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OK, I admit it, I went overboard on my purchases of canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Now, what do you suggest I do with them? I know I can donate them, that's one option.Or should I recan them? orwater bath them? do I home dehydrate them, but I would lose the juice in the diced tomatoes that way? Or would you just ignore the best buy date and not worry about it??:scratch:
I've read that tomatoes are an item not to ignore that date because the acid eats away at the can lining. What to do, what to do:uhh:
thanks for your input!!
 

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Funny that you post this! I did the same thing. I am going to make a huge batch of pasta sauce and freeze it into family sized packages. I've used what I can and this is going to be using the last of it:D
 

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make a bunch of spaghetti sauce and freeze it in portions.
 

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I would enjoy lots and lots of vegetable soup for the next month or so and then, as they say, cook and freeze something. Or just freeze them, can by can, in plastic bags. Of course, this assumes you have freezer space. You could also freeze the juice in bags and then dehydrate the tomatoes - that would probably be most space efficient.
 

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I am a great one for ignoring dates---bot NOT TOO MUCH with tomatoes. Heard the same thing about the dates w/tomatoes. I am more careful with the high acid foods.........tomatoes, pickled beets, etc.

There is a TON of stuff that you can do with tomatoes......lots of recipes PROVIDING you have the space to store it.

If you have the space, do all sorts of things...........go to some recipe sites and cook up a storm. Taco soup---the other things mentioned ---even some salsa.

recipezaar.com is one site that will give you recipes according to your list of ingredients........my favorite, but there are many others.
 

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I'd strongly suggest NOT re-canning the products, as one of your options. There are several food safety concerns doing this.

-There is no safe tested recipes for these particular foods, so you don't know how long to process them, and if you "guess" at the canning time, you may actually not get the necessary heat penetration.

-These foods are already processed, so to process them again you end up with texture changes, and even LESS nutrients than you would have if you canned fresh foods.

-You will be wasting a LOT of energy to heat process the food for an inferior product. The quality of the food will be compromised.

You are also correct about using high-acid foods in cans in a timely manner.

If you have room in your freezer, I'd repackage them and freeze them. Once again, you may find the texture will be altered some, so consider these items for salsa, soups, etc. Or have a cooking marathon and fill your freezer with all kinds of wonderful things you make from them. You'll have freezer meals for the rest of the spring (and that's a GOOD thing - LOL).
 

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Tomato sauce, chili, and skillet pasta

Don't worry incessantly about the dates (think of them more as guidelines), but do make every effort to use the tomatoes up in a timely matter as you lose nutrition and risk can failure if you go too long past the due date.

My husband makes the worlds best pasta sauce (which he learned from his Sicilian grandmother). Saute 17 whole cloves of fresh garlic in a little olive oil in a large stainless steel sauce pan with a heavy bottom. Dump in several cans of tomatoes (depending upon can size) until several inches deep. The consistency comes out best if you use a blend of tomato puree and whole or diced tomatoes. Add Italian seasoning (or fresh basil if in season) and a bit less salt than you would consider optimal so it's not too salty once you simmer it down. Put on a very low simmer overnight, so low that it barely bubbles. Bon appetit! This sauce is to die for, and there's usually enough left over from feeding a family of 5-6 to make a pizza several nights later.

Chili with beans is another great dish ... used diced or whole canned tomatoes. Lastly, diced or stewed tomatoes are great warmed up and lightly tossed with cooked penne pasta, black olives, artichoke hearts, and whatever else you feel like tossing in. Grate fresh romano or parmesiano on top.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for all the ideas! I do plan to use them asap in cooking, but will still have quite a few cans to do something with. I definately discovered that I don't use as many on a regular basis as I thought, so I can re-do my regular purchasing numbers on that. And, I am trying to move to less can items and more freeze dried, dehydrated and home canned. Thanks again for your suggestions!:tay:
 

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you could drain the juice from the tomatoes and make salsa! & drink the juice. mmmm, i love the juice from canned tomatoes.
 

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I date (month/year) all canned goods coming in the house and regularly purge anything that's been on my shelf 2 years or so.

If you haven't done that and so can't tell how long you've had it, use the "best by" dates and if it isn't too old, use the cans with the oldest date FIRST. Arrange them in your cabinet with the oldest ones in front, or decide to donate them or freeze them, or whatever. But I'd make sure you're using the oldest first, no matter what else you do.

My :cents: !

Judi
 

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I date (month/year) all canned goods coming in the house and regularly purge anything that's been on my shelf 2 years or so.

If you haven't done that and so can't tell how long you've had it, use the "best by" dates and if it isn't too old, use the cans with the oldest date FIRST. Arrange them in your cabinet with the oldest ones in front, or decide to donate them or freeze them, or whatever. But I'd make sure you're using the oldest first, no matter what else you do.

My :cents: !

Judi

yeah, use a sharpie marker and date the cans. first in, first out. put the new purchases in the back.
 

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yes i TOTALLY agree with SALSA!! :) in fact if you are a "canner" you could make up a nice sized batch of salsa and can it and use it for christmas gifts!! people go NUTS for salsa around here!! you could pair it with a bag of tortilla chips and a set of salsa bowls from the dollar tree and that would make a fun inexpensive gift! :)
also my grandmother used to eat big bowls of white rice with salsa on top for lunch every day!! again , inexpensive and DELISH!! :)
 
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