If you’re tired of spending your summer days blanching tomatoes to prepare them for canning, let me let you in on a trick that has saved me HOURS in the kitchen. No more boiling water. No more watching the tomatoes for three minutes and then plunging them into ice water. No more peeling, chopping, and hoping the tomato juice doesn’t run onto the floor.
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If you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, the Fruit and Vegetable Strainer Attachment will change your life. Maybe I’m being overdramatic. Try it and you can decide.
Once you attach the strainer to the mixer, prepare your tomatoes by washing, removing the stem, and quartering the tomato (depending on the size) into pieces that fit into the hopper. Then, run the tomatoes through the strainer attachment until they turn into a thick juice.
I demonstrate the process below:
Prepare for Canning
From here, boil down the juice to the desired consistency depending on what you’re making. Tomato sauce takes a few hours, while tomato paste can take all day. This also depends on how juicy your tomatoes were to begin with. Paste tomatoes like Roma are naturally thicker and will boil down faster than slicing tomatoes.
As a general rule, you’ll need to reduce by 1/2 to get tomato sauce and reduce by 3/4 to get tomato paste. For example, 4 quarts of tomato product after running it through this Kitchen Aid attachment will yield 4 pints of tomato sauce or 4 half-pints of tomato paste.
For more information on how I preserve tomatoes at the end of the season, click here to listen to my podcast episode: Preserving Tomatoes — Make the Most of Your Harvest.
(Note: KitchenAid no longer sells this attachment as one unit. Now, you must purchase the Food Grinder AND the Fruit and Vegetable Strainer Attachment both. Still, having used this for a decade and counting, it’s well worth the investment, in my opinion.)
Let me know how it goes for you!