Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How to Freeze Tomatoes

I got a phone call from my mother in law asking me if I need any tomatoes or garden vegetables because they grew too many. I chuckled and said, "you say that every year!"

I swear all my in laws need to do is squint their eyes in the direction of their garden, and their plants burst forth with more tomatoes than the vines can hold.

Although they tell me actually watering plants helps them to grow too. Who knew?

Pin this tutorial for later!

Mother in Law has canned just about every variation of tomato recipe there is and in mega large quantities, dropped off bags of  homegrown tomatoes to friends and pantries, and practically snuck a bunch in my pockets when we met at a restaurant to celebrate a family birthday and two anniversaries last Sunday.

  
I appreciate the gift (especially when my last tomato gardening effort included police helicopter and Paddy Wagon drive bys) but I don't have time to can my tomato bounty because I'm leaving for Bloggy Conference this weekend.

I knew if I left those fresh red (and slightly soft) beauties in my refrigerator while I was at the conference I’d come back to a bunch of spoiled tomatoes, ready for the compost bin.  Time is at a premium. What do to do? I sent those tomatoes to the deep freeze. Yes, it’s true. You can freeze fresh tomatoes.



Here’s how.



You will need:

Tomatoes

Pot of simmering water

Serrated tomato knife - a serrated tomato knife will make slicing softish tomatoes easier and I recommend it!

Cutting Board

Slotted spoon
 
Freezer worthy containers (I have a Foodsaver and I love it! You can learn more about my Foodsaver through this affiliate link here.)

A freezer

How to do it:

1. Blanch the tomatoes by simmering the tomatoes in the pot of hot water on the stove for approximately 10 minutes or until you see the skin loosen or split on the tomato.

Remember, the idea is not to fully cook the tomato, just to loosen the skin.

2. Remove the tomatoes from the water with the slotted spoon and set aside to cool.

3. Use the tomato knife and cutting board to peel the loosened skin from each room temperature tomato.

You can use any sharp knife to slice your tomatoes for freezing. I find a tomato knife the best tool for the job.

Y ou can try peeling the tomatoes immediately after you removed it from the boiling water but I wouldn’t recommend it because you could burn your fingers. Want to guess how I found out about this little tip?

4. Cut the peeled tomatoes into slices, quarters, or chunks and put them into a freezer container.

  • Foodsaver way: I pop the tomatoes in the freezer for a few hours so they harden. Once the tomatoes are frozen enough to withstand being squashed during vacuum sealing, I use the Foodsaver to remove the air from the Foodsaver pouch and seal it closed.

  • Zip lock type bag way: Remove as much air from the freezer bag as you can with a straw and zip the bag closed. 

 Warning: If you don't remove all of the air from the container it can cause your tomatoes to freezer burn.

5. Put the containers full of frozen tomatoes in your freezer and let them freeze all the way through.

It’s best to thaw and use frozen tomatoes for soups, sauces, and stews instead of using them to garnish a sandwich or salad.

There you have it a quick and easy way to freeze your summer tomato bounty for use later in the year!

The next question is what should I make with all of these frozen tomatoes?
 


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