Tomatoes are vegetables (and fruits) rich in vitamins and minerals that our body needs for proper functioning. Other than this, tomatoes offer great flavor and color to our foods and that is why you should not afford to cook any type of food without tomatoes.
In this article, we want to put our focus on the tomato puree substitutes. However, before that let us talk about the puree itself.
So, What Is A Tomato Puree?
Walk into every country’ dictionary of words: you will be shocked to find that people from different countries have different thoughts about tomato puree. For instance, in the USA, people buy the puree from stores as processed foods.
However, you can simply prepare this same tomato puree from home. Characteristics of puree include:
• Cooked tomatoes that are broken down to produce a thick red soup/paste
• Most people usually remove the tomatoes’ seeds and skin to make the tomato smoother
With this in mind, there are two types of tomato puree:
• Basic tomato puree
The only extra ingredient added to this type of puree is vinegar, sugar and salt. However, you can either choose to add these ingredients or not.
• Tasty tomato puree
You usually blend the puree after cooking them with onions, butter, celery and stock. You can also add parsley to season the puree.
Tomato Puree Substitutes
1. Tomato Paste
You can make tomato paste from boiling tomatoes until you drain all the water in the tomatoes. You also need to remember that the seeds and the skin need to be removed so that the paste can be smooth.
In fact, you should ensure that you add no water. This makes stirring necessary so that you can prevent the paste from sticking to the pot. You can also use a spoon to scoop some of the paste to see how sticky it will be. The thicker it is, the better the paste.
Tomato paste gives your food a meaty flavor to your food. People have different cooking methods. They can add the paste to the food together with wine, water or the broth itself.
Others prefer browning the paste before you can add other spices such as onions or even the wine itself.
Always remember not to use expired paste.
Storing the Paste
You can store the tomatoes into already washed and sanitized cans. You can boil them in hot water to remove any present bacteria in the cans.
If you want to store the paste in your freezer, be sure to let the tomato paste cool before storing it. You can also place them in freezer bags. Make sure that you fill them entirely to prevent any air from getting in between the paste.
If you want to stick to canning the paste, put the jars in a water bath for about 45 minutes.
Make sure you completely seal the jar. Wait for it to cool down before putting it in the refrigerator.
How to make puree out of tomato paste
The difference between tomato paste and puree is the thickness. Therefore, when converting it to a tomato puree is like going a step backward.
Simply, put a tablespoonful of the paste into the cooking pot. Then add some water to dilute the paste. Beat up the mixture until it becomes diluted.
2. Tomato Sauce
You make tomato sauce by cooking tomatoes to form a thick sauce. You then filter out the skins and seeds from the sauce.
After this, you can choose to either consume it naturally or seasoned. You can add the sauce to soups and various foods to give it a unique red color. Tomato sauce contains vinegar, different spices such as garlic and onion, vegetables, oregano, and basil.
If you do not have tomatoes, then you can use the paste that you have at home and convert it into the sauce.
You can convert the tomato paste into tomato sauce by taking a ¾-cup of paste and then adding a cup of water. After mixing it, it will have the same thickness as that of the sauce. The problem with this mixture is that it will not taste as an actual sauce would.
Commonwealth countries prefer to call it the tomato sauce.
Ketchup constitutes of vinegar, sugar, and tomatoes of course. Traditionally, ketchup only comprised of vinegar. Egg whites, mushrooms, oysters, and many others were used to make this sauce.
People use the tomato ketchup to make to flavor foods and prepare barbecue sauces. However, nowadays most people use it to cook food. You can use it as a tomato paste substitute.
Ketchup and tomato paste vary. The tomato paste is thicker than the ketchup. The ketchup also has many spices while the tomato paste is just plain tomatoes.
Therefore, you can put the ketchup on a pan when converting the ketchup into a tomato paste. Let all the moisture evaporate until it is thick enough to stick. You need to remove all the seasoning present in the ketchup also.
You can also convert tomato paste into ketchup by adding water, vinegar, and other sweeteners.
4. Canned Tomatoes
Some people find that cutting tomatoes are a piece of work. Alternatively, during winter no tomatoes are growing at that time. Thus, finding tomatoes become difficult since storing them for a longer time is still hard.
Therefore, these canned tomatoes come to the rescue. Canned tomatoes normally consist of peeled tomatoes, heat processed and stored in cans for sale.
Diced tomatoes are also used to make the tomato puree. The diced tomatoes are cut into small cubes. You can use garlic or basil to season them when heating them.
The passata, which originates from Italy, is not commonly used in the United States. However, in Europe, most people use the Passata to prepare pizza and Bolognese.
Tomato puree packed in glass jars. In most case, the passata is uncooked during packaging. The tomatoes are seeds and skin free.
The passata differs from the tomato paste and the sauce because the two may contain other ingredients such as onions and other spices. The passata comprises of tomatoes only
Experts insist that you should substitute the passata with either the paste or the sauce. You can try to make your passata at home. Simply, strain all the seeds from the tomatoes.
The puree substitutes are so easy to make even at home. However, if you do not like the hustle of preparing the puree or paste at home, buy either sauce, paste or the puree itself from a local shop.
We would love to hear what you use as a puree substitute. Leave a comment and we will appreciate