If you are growing a garden, you most likely are growing tomatoes. Research shows that of people who garden, upwards of 90% grow tomatoes. So what if you have them growing out your ears? Preserve them. And the easiest way to preserve them is to freeze them. Freezing tomatoes is so simple, you’ll never let another tomato rot on the counter again. This method can also be helpful it you get a great deal on tomatoes at the farmer’s market.
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You only need 3 things to preserve tomatoes-a freezer, freezer bags (and spring for FREEZER bags, not storage bags) and … tomatoes!
Freezing tomatoes without breaking a sweat
This may be the hardest tutorial you’ve ever read. (Heavy sarcasm intended!) First, wash those tomatoes. Either dry them or let them dry on their own. Once dry, pop them into freezer bags. Place in the freezer. Done.
Done! That’s all there is to freezing tomatoes!
See how easy that was? No peeling, no chopping. No hauling out a heavy canner.
The great thing about this method is that even if you only have an extra tomato or two every few days, you can still accumulate quite a stash without too much trouble. You can continue to add tomatoes to the bag every time you have an extra one. You don’t have to wait until you have enough to haul out the canner or the dehydrator. This is a perfect method for those of you who have just started gardening or are growing a few tomato plants in containers.
And I freeze all different kinds together. I usually grow Romas, cherries, and beefsteak tomatoes and I throw whatever is available into a freezer bag. (See picture above. All of these went into the same bag.) Of course, you are welcome to keep the varieties separate if you so choose. Since the skins are still on the tomatoes, they don’t stick together in one big blob. You can pull out just what you need when you need them.
How to use frozen tomatoes
When you are ready to use those tomatoes all you need to do is thaw them in the refrigerator. Once thawed, the skins will slip right off. Easy, peasy. Then you can chop them however you need them for each recipe.
Now, frozen tomatoes can’t be eaten like fresh tomatoes, but neither can most preserved vegetables. I will tell you though that they are excellent in soup and they are great in salsa if you drain them just a bit. We use them in recipes all winter long!
So even if you just have a couple tomato plants, you shouldn’t let any go to waste. A couple minutes is all it takes to preserve those extra tomatoes. And this winter, when the stores are full of bland, flavorless red blobs, you’ll be glad you took the time to freeze your homegrown goodness.
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Do you preserve any of your homegrown produce? What is your favorite method to store your harvest?