The Potager

The Potager

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Freezing Raw Tomatoes

I would love to say that all the tomatoes in these photos were home grown, but that is not the case. Well, at least not all at my home. A relative of my employer visits the office and we got to talking about gardens and he gave me the Juliet tomato plant that I have.
This is a grape plum tomato making tons of firm small plum tomatoes. I have really enjoyed this plant. But I only have one. This gentleman has dozens. So every now and then he shows up at our office with a bag of tomatoes. I gladly take them.
I wanted to freeze my tomatoes for use in the winter and came across this bulletin from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ( telling how to freeze raw tomatoes. That intrigued me. As I have had no time to do regular preserving this summer, the idea of freezing tomatoes with little prep appealed to me. Further research told me that I can grab frozen tomatoes and add them to stews this winter or I can thaw them. Once thawed they will separate into a watery liquid and a tomato mush. If I pour off the liquid, the tomato mush can be used to make tomato sauce, and everyone who has done this says it condenses the tomato taste.
So I washed the tomatoes, discarding any that weren't perfect and then dried them.
I then cut off the stem end and laid them on a baking pan.
The Juliet tomatoes are all remarkably the same size. The larger ones in the foreground are Amish Paste. I got my Amish Paste seeds from a seed exchange and I think they cross-pollinated because I got very few plum tomatoes from my plants. Most are rounded thinner fleshed tomatoes. It is very strange.
I put the tray of tomatoes into the freezer over-night.
The next morning I put the frozen tomatoes in zip-lock freezer bags and returned them to the freezer.
I ended up with 3 1/2 lbs of frozen tomatoes. I understand you need 2 1/2 lbs for making sauce.
An easy way to preserve tomatoes for winter use. I'm all about the easy this year!

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