Monday, August 3, 2009

How to Freeze Tomatoes

The other morning I woke up to find a 19 pound box of ripe tomatoes on the kitchen table. Fun brought home discards from work, so I picked them over setting aside a few of the better ones for sandwiches that day and prepared the rest for the freezer. I have found over the years that it is far easier all around to prepare fruits or vegetables for winter by doing small batches. As the produce ripens and becomes available - eat as much as you can fresh and then do up small batches of the extra so the work does not become overwhelming.
After stemming and washing the tomatoes, they were plunged into boiling water and removed only when each tomato's skin had split. Just as soon as the split line appears, the tomato can be removed from the hot water.
Place them into a colander set into a bowl to allow the tomatoes to drain and cool.
When the tomatoes were cool enough to handle, I then slipped the skin right off.
Using a small paring knife, gently cut around the core.
Once cut around, using your thumb, push the core downward. The core will pop through and out the opposite end of the tomato.
Once finished skinning and coring, decide how to bag up the tomatoes. I used to use washed milk bags that come in the 4 litre bags here in Canada. This year I decided to use sandwich size ziploc bags as they hold about half the amount the milk bags do.
I evenly filled up the bags topping off each with the juice collected in the bowl of cores and skins. About six tomatoes fit into each bag. The bags seemed to be about the same size as a large tin of store tomatoes. Each bag will be just the right size for adding to a winter soup or lasagna or chili or salsa.
19 lbs. of tomatoes sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. Less the tomatoes for BLTs, I was able to freeze nine little bags of tomatoes. Canning would likely make more sense, space wise, but I've found freezing to be easier. However one chooses to do this, if done in little batches you will soon have lots of tomatoes tucked away for winter with not much effort.


Jeanne said...

Love all you share
Love Jeanne♥

Caution Flag said...

Decadent - I'm so excited because I could actually do this. It seems simple enough for even me!!

Glory von Hathor said...

Wow. I want to make yellow tomato soup! I've never eaten a yellow tomato.

Mental P Mama said...

Such a wonderful idea. And maybe something I could accomplish.

Vicki said...

Looks yummy! I LOVE having homegrown tomatoes to add to dishes in the winter!! Unfortunately we've had a pretty poor tomato crop this year, and the few we have had were devoured by deer. Thanks for sharing the freezing idea!!!!

Decadent Housewife said...

Hi Vicki,
Thanks for stopping by. I see that you did have some unwelcomed gardeners!


Briana said...

Great idea. I need to do this. I have lots of tomatoes.

Sarah said...

Thank you for this! We are going on a four-day weekend away (for my sister's wedding this weekend!) and I was trying to figure out how to preserve a bunch of fresh tomatoes we purchased/were gifted from someone's garden. This is perfect!

Mine will probably only make two quart size bags of tomatoes, but that is better than them going bad! I'm also freezing bell peppers and blanching and freezing green beans. Phew.


Gloria said...

This is my first visit to your site and it's what I've been looking for for some time. The practical information is excellent and the illustrations make you just want to stay in the kitchen all day!!!! Thanks. I'm gonna be follower number 23!!

Decadent Housewife said...

Thank you for your thumbs up Gloria - just a regular Mom and wife.

Joe said...

Even easier is to cut off the stem button and tip, place in freezer bags, and right in to the freezer. Then when you are making your tomato sauce, etc. dump them straight in. The skins are easy enough to fish out afterwards.

Decadent Housewife said...

Very, very clever, Joe. Thanks for this, I will try it next summer. Skins could easily be whizzed up with a hand blender too.