As a science teacher getting ready to go back to school in August, when my tomatoes were ready, became a frustrating time. No one has time to can tomatoes and also prepare their classroom for 6th graders. So my canning days were short lived. Many years ago my husband, Ron started picking those ripe, juicy fruits and froze them for me. I was delighted! Not only was one more thing lifted off my plate as far as responsibilities here on the farm, but I could also devote my time to school and getting ready for the year. In the winter though, those delicious tomatoes made the best chili, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce and stew. There is nothing better than preserving the fruits and vegetables that took so much time and effort to take of. Many have asked how to freeze tomatoes so I decided to put it into a blog. I have been wanting to blog more since I retired from teaching in February but the farm life here has kept me really busy. So, this is my meager attempt to get back into blogging again, something I really enjoy doing. My first topic; freezing tomatoes.
Use only ripe tomatoes. I like Roma because they produce a thick paste. I also use Beefsteaks because they are juicy. I use Cherry tomatoes too.
Wash tomatoes. I lay mine on a towel to air dry.
The large tomatoes, I core and cut into smaller pieces and the Romas I usually leave whole. Cherry tomatoes are left whole also.
I don’t peel tomatoes or remove seeds either. This doesn’t bother us when we make soups or sauces. The peel has many nutrients and fiber so I leave them on.
Romas can go whole right into a quart freezer bag and so can the cherry tomatoes. The others I cut into a bowl and then transfer them to the bags with a little juice from them too.
Leave about an inch from the top and pack fairly full but not tight.
Write the date on it if you want and freeze. They should keep about 10 months. I like to freeze 40-50 quarts so I can use about one per week all year.
Keep in mind that your recipes for soups, sauces and chili are for mushy tomatoes. Because that is what you get when you freeze them. However, they taste wonderful for these kinds of recipes where you cook them. You don’t even have to blanche them and remove skins. Enjoy the taste of summer without any extra work or additives like salt.
I hope this has been helpful. Enjoy cooking soup, chili, stew, spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce for you and your family this winter.