Preserving tomatoes with a Fowlers Vacola

 

Lucinda Flynn, from Hurstbridge, is the owner of Going Green Solutions, a local company that sells eco-products.

[If you are a member of Local Food Connect, you can borrow our Fowlers Vacola.]

Here’s the process.

1. Get all your bottles, rings lids and clips clean and ready to go.
2. Choose firm Roma tomatoes in good condition (or any kind of tomato but preferably not too juicy). Wash them and dice them (some people peel them first by dipping in boiling water – I never do that and am happy to have the skins in the bottles).
3. Fill your bottles to about an inch below the top, fill with water, remove air bubbles by sliding a chopstick of something else thin down the sides of the bottle. Add a ½ teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons lemon juice (this adds acid to protect you from botulism which can thrive in anaerobic, alkaline environments).
4. Add the rings, lids and clips, and put the jars into your Fowlers, covering them with water.
5. We have two Fowlers set up on our back kitchen bench to allow us to process more bottles faster
6. As the 1 hour cooking time is finished, lift the bottles out and allow them to cool overnight, leaving the clips on.

7. Remove the clips and carefully lift each bottle by the rim of the lid, to make sure you have a good seal. If any have not achieved a seal, the lid will come off in your hand so make sure not to lift it too high from the bench when you test!

Enjoy being able to grab your own delicious bottles of tomatoes off the shelf every time you need them.

8. PS – if you have enough tomatoes, why not dehydrate some too?

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