OLD FASHIONED TOMATO PASTE (raw vegan paleo)
As the weather gets colder, like most people, I crave hearty and warm food. Not only does it provide the energy to fight off the cold but I think it is also comforting. Just because one is on a raw plan doesn’t mean we can not enjoy the traditional dishes that keeps us warm. Soups and sauces are an addition to the menu that I tend to use more of in the winter time. Since I live in California, I can get fresh veggies year round. This ensures that I can make hearty soups, stews and sauces for that matter. One of the ingredients that is a staple in most kitchens is tomato paste. I use it in my tomato sauces, green smoothies and honestly- I sneak a small spoon of it while cooking. There is something nostalgic about the robust flavor of tomato paste that gives everything that extra kick. The down side is that most commercially produced tomato paste is far from nostalgic. Some are made with non-organic ingredients. Some are very heavily processed and loaded with additives like salt and sugar. I am not trying to bring anyone down because I have a great solution–make your own! My OLD FASHIONED TOMATO PASTE is what I am talking about. It is the kind your great-grandma used to make. NOW there is nostalgia! The process is very simple to do and the flavor is AMAZING. If you haven’t noticed the picture, look at it again. Yes that is the real color of it! It is also made with 2 ingredients… vine ripe organic tomatoes and filtered water, yes that is it! Now as you know good things come to those that wait. In other words it takes a good full day to make this but it is SO worth it! Once you try this recipe and see how vibrant and robust the flavor is, you will never go back to modern store bought tomato paste!
MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP TOMATO PASTE
10 large organic vine ripe Roma tomatoes
3/4 cup filtered water
Wash and dry the tomatoes well. Remove the stem button with a small knife. Lay each tomato on its side and make 6 even slices width wise, reserve ends too. Repeat with all. Lay the slices and ends on the slotted trays of your dehydrator in a single layer. Dehydrate until dry. Be sure to flip them after about 2 hours so they do not stick to the trays. When fully dry, slice into small pieces with a sharp knife and place in a medium bowl. Pour in the filtered water and soak for 1 hour. Drain the tomatoes but reserve the soaking liquid. In your food processor blend the soaked tomatoes with 1 tablespoon at a time of the reserved liquid until it is a smooth paste. Place in a covered container and refrigerate up to one week. ENJOY!