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About Niche Topics

Niche Topics (Food and Drinks) offers a large collection of delicious food and drink recipes to help you decide what to cook, whether it’s a family dinner, lunchbox for the kids, or entertaining friends at home. Each recipe promises a completely different taste experience, and all are really easy-to-make.

 

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5 Ideas to Use Drained Tomato Juice/Liquid

 

Hi Violette,

I don't want to sound too alarmist about Bisphenol A (BPA) issue, but you should think twice about using drained tomato juice leftover from canned tomatoes. BPA is a endocrine-disrupting chemical used in many plastic containers to strengthen plastics and as a resin in aluminum can linings to prevent rust. According to studies, BPA is linked to erectile dysfunction, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, hyperactivity and aggressive behavior in children, and a variety of health problems. Hence, it's definitely something to keep in mind when you have young children at home.

I would say don't take the risk and throw the drained tomato juice away. Tomatoes, like citrus fruits, are highly acidic which can exacerbate the leaching of BPA into foods.

To be on the safe side, I suggest you buy organic tomato in glass jars or tetra paks, usually more expensive and difficult to find in the stores (Pomi Tomatoes, Trader Joe's Tomatoes). Alternatively, you might want to consider canning or bottling tomatoes at home with BPA-free lids (check out Lehman's).

Home canning is easy and fun, but to be very honest, the process is a lot of work. Unless you use a lot of tomatoes in cooking, it won't be worth your while to can or bottle tomatoes yourself.

Having said the above, I've listed a few ways that you can put the tomato juices from canned diced tomatoes to good use. Remember, if you want to cook with the drained tomato juice, make sure it's from BPA free tomato cans.

 

What Can You Do with Leftover Tomato Juices?

1. You can stew/braise/poach less tender cuts of beef or chicken in tomato juice instead of water, broth or wine. It's also great as a low-acidity substitute for lemon juice, and can be used to marinate fish.

Tomato juice is a wonderful complement to many summer foods such as pan-seared sea scallops with fennel and grapefruit salad, grilled chicken breasts topped with spinach and feta cheese, or grilled salmon with lemon and herb butter.

 

2. You can freeze leftover tomato juice in ice cube trays, and keep them in a Ziploc bag. Then use it as part of a broth for beef or vegetables soup. Simply pop some basil, oregano, bay leaf and a handful of your favorite vegetables such as celery, broccoli, cabbage, etc (mixed frozen vegetables or any leftover roasted veggies are also great) into a large soup pot and simmer for 30 minutes.

And, if you're a huge fan of thick, creamy soups like me, then throw in yellow squash, zucchini, potatoes, some cherry tomatoes, barley or canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Season with salt and a good dash of pepper to taste.

If you want a complete meal, add cooked brown rice, cooked pasta, diced cooked chicken or ground beef to this basic tomato-based soup recipe.

 

3.  The next time when you boil pasta, rice or couscous, replace water (or in addition to water) with the leftover tomato juice, and you'll be rewarded with tastier and richer flavor. This delicious rice with chorizo recipe is my personal favorite and I make it every week. It's really easy, inexpensive and always a big hit with my 2 boys. You can add any herbs or spices you like. I prefer to keep things simple – just salt and  a bit of chili powder

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat, add 1 cup finely onion and ½ cup sliced mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Toss in 1 cup uncooked rice, 2-3 cups tomato juice, 1½ cups chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and ½ cup sliced chorizo. Bring to a boil. Cover skillet with a lid and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. Don't forget to check often and add more tomato juice if necessary.

 

4. Another great way to use leftover juice from canned diced tomato is, make a healthy low-calorie sauce for poultry, vegetables and/or pasta dishes. You can also use it in tomato fondue sauce.

Add some pureed roasted red pepper (or use TJ's red pepper paste ) and seasonings such as basil, parsley, garlic, onion, oregano, rosemary, etc and a small amount of cornstarch (about 1 teaspoon for ¼ - ⅓ cup tomato juice).

 

5. If your plastic food container has a bad smell, here's how you can use tomato juice to get rid of foul odors and deodorize plastic containers the Eco-friendly way.

Pour a small amount of tomato juice onto a dish washing sponge and wipe it around the inside of your plastic container. Then wash the container and lid in warm, soapy water. Rinse well and dry with a dish towel. Keep them separately in the freezer for a few days. The plastic container will be odor-free and smelling fresh in no time!

You can also use tomato juice to eliminate fridge odors. Thoroughly wipe the insides of the refrigerator and freezer with a sponge or washcloth doused in undiluted tomato juice. Then rinse with warm, soapy water and wipe dry. If any odor remains, repeat the entire process 1-2 times.
 

 

By Rebecca Garcia

I hate throwing food in the bin but I don't know what to do with leftover tomato juices. I have 4 cans full of juice (liquid) from canned diced tomatoes sitting in the refrigerator. Any simple recipes or ideas for drained tomato juice other than chili, goulash and Bloody Mary. Thank you. – Violette, Arizona.

drained tomato juice (tomato liquid) ideas