I rarely use canned tomato products because highly acidic foods, such as tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes are more likely to leach chemicals like BPA from the lining of the can. Plus, this time of year there is such an abundance of sweet and flavorful tomatoes that I jump on every opportunity to use fresh ones.
When a recipe calls for canned tomatoes, you can substitute fresh ones by blanching fresh tomatoes, then peeling, seeding and chopping them. This method is healthier and less wasteful, as you minimize your use of packaging.
As a rule of thumb, when a recipe calls for a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes, I use 5 to 6 whole tomatoes (about 1 pound).
How to Peel, Seed & Chop Tomatoes
- Bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil.
- Set up a cold bath of water in a large bowl with some ice cubes.
- Cut an “X” in the bottom of each tomato, drop the tomatoes in the boiling water carefully and cook for 1 minute or until skin starts to break.
- Remove a few tomatoes at a time and dunk in the cold bath.
- The skin should now easily peel off by hand. Peel the skin, cut the tomatoes in half and scoop or squeeze the seeds out.
- Chop and use as needed.