Friday Food Finds: Boost Umami with No-Waste Tomato Paste

What’s so special about tomato paste? Umami, of course! And what makes tomato paste in a tube so cool? There’s no waste! Gone are the days of opening a can of tomato paste to use only a tablespoon or two. Even with good intentions – and I always had them – that leftover tomato paste would spoil in my refrigerator. Squeezable tomato paste is brilliant.

tomato paste gives umami

Umami is considered to be the fifth basic taste

This stuff stays fresh in the refrigerator until I need a squeeze next time.

With my family’s plant-slant diet, I love a little umami boost from foods and ingredients like tomato products, soy sauce, mushrooms, onions and that amazing freshly grated Parmesan cheese! By the way, MSG also provides umami and can actually reduce sodium intake.

Umami is that fifth taste, different from each sweet, salty, bitter and sour. It’s meaty or savory. It’s hard to describe, but it sure adds an element of yum. And I’m especially looking for it when my recipe doesn’t contain meat.

Smokey Red Bean Chili with tomato paste

This smokey red been chili is delicious with the addition of tomato paste and some chipotle chili powder, of course.

I add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to plenty of dishes, including chilis, soups and stews. Typically, I mix it in to sautéed vegetables when I add garlic and dry spices.

There are several brands of tomato paste in a tube. I’ve tried at least three, and I like them all. They taste good, and they stay fresh in the fridge after opening. You’ll find them in most large grocery stores where you find other canned and bottled tomato products.

Healthy lentil sloppy joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes get a taste lift from tomato paste too.

If you want to learn more about umami, head on over to Umami Information Center or check out an earlier healthy eating tip by my friend and colleague Christine Rosenbloom.

Cheers to delicious, meaty, and savory plant-slant eating! Umami rocks!

Jill Weisenberger

I'm Jill, and I believe simple changes in your mindset and health habits can bring life-changing rewards. And I don't believe in willpower. It's waaaay overrated. As a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and certified health and wellness coach, I've helped thousands of people solve their food and nutrition problems. If you're looking for a better way to master this whole healthy eating/healthy living thing or if you're trying to prevent or manage diabetes or heart problems, you'll find plenty of resources right here.

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Welcome to my Blog

Hi there! I'm Jill, a nutrition & diabetes expert and the author of 4 books.

Jill Weisenberger

I believe simple changes in health habits can bring you life-changing rewards.

And I believe willpower is way overrated.

Right here is where you can discover the mindset and habits to stick with healthy lifestyle choices most of the time - and drop the guilt when you don't.

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