Ready to learn how to freeze tomatoes fresh from the garden? If you’ve grown or have access to a large quantity of red tomatoes then this post is for you. Learn the best way to savour the garden fresh taste right here.
I could never grow tomatoes at our old house. When we moved to our homestead, and planted a vegetable garden using the lasagne style no till method
I tried again and planted 20 plants. To my surprise, they grew, and they grew well. I did my best to preserve them all for the year but ended up giving most away.
Nothing beats eating fresh tomatoes. We like to eat our tomatoes straight from the garden, as often as we can during the harvest season.
August-October, our main meals are filled with tomatoes. Lunch and breakfast consists of toast and tomato sandwiches often with a fried egg. Dinners include garden salads, homemade pizza and lots of chickpea and tomato curry.
Bags of frozen tomatoes fill the freezer space as I start to preserve my harvest for tomato sauces, salsa, chutneys and more.
Freezing is the easiest and best method to preserve them for later use. Frozen tomatoes can be added to soups, stews and pasta sauces. It’s a great way to add the flavour of summer to winter time meals.
Lets stop the ripening process and save tomatoes to use in soups and stews or can later on. Learn how to freeze tomatoes!
HOW TO FREEZE TOMATOES
There are different ways and methods of freezing different fruits and vegetables, freezing zucchini this way. Funny, most people don’t realize that tomatoes are a fruit. Tomatoes have a high acidity level and are a popular summer harvest to preserve. The quickest method for preserving is freezing. In this post I’ll share with you the best method for freezing that’s both easy, quick and even a little fun.
The easiest method that I recommend to freeze tomatoes is to blanch them whole and freeze in medium sized freezer bags. Most recipes will only need a few whole tomatoes so it’s best to have portions pre measured.
Proper packaging– I use Ziploc Freeze bags for everything. Options include zaccum packing, wax paper, brown butcher paper, plastic wrap or plastic containers.
However you freeze your tomatoes, your packagings should be moisture proof, vapour proof, leak proof and provide a flavour barrier.
Slotted Spoon I use a slotted spoon to add and remove tomatoes to stock pot during blanching process.
STEP ONE: PREPARE TOMATOES
Gather tomatoes and prepare for washing in the sink. If they are straight from the garden you’ll need to make sure they don’t have any dirt or debris on them. Remove stems, ends and any bad spots.
Save the scraps for your backyard chickens! They’ll love them, and you might just end up with a tomato plant growing in the coop next spring.
STEP 2: CUT A SHALLOW X ON THE TOPS
By cutting a shallow X in the top of the tomatoes it will be much easier to remove the skins from the tomato once blanched. This allows for expansion with the heat.
STEP 3: BLANCH TOMATOES
Boil Water in a large pot.
Blanch the tomatoes by placing them in hot water for 1 minute or until you notice skins starting to lift. Remove from the pot using a slotted spoon.
Why Blanch Tomatoes before Freezing ?
Blanching is a quick and easy method to stop the ripening process of the tomatoes and to easily remove the skins. Most people prefer to have a smooth tomato texture in preserves, soups and pasta sauces. Removing the skins makes a difference with the end result and is worth it! Here’s how to do it.
STEP 4: CHILL IN ICE BATH
Place tomatoes into ice water to chill and drain. The simpliest way to do this is to fill the sink with cold water from the tap and ice from the freezer.
The idea is to quickly bring down the temperature of the tomatoes so that they do not cook and retain their garden fresh flavour.
STEP 5: PEEL TOMATOES
Remove the skins from the tomatoes and scrape out the guts- juices and seeds to prevent the frozen tomatoes from becoming frozen tomatoes juice.
STEP 6: FREEZE IN FREEZER BAGS
Add peeled tomatoes to freezer bags in a single layer for easier storage. Write on the packages the date and contents before adding it to the freezer. If you have a vacuum sealer, I recommend using this style of freezer wrapping if you have a lot to freeze and for a long period of time. And by a long period of time I mean longer than 6 months.
Record frozen tomato inventory. Record your harvest stats and frozen tomato inventory. Having a freezer inventory list and preserves chart will help when it comes to meal planning.
I find if I don’t then this hard work doesn’t pay off and I have freezer burnt food later on!
Tomatoes will keep in the freezer for up to 10 months. Just long enough for the next summer garden tomatoes to be harvested!
I suggest getting organized when preserving your harvest, so that you to can reap the benefits of your hard work and enjoy your harvest all year long.
How to Freeze Tomatoes
- Stock Pot
- slotted spoon
- freezer bags or vaccum sealer and bags
- Wash tomatoes and remove stems
- place a small x on the bottom seam of the tomato
- place in boiling water for 1 minute
- remove using a slotted spoon
- allow to cool to room temperature
- peel off skins
- label bags with contents, date and amount
- freeze flat
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