August 11, 2015

How to Freeze Fresh Garden Tomatoes

Freezing Fresh Heirloom Garden Tomatoes

Winter tomatoes can be a huge letdown. They are more often than not lacking in flavor and can cost over twice as much as canned. However, you don't have to sacrifice the delicious taste of fresh tomatoes in the middle of the colder months, you just have to plan ahead.

Freezing Fresh Roma Garden Tomatoes

Freezing fresh garden tomatoes is easy and only takes minutes. Depending on your preference, the tomatoes can be frozen whole and then peeled, or they can be blanched and kept whole or diced. Either method is simple and make it possible to enjoy the taste of fresh tomatoes throughout the winter.

Freezing Fresh Heirloom Roma Tomatoes

The following are the two methods to freeze tomatoes:

Freezing Tomatoes Whole With Skins
  • Wash and pat tomatoes dry
  • Lay tomatoes flat on a metal jelly pan or baking sheet
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer and allow tomatoes to freeze (you want the tomatoes to not be completely frozen, just frozen to the point that the skin can be peeled-normally 1-2 hours)
  • Once the tomatoes are frozen, remove sheet and tomatoes from freezer, skin the tomatoes, and place tomatoes in a freezer proof container. Tomatoes will be good 6-12 months
Freezing Tomatoes Without Skins
  • Wash and pat tomatoes dry
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil
  • Place tomatoes in boiling water and blanch 45-60 seconds
  • Place tomatoes in an ice water bath to cool
  • Peel skins off tomatoes
  • You can either keep the tomatoes whole and follow the last 4 steps in the first method above or dice the tomatoes (and seed if you prefer) and place in a freezer safe container
Since frozen tomatoes have a tendency to become mushy I recommend using frozen tomatoes in soups, stews, and chili. They also work for homemade pasta sauce or any dish in which the tomatoes will be cooked down to the point that the texture won't matter.

That's it, very simple and a great way to enjoy garden tomatoes throughout the fall and winter.
Tomorrow's post will be a recipe for iced tea using fresh garden mint, stay tuned. 

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