MagPad Dinner Table

MagPad Dinner Table

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Freeze Tomatoes

What do you do when your tomato crop explodes ?

1. Give some to your friends and neighbors who would like some fresh garden tomatoes.

2. Freeze the rest to use later when you make a pot spaghetti or chili on a winter's night.

This post will tell you how to get from this.... this.

I found a web site that explains how to freeze tomatoes much better than I could. You can get to the site by clicking here or you can read how to do it below.

Freezing is the easiest and safest way to preserve tomatoes from your garden or the farmers market. Freezing locks in summer fresh flavor and nutrients so you can enjoy delicious tomatoes in soups and sauces all winter long!

Things You'll Need:

  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Serrated paring knife
  • Stockpot
  • Boiling water
  • Large bowl of ice water
  • Zip closure freezer bags

Step 1

Vine ripened tomatoes taste best fresh or frozen. If you didn't grow your own tomatoes, pay a visit to your local farmer's market for a wide selection of ripe tomatoes. Pick tomatoes that are fully colored and tender, but not mushy or soft.

Step 2

Clean the tomatoes by rinsing them individually under a stream of running water. Gently rub the surface of the fruit to remove any soil. If you aren't sure if the tomatoes are organic, wash them with a mild fruit and vegetable cleaner to help remove pesticide and herbicide residues, then rinse well.

Step 3

Pop the stem off the tomatoes. If it is stubborn, use a knife to carefully remove the stem.

Step 4

Fill a stockpot with water and bring it to a rapid boil. Dip 2 to 3 tomatoes at a time into the water. Remove the tomatoes from the pot with a slotted spoon when the skins begin to loosen (after about 30 seconds).

Step 5

Plunge the tomatoes immediately into an ice water bath. This stops the tomatoes from cooking and further loosens the skins.

Step 6

Slide the skins off the tomatoes and compost them. Use a serrated knife to remove any stubborn bits of peel and cut out the core of the tomato. At this point you can freeze the tomatoes whole or cut them into halves or quarters.

Step 7

Pack the tomatoes into freezer bags, leaving one inch of headroom at the top of the bag. Freezer bags that have a zipper seal work best. Squeeze the air of the bag and zip the top close.

Step 8

Save room in your freezer by laying the bags of tomatoes flat on a freezer shelf. Once frozen, stack the bags wherever you would like in the freezer. Frozen tomatoes stay fresh for up to one year and taste best cooked into soups, stews, and sauces.

When I do step 6, I take it one step further and after I quarter the tomatoes and put them in a big bowl. Then I take my clean hands and squish them all up. (who likes big chunks of tomatoes in your spaghetti sauce? Not my kids!) Then I ladle them into a quart ziploc bag. Walmart brand are a cheaper price. (Be sure you squeeze the air out of the bag.)


1 comment:

Janelle said...

Wish I had this to look forward to...the frost killed all but one of our tomato plants!