Did you get your peaches frozen yesterday? It’s time to tackle those tomatoes today. You have a few options with your tomatoes. I will give you the easiest route to take to get them into the freezer, then I will tell you how I usually prepare them.
Next time I will think ahead to blog posts while I am doing this and take a few pictures myself.
Ingredients and Necessary Tools:
Tomatoes – any kind, ripe but still firm
Quart Freezer Bags
Large Cooking Pot
The Quick and Easy Method
1. Fill your pot with water and get that boiling. We are going to be removing the skins with the “hot dip” I mentioned in the How Do You Freeze Peaches? post.
2. Once your water is boiling, use your knife to make a small X in the bottom of your tomatoes. Drop a few at a time into the boiling water, leaving them in there for about 1 minute until you see that skin split. Remove them to your strainer, drop in the next batch.
3. Run your tomatoes under cold water to get them cool enough to handle. The skins should now slip right off.
4. Remove the tops. Slice them in half. Squeeze the juice and seeds out. You don’t need to crush them to oblivion. Every last seed does not need to be removed. You are just trying to get the majority of the liquid and the seeds out. Put them back in your strainer to drain as you work on the rest. (Place a bowl under your strainer if you would like to save that juice for another reason.)
5. Pack them straight into your freezer bags pushing out the air pockets as you go. Mark and date them. Toss them into your freezer and they will be ready to roll all winter long.
What I Do:
I take things a step further here. I know my tomatoes are going to most likely be used for chili and other tomato-based recipes, so I get them ready now for ease of use later. You can get them flavored and stewed up now for crockpot cooking this winter.
You can go crazy here. You can also get a few pots going; one for chili tomatoes, one with only onion and garlic, etc. Add ingredients to suit your family’s taste and recipe needs.
1. Add a tablespoon or so of vegetable or olive oil to your pan. Sweat out your additional ingredients until tender.
2. Dice up those squeezed tomatoes into your desired size. Add them to your tender additional ingredients.
3. Set it on low heat. Let it cook down until it reaches your desired consistently. No lid! You want that extra liquid to evaporate. Hopefully you will not have much as you squeezed the majority out previously.
4. Place your stewed tomatoes into another container for refrigerator cooling. You don’t want to place that hot liquid into your freezer bags. You also don’t want to store your stewed tomatoes in a metal pot in the frig. Place it into another safe container and let it cool in the refrigerator.
5. Bag it up. I usually work with 3.5 cup portions here. This is just about equal to two store bought cans of stewed tomatoes. Mark and date the bags.
6. I’m adding another step here to save you freezer space. Lay out your bags on cookie sheets and place those cookie sheets in the freezer until frozen solid. You can now stack them easily. If you attempt to stack them before freezing them separately, you may later find your bags frozen together.
Super Easy Quick Method for Freezing Tomatoes:
Once again, I haven’t tried this myself. However like the peaches, I have read you can freeze tomatoes whole with the skins intact. As with the peaches, the skins supposedly slip right off as they thaw. Also like those peaches, I’m a little concerned with freezer space myself. Your call.