Diced tomatoes are often overlooked as a great ingredient for salads or pasta dishes. They add flavor and texture without adding too much bulk.
Diced tomatoes are simply tomato chunks or chopped tomatoes. The difference between them and whole tomatoes is that they have been cut into smaller pieces. Diced tomatoes are usually sold in cans, jars, or bags.
They are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. In addition, they are also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight many ailments.
But what do you do if you run out of diced tomatoes in the fridge? Is it possible to use a substitute? Of course! Homemade tomato puree, fresh tomatoes, tomato juice, and tomato soup are all good alternatives to diced tomatoes.
In this post, we will go through the alternatives to eggs and how to employ them correctly while preparing food so that you can end up with a beautiful dish.
What Are Diced Tomatoes Used For?
Diced tomatoes are used in many different recipes. You may use them in soups, stew, casseroles, sauces, dips, and more.
For example, you could make a delicious Italian sauce by combining diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Or, you could serve them on top of pizza crusts or pasta.
And since diced tomatoes have the ability to stay firmer for long, you can use them as an ingredient for simmering like in creamy taco soup, Italian sausage soup, etc.
The first thing you need to know about using diced tomatoes is that you should always cook them before adding them to your favorite recipes. Cooking them softens their texture and makes them easier to blend. If you do not cook them, then you risk having chunks of tomato in your finished product.
As mentioned earlier, cooking them softens their texture, but it does not necessarily mean that they lose their nutrient value.
You still get most of the nutrients from cooked diced tomatoes because the heat breaks down some of the cell walls and allows the nutrients to be absorbed better.
However, if you want to avoid losing any of these nutrients, then you should only cook them until they become mushy.
If you are looking for a quick way to soften them, you can place them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. This method works well for tomato products that are already ripe.
Homemade tomato puree is made from crushed tomatoes. It is similar to canned tomatoes, except it contains no added ingredients. It is very popular among people who prefer to use raw vegetables instead of cooked ones. However, it is essential to note that tomato purees are not recommended for those who have allergies to tomatoes.
It is critical to use an equal amount of diced tomatoes when using tomato paste, as specified in the recipe. It is also crucial to know that you should add the tomato paste to the dish before it is instructed to add diced tomatoes.
This is because the puree can be cooked for a longer time. They will become soggy and disintegrate if you do this with diced tomatoes. Cook the puree for a longer amount of time to improve the tomato flavor and texture of the dish.
Tomato Puree is similar but different from tomato sauce or ketchup.
When to use?
It depends on your preference and personal taste. Some people enjoy eating tomatoes straight off the vine, while others find them too acidic.
Some people even prefer to eat tomatoes when they are green. For instance, you might love drinking tomato juice.
It is also important to keep in mind that tomato purees are extremely acidic. Therefore, it is best to dilute them with other foods. For instance, you can add lemon juice or vinegar to tomato puree to neutralize its acidity.
Experiment with your kitchen to see what is fresh. When it comes to tomatoes, use the freshest ones you can find. If you d not have diced tomatoes on hand, try using two cups of chopped tomatoes instead. In a jar, you have juice, but in this case, you may use the juice from freshly chopped tomatoes.
In addition, you can also make a cup of tomato sauce by blending the tomatoes with some spices. You can then store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
When to use?
Use fresh tomatoes whenever possible. They are more flavorful than canned tomatoes, so you will notice the difference.
Whole Peeled Tomatoes
Peeling whole tomatoes is easy, especially if you buy organic tomatoes. Simply cut off the stem end, then remove the skin. To peel tomatoes, simply rub them between your hands.
The easiest way to chop tomatoes is to cut them into quarters, then slice each quarter into halves. You can then dice the halves.
You can also use a food processor to chop tomatoes. Put the tomatoes in the bowl first, then process them until they are finely chopped.
These tomatoes can also be used in place of diced ones. Remove the seeds and cores from a quarter of the tomatoes and use them instead. When you’re done, dice the tomatoes. The juices are also critical, so add them to your dish.
When to use?
Tomato puree is great for adding to soups and stews (see stewed tomatoes substitutes). You can also add it to sauces such as pasta sauce. You may also use these tomatoes in the same way as diced tomatoes when making pasta, meat, or even a marinara sauce. The texture and taste of the dish will not be affected.
Tomato juice is very similar to the tomato puree. However, it has less water content. This means that it is easier to digest.
If you want to use tomato juice as a natural substitute for diced tomatoes, you can blend it yourself or purchase it ready-made. It is also available in cans.
If you choose to make your own tomato juice, start by washing the tomatoes thoroughly. Then, place them in an ovenproof container. Cover the container tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Afterward, let the tomatoes cool down before juicing them.
To make sure that the tomatoes do not get overcooked, take care to check their temperature periodically. Once the tomatoes reach room temperature, you can refrigerate them overnight. The next day, you can easily squeeze out the juice from the tomatoes by pressing them against a plate.
When to use?
You can use tomato juice as a replacement for diced tomatoes in any recipe where you would normally use diced tomatoes. However, the taste will differ slightly. Tomato juice tends to be sweeter than diced tomatoes.
Simmering tomatoes make tomato soup with other ingredients. Some recipes call for only tomatoes, while others include carrots, celery, onions, peppers, herbs, etc.
This type of soup is usually served chilled. However, you can also do it hot. If you prefer this option, heat the soup.
When to use?
In most recipes, you can use tomato soup as a perfect substitute for diced tomatoes. However, the flavor will differ slightly. Tomato soup tends to have a more pungent tomato taste.