Tomatoes are acidic fruits used in the preparation of foods such as tomato sauces and soups. For some people, the acid in tomatoes causes heartburn. Refusing to give up their favourite food, sauce lovers often turn to antacids for relief, but other options exist. Adding sugar, vegetables or fat to your recipe alters the acid content of tomato-based foods.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Baking soda
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
- Vidalia or Walla Walla onions
- Double cream
- Unsalted butter
- Roma tomatoes
- San Marzano tomatoes
Neutralise the acid content of tomato sauce by adding baking soda when the cooking process is almost completed and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add just a pinch because too much baking soda gives sauce a soapy taste. If your set of measuring spoons does not include "pinch" and "dash", Recipe Hut.com describes a pinch as the amount of spice you can pick up between your thumb and index finger. Little white bubbles briefly appear in the sauce as the baking soda neutralises the acid.
Add white or brown sugar to your tomato sauce or soup. Two teaspoons of sugar balance out the acidity by countering the sourness of tomato acid with a sweet taste, according to Kristina Johnson of Former Chef.com.
Grate one small carrot or half of a large carrot into your tomato sauce. Carrots are high in alkaline and help to balance the acid content in tomatoes. Carrots also add their natural sweetness to sauce.
Caramelise onions for your sauce before adding the tomatoes. Caramelising onions sweetens your sauce and, because onions are high in alkaline, they cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Although yellow onions have a higher sugar content, Chef Nancy from NJ.com recommends using Vidalia or Walla Walla onions.
Add acid-neutral foods, incuding oils, cheeses such as Parmesan or ricotta, double cream, half-and-half, milk or unsalted butter to your tomato recipes to reduce acidity. Mozzarella cheese, for example, is used as a topping on pizza to cut the acid content of the tomato sauce. Acid-neutral foods absorb acidity from the body, according to Eat Salad.com.
Thicken tomato sauce by using less water and cutting down on cooking time. Longer cooking reduces the liquid and concentrates tomato acid.
Use Roma tomatoes when making sauce from scratch instead of the canned varieties. Roma tomatoes have less acid and a lower moisture content. San Marzano tomatoes have thicker flesh and less juice, which is a good combination for making tomato sauce. Fewer seeds make San Marzano tomatoes less acidic.
Reduce acid and ease stomach and bladder problems by using low-acid tomatoes in your recipes. When making tomato sauce from scratch, use ripe tomatoes. The riper the tomato, the lower the acid content. Removing the skin from tomatoes also helps to reduce the acidity.
Tips and warnings
- Canola and extra virgin olive oil -- first cold press -- are less acidic than vegetable oil and virgin olive oil.
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