How to freeze tomatoes?

Contents

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes + Preserving them for the Freezer

Aug 03 Posted by Crystal // 0 Comments ”

If you follow my Instagram stories, then you know I have really been rolling in the tomatoes all summer. My tomato plants have never been taller or more productive than they have been this year. I have had so many mater sandwiches & BLTs (yummmm!) and I’ve canned & frozen several buckets worth.

I’ve had buckets worth of cherry tomatoes too, so I’ve been busy putting them back for the winter as well.

Sometimes, if I’m extra short on time… I’ll just freeze them on a baking sheet whole. Once frozen, then I’ll add them to a freezer bag and add them to recipes like I would diced tomatoes.

However, my preferred method of preserving them in the freezer is roasting them first. Roasting them brings out SO much flavor… it really can’t be beat. They’re so good, in fact, that I eat them like candy as soon as they’re done roasting…. so you could definitely serve these as a side dish on their own. I also can never resist a pasta salad with these tossed in. It’s super easy to roast them up too. Just toss in olive oil, a little salt (or garlic salt) & pepper – and that’s it. Sometimes I like to add a little ‘aromatics’ over them – which is usually a couple of springs of rosemary from my garden since it’s easy accessible for me.

For freezing, I let them cool completely after I roast them – then I pack them into freezer bags & pop them in my freezer. I use them in recipes that call for tomatoes… and since I roast them, the flavor that it adds whatever dish I’m making is spectacular. A little bit of summer flavor for the winter… at your fingertips in the freezer. Always a good thing!

Quickly I want to mention that I’ve created a facebook group – Mrs Happy Homemaker’s Homestead – to where we can talk a little more ‘one on one’ than we do on my facebook page. Have patience because I literally am just now getting started – but at least you can say you were there from the beginning 😉

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 45 minutes Total Time 50 minutes

  • cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt or garlic salt, my favorite
  • pepper
  • fresh rosemary optional
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash & dry the cherry tomatoes & remove the stems. Place on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle on olive oil & toss to coat. Season with garlic salt & pepper. Bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on the level of ‘roasted’ you want.
  • Serve warm – or let cool completely & freeze in freezer safe bags.

posted by Crystal on August 3, 2017 — 0 Comments “

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Author: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, UNL Lancaster County Extension

It is possible to quickly freeze raw tomatoes without blanching them first. They may be frozen without their skins or frozen whole with their skins. Frozen tomatoes are best used in cooked foods such as soups, sauces and stews as they become mushy when they’re thawed.

Freezing Tomatoes

Tomatoes may be frozen whole, sliced, chopped, or puréed. Additionally, you can freeze them raw or cooked, as juice or sauce, or prepared in the recipe of your choice. Thawed raw tomatoes may be used in any cooked-tomato recipe. Do not try to substitute them for fresh tomatoes, however, since freezing causes their texture to become mushy.

Tomatoes should be seasoned just before serving rather than before freezing; freezing may either strengthen or weaken seasonings such as garlic, onion, and herbs.

Step 1. Preparation and Selection

Select firm, ripe tomatoes for freezing. Sort the tomatoes, discarding any that are spoiled.

Step 2. Wash Tomatoes

Tomatoes should be washed before cutting. To wash, wet each tomato with water, rub its surface, rinse it with running water, and dry it with a paper towel. After washing, cut away the stem scar and surrounding area and discard it before slicing or chopping the tomato.

Washing tomatoes in a sink filled with water is not recommended since contaminated water can be absorbed through the fruit’s stem scar. The use of soap or detergent is neither recommended nor approved for washing fruits and vegetables because they can absorb detergent residues.

Dry them by blotting with a clean cloth or paper towels.

Step 3.

Freezing whole tomatoes with peels: Prepare tomatoes as described above. Cut away the stem scar. Place the tomatoes on cookie sheets and freeze. Tomatoes do not need to be blanched before freezing. Once frozen, transfer the tomatoes from the cookie sheets into freezer bags or other containers. Seal tightly. To use the frozen tomatoes, remove them from the freezer a few at a time or all at once. To peel, just run a frozen tomato under warm water in the kitchen sink. Its skin will slip off easily.

Freezing peeled tomatoes: If you prefer to freeze peeled tomatoes, you can wash the tomatoes and then dip them in boiling water for about 1 minute or until the skins split. Peel and then freeze as noted above.

