How To Preserve Tomatoes FAST!

 

How to preserve tomatoes fast!

 

Freezing Tomatoes Many Ways

I just love the idea of having garden quality tomatoes all year long.  I just have not taken the plunge into canning.  Honestly, it kind of scares me.  I am a simple girl!   I kept hearing more and more ways of freezing tomatoes. I can do that!  And when my local farmer started selling 1/2 bushels, I went for it.  What made this easy, was that my farmer gave me a variety of tomatoes – some small, plum, heirloom.  I could pick and choose which ones fit the methods the best.

  

Spaghetti Sauce

I made 2 types.  The first was a quick, fresh tasting sauce made by  roasting the tomatoes, adding some garlic and few other spices and simmering on the stove for a bit.  The second way was a more traditional longer cooking method using my slow cooker.   I reused some of my glass jars and in the freezer they went.

 

SpaghettiSauce

  

Frozen Whole

Yup!   I just washed them and tossed them in a freezer bag as is.  Turns out my Mom and a friend do this all the time.  I’ll use these for any dishes that call for fresh tomatoes that are then cooked.

FrozenTomatoes

 

Pureed And Diced

For the puree, I cored several tomatoes then I just tossed them  into the food processor, peels and all, and blended away.  For the diced tomatoes, I blanched and peeled the skins then chopped.  I love that I can now stop buying canned tomatoes.  Actually I had stopped using the canned tomatoes completely and just didn’t make those recipes anymore.  Some were favorites though so I’m so glad to have these tomatoes to use instead.

 

PureedAndDiced

 

Tomato Leek Soup

I happened to have a bunch of leeks that I needed to use so I made some tomato leek soup.  I simmered this mixture for a bit then blended it with my immersion blender.   YUMMY!  This didn’t even make it to the freezer.

 

TomatoLeekSoup

 

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

OK, oven-dried tomatoes.  I picked out the smaller tomatoes and halved them.  Placed them on a baking sheet and roasted in the oven for about 6 hours on 200 degrees F.  I then froze them to keep them fresh.  

 

SunDriedTomatoes

 

Roasted Tomatoes

Sliced a bunch, olive oil, salt, pepper and into the oven they went on 400 degrees F for about 30 – 40 minutes, possibly less depending on the size of the slices..  I have several pasta recipe that call for roasting tomatoes.

 

RoastedTomatoes

And that was it!  1/2 bushel processed almost effortlessly in over about 3 days.

I am so glad I challenged myself to do this.   I have a beautiful variety of tomato products to use all winter.  

 

Do You Freeze Tomatoes?

 

This post has been shared at Natural Living Monday, Fabulous Frugal Thursday

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8 Responses to How To Preserve Tomatoes FAST!

  1. Small Footprints October 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    My problem is that we don’t have enough freezer space, otherwise I would (and will if we ever move and have space for a proper freezer). But, we canned tomatoes this year and we also made tomato paste and canned it. It really isn’t hard. I remember my mother spending days canning … so I thought it was a lot of work. But if one does small batch canning, it’s really not a big deal. We also tried dehydrating tomatoes this year. I got a dehydrator for my birthday so we took some tomatoes and tried it out .. worked brilliantly. I dried them completely so that we wouldn’t have any mold problems … then I put them in a container. It’s so easy to grab out a handful and toss them into a recipe. Thank you for all of your suggestions! Isn’t it great to have all of these “preserves” for winter meals!!

    • Kristina October 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      I may be in the same situation with not enough freezer space next year if I keep freezing everything! Thanks for the encouragement to try canning. I’m sure it will happen one of these years. And yes I love having these for the winter. Especially tomatoes which are just hardly worth buying in the winter.

  2. Anna@Green Talk October 2, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    I actually use to freeze my tomatoes until Hurricane Sandy. Now I can. However, I put them in the freezer at first and then thaw since it makes it easier to remove the skins. I hate blanching.

    I will be dehydrating them too this year to make sundried (um, oven dried) tomatoes.

    • Kristina October 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      Oh boy! Power loss is something to consider. We seem to lose power quite a bit around here. You can skin tomatoes by putting them in the freezer???? Great tip! Thanks.

  3. Rob from Eco Passport October 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    I think once I can grow a big enough tomato patch I will have to use freezing as an intermediate step before canning them. When you freeze them do you remove the tops to facilitate the skin removal?

    • Kristina October 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      I just threw the tomatoes into the freezer bag as is. Once you asked this question though, I began to wonder if I should have. Answer is – don’t bother to remove the tops! I picked out one whole frozen tomato to use last night. I ran it under a little hot water and the skin just slid off! Easy peasy!

  4. Andrea October 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Great ideas! I love the idea of roasting them… those look delicious! I may try those for dinner. I have never tried making sun dried tomatoes either, so I am excited to give it a try. Thanks for linking up to Natural Living Monday!

  5. Kirsten McCulloch October 28, 2013 at 2:28 am #

    What an awesome effort! I do freeze them, but I have never frozen them whole and uncooked. I will try that next year. Typically I just puree or cook up some tomato pasta sauce to freeze.

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