Friday, July 12, 2013

Learning to Preserve: Freezing Fresh Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the hit of my summer harvest.  Finding ways to preserve them has been my challenge.  With a little help from my friend and garden buddy Maureen I learned that freezing tomatoes is a fast and easy way to preserve fresh tomatoes.  

1. Select fresh garden or farmers market tomatoes that are ripe and at their peak of maturity-
Almost any variety of tomato can be frozen.  I have learned that paste tomatoes such as Roma (plum) are probably the most hearty for making sauces.  
Note: Growing tomatoes and getting them to perfectly ripen in unison was a challenge for me. I did not fret that not every tomato was perfectly ripe.  If you purchase your tomatoes from a local farmers market this would be less of a challenge.

Rule of thumb:  Plan on a quart of tomatoes for every 2-1/2-3-1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes.


2.  Get your equipment together-
  • A large pot (8-quarts)
  • A large bowl
  • Freezer bags
  • Permanent Marker to label freezer bag

3.  Blanching the Tomatoes
Blanching the tomatoes is an important step.  This process stops the natural enzymes in the tomatoes that could cause loss of color or flavor. The tomatoes are easy to peel too.


  • Fill the large pot with water. Bring the water to a boil.
  • Working in 1-pound batches, immerse the tomatoes in the boiling water
  • Cook until the skins begin to split ( this can take 3 minutes to 5 minutes, or longer).
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a bowl.  Allow to cool.

4.  Peel the Tomatoes-
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife or your fingers to peel the skin off the tomatoes.


5.  Prepare and Freeze the Tomatoes-


  • Using a sharp knife, cut out the stem end from the peeled tomatoes
  • Halve, slice or chop tomatoes
  • Spoon the tomatoes into freezer bag
  • Seal the bag and label
  • Freeze up to 10 months


Now, you can use your tomatoes in the future to stew or to make fresh sauces.

16 comments:

That Girl said...

I've "preserved" tomatoes, but never thought about the ease of freezing them. (I guess that's not the right wording - the ease of having frozen tomatoes on hand)

Michelle said...

Freezing is my favorite way of preserving summer vegetables. I have used this method in the past. This year I am going to try wrapping green tomatoes in newspaper and storing them in our cellar. I have read about this method before and the person used cardboard soda/beer flats as trays for the tomatoes. Unwrap them during colder weather when you need a tomato. Have you heard of this?

Ramona JapaneseRedneck said...

I just freeze them straight from the garden and slip the skin off in hot water when ready to use them.

LaDivaCucina said...

Poifect!

JG said...

Years ago I canned tomatoes and tomato juice, but no more. It would be great to have a supply in the freezer. :)
~Judy

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Had no idea you could freeze fresh tomatoes. What a great idea.
Sam

Dining Alone said...

This seems a lot easier than canning for sure. I need to get to our farmers market more this year once the nuclear summer is over.

FABBY'S LIVING said...

I love this and my hubs is going to adore this, as he makes a big deal canning tomatoes when he can just do this, easy way! Thanks for sharing and for your sweet visit. Have a nice weekend.
FABBY

Nammi said...

I have heard if sundried tomatoes but first time seeing frozen ones :) thats a great idea by the way.

Tracey Steele@Breathing English Air said...

I had absolutely no idea that you could freeze tomatoes. Good to know, and something I will definitely be doing in future. Thanks for posting this.

Blond Duck said...

I've always wondered how to do this!

Karen said...

I used to blanch the tomatoes before freezing them, but it was a pain. Now I just freeze whole tomatoes. When they thaw, the skins slip right off.

Mr. & Mrs. P said...

This is such a great idea.. I dont know if this happens to you, sometimes you cant just eat everything from you garden, so this is a great option.

Nik Sharma said...

I love preserving and storing foods, frozen or canned. Such a nice idea!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

If I have an over abundance of tomatoes this season, I'll definitely try this!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I love having summer tomatoes in the freezer...especially when we have feet of snow on the grown. Then I can enjoy a taste of summer.

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