For more information on freezing tomatoes, check these links to other university and Extension sources:

  • Freezing Tomatoes from National Center for Home Food Preservation, hosted by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service:
  • The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources offers the following advice on freezing tomatoes in its publication Tomatoes: Safe Methods to Store, Preserve, and Enjoy (3/2004). *PDF
Storage time

To extend the time frozen foods maintain good quality:

  • Package foods in material intended for freezing.
  • Keep the temperature of the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • It is generally recommended frozen vegetables be eaten within about 8 months for best quality.

How to Freeze Tomatoes

  1. Select firm, ripe tomatoes for freezing. Sort the tomatoes, discarding any that are spoiled.
  2. Wet each tomato with water, rub its surface, rinse it with running water, and dry it with a paper towel.
  3. After washing, cut away the stem scar and surrounding area and discard it before slicing or chopping the tomato.
  4. If you prefer to freeze peeled tomatoes, you can wash the tomatoes and then dip them in boiling water for about 1 minute or until the skins split.
  5. Place the tomatoes on cookie sheets and freeze.
  6. Once frozen, transfer the tomatoes from the cookie sheets into freezer bags or other containers. Seal tightly.

Preserving Tomatoes by Freezing

Last week’s massive harvest of the rogue tomato plants didn’t just yield green tomatoes; I also harvested a hefty basket of ripe, juicy, orangey-red cherry tomatoes ready for eatin’.

Problem was… I couldn’t eat them all right away. I turned some of them into roasted tomato soup and sliced the others fresh into salads. I still had 3 pounds of tomatoes left that I didn’t want to go to waste, and only a day to do something with them before my trip.

Since cherry tomatoes are so small, it’s impractical to can them since peeling the skins would surely make you cross-eyed, and once the peels are gone, there’s not much tomato left anyway.

That’s why my favorite method of preserving cherry tomatoes is freezing them whole. It’s quick, it’s convenient, and it doesn’t require blanching or peeling. Freezing whole tomatoes also locks in all those good-for-you nutrients found in the skins.

Simply wash and dry your cherry tomatoes, lay them out on a cookie sheet, and pop in the freezer for a few hours until the tomatoes are firmly frozen. By doing so, your tomatoes won’t freeze together into one big clump. Sure, you might have to whack them around a bit if they’ve been frozen for a long time, but you won’t need to thaw out the entire bag just to break apart a few.

When the tomatoes have hardened into little marbles, transfer them into freezer-safe containers or zip-top bags, and return to the freezer. You can then thaw out as many tomatoes as you need to use in soups, sautes or sauces.

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Freezing tomatoes whole requires very little effort. No blanching or peeling required! After a year in my freezer, my frozen whole tomatoes have great flavor. They are So easy to use. Learn how it’s done!

It’s the FALL Garden Harvest time! Our tomatoes are ripening daily and giving us amazing garden fresh flavor and nutrients. My counters are filling up with bowls of these gorgeous vine ripened tomatoes.

We eat them straight out of the bowl like apples, cut them up with ranch dressing and make a lot of salads and other recipes. And the rest go into the food dryer and freezer. What a wonderful garden crop.

If you have a load of perfectly ripe tomatoes what do you do with them? I have water bath canned them plain and as salsa. Juiced them. Dried them. And, in the past, blanched, peeled and frozen them. Today I will share how to freeze whole tomatoes the EASY way.

At the end of this post you will find the links to some of our contributors posts on the Fall garden theme. Be sure to click on them all and have a good morning garden read. What could be better than that?

UPDATE: After several years of using this simple method of preserving tomatoes I am still a fan. It’s so easy to get them in the freezer and I LOVE just dumping them out of the ziplock freezer bags frozen solid and adding them to soups and other recipes.

Fall Gardening is all about the harvest for us. Our dry summers in the last several years require lots of careful daily watering of crops to get the most out of them (no real soaking rains here to speak of since last April).

Dave keeps the garden in pretty good shape most of the year so his Fall Garden chores are rather simple anymore. We wind the garden down after our summer harvest.

Winter gardening is not something we do anymore. Read about our experience with Winter Hoop Gardening if your interested in trying it.

Since our summers are trending warm, dry and sunny, the Tomