took the skills she learned in the outdoors and turned them into a New York Times best-selling book, Roughing It Easy. Her appearance on the NBC's "Tonight" show with Johnny Carson boosted her into the national media scene, where she became a regular on NBC's "Today" show for eight years and then ABC's "Home Show" for six years. After more than 25 years of media exposure and 19 books, she now shares her practical insights and wisdom with audiences who want to savor life.

A former Relief Society president, Dian is currently serving as a visiting teacher. Visit her website at www.DianThomas.com

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