Can't find tomato puree in the stores!

mangomoonJune 16, 2009

I have a couple of recipes that require tomato puree. I have read the labels on the cans, left to right, up and down and cannot find anything (Von's Safeway, Ralph's, Albertson's), that carries it unless it is under another name. Any suggestions? I am looking for can alternatives. Fresh grown tomato's are too pricey here in CA.

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For a good substitute, mix two tablespoons of tomato paste with enough unflavored/unseasoned tomato juice to make 1 cup.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 6:34PM
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Tomato sauce works...unseasoned tomato sauce.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 6:43PM
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I'm not sure that there's a whole lot of difference between sauce and puree, except that puree is a bit thicker. So you can thicken sauce with a bit of paste, but less than Joe suggested with juice. Alternatively, most crushed tomatoes are packed in puree, so you could use it as is if the texture doesn't bother you, or puree it further yourself if it does.

I use tomato products fairly interchangably, thickening with paste or thinning with water as required. In fact of all the standards (whole, diced, crushed, puree, sauce, paste) puree is the only one that you'd not be likely to find in my pantry.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 6:55PM
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I never buy tomato puree. I just use the stick blender to blend up a can of quality Italian tomatoes. If you want the puree to be thick, just drain off a little of the juice before blending. You can also do this in the food processor or blender.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 7:46PM
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A good place to go when you need substitutes - Cook's Thesaurus (see link below).

tomato paste = (in Britain) tomato puree Substitutes: tomato sauce (Use twice as much, but compensate by reducing another liquid in recipe. Tomato sauce has salt, pepper, and other seasonings added; tomato paste includes only salt.) OR tomato puree (Use twice as much, but compensate by reducing another liquid in recipe. Tomato puree is unseasoned, while tomato paste has salt added.)

tomato puree Substitutes: tomato sauce (This has salt, pepper, and other seasonings added, while tomato puree is unseasoned) OR 3 parts tomato paste + 5 parts water (tomato paste has salt added, while tomato puree is unseasoned) Notes: tomato puree (in Britain) = tomato paste (in the US)

Me, I just keep pure tomato powder on hand and use it for puree, paste and sauce. I've reduced a LOT of tomato items in storage by converting to tomato powder.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cook's Thesaurus

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 8:08PM
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GL, please tell me more about tomato powder. I've never heard of such(but I did just google it). Where do you buy it? Is there a particular brand that you are partial to?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 8:24PM
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I agree with Ann_T's post. Better to make your own puree from good canned whole tomatoes. Also, America's Test Kitchen, in doing a taste test of canned crushed tomatoes found that:

"Puree must be cooked for a long time to break down the tomatoes, and therefore imparts a more cookedÂrather than freshÂtaste to the final product. Indeed, the lower-ranking crushed tomatoes in our lineup generally featured tomato puree as the first ingredient on the label, while the top four all started their ingredient lists with tomatoes. What's more, manufacturers often disguise less-than-perfect tomatoes with puree, which imparts a deeper red color to the contents of the can. The lesson? A fresh-tasting can of crushed tomatoes won't list puree first on the ingredient list."

BTW, they like the Muir Glen brand. I had thought that Muir Glen would be a hard-to-find expensive brand. But actually it's owned by General Mills, and I easily found Muir Glen products in all the big grocery store chains in my area. On my link below, there is a "product locator" link you can click on for sources in your area.

Here is a link that might be useful: General Mills/Muir Glen/Small Planet Foods

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 8:32PM
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Use Crushed or Diced Tomatoes. Run them in the Blender,
1 can at a time and
add 1/2 of a small can of Paste to each 29 oz.can of Tomatoes.
You will have your Puree.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 9:11PM
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The Pure Tomato Powder I've been using is from The Spice House (link below), but you'll find many spice outlets on line that carry it. It's all natural, nothing else added but tomatoes. For thick tomato paste mix 3 parts water with 1 part powder. For sauce mix 4:1 ratio. I use 3 t. tomato powder and 3 T. water plus a dash of vinegar and a shot of agave nectar (honey also works), plus Italian spices for Pizza Sauce. Add it to salad dressings, soups, chili, etc. Once you've used it, you wonder how you got along without it. It has a very rich flavor.

It keeps indefinitely - great for folks who don't use tomato products very often. I use it with frozen garden tomatoes or dehydrated tomatoes I've rehydrated, if I need some tomato texture in the puree.

Helpful hint: Once opened, I keep mine in the refrigerator with a moisture absorber (recycled from some supplements we take) to prevent caking. The refrigerator is a dry environment.


Here is a link that might be useful: The Spice House - Tomato Powder

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 6:07AM
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