I have had a request to explain how I freeze my tomatoes and I thought I would share it with you all, in case you were wondering what to do with your abundant crop, or that bushel you picked up from the farmer’s market.
I never have enough tomatoes ripe at one time to make a large batch of sauce, or even a large pot of soup. For the last four years that we have grown tomatoes, I have frozen them to preserve the peak of their summery flavor so that they are ready for pot once I get to them. This also preserves the nutrients, and instead of high heat canning, and then cooking them again, they undergo much less cooking (also preserving more of the nutrients).
To freeze the tomatoes, I simply let the tomatoes ripen on our counter until they are ruby red. Then I cut out the cores, and throw them into the freezer in a reseal-able bag. While they would be at their prime within the first six months after freezing, I recently found a bag at the bottom of our freezer from last summer, and in a soup, they were still delicious.
Once I am ready to use them, I pull them out of the freezer. While they are still frozen, I blanch them by putting them into a pot of boiling water for approximately two or three minutes. This softens them, and it also allows the peel to slip off very easily. Once they are cooled, I remove the peels, and into the pot they go.
I do this with several tomatoes at a time in place of a conventional can of stewed tomatoes, or I do this with a bushel of tomatoes all at once. Although it is a bit time consuming to blanch this many tomatoes at once, it worth doing as the end product will be free of any little scratchy pieces of peel.
Whether you are craving a pot of homemade tomato soup, or want to make a large batch of your family’s tomato sauce recipe, this method will ensure that you will always have fresh, local, organic tomatoes on hand whenever you need them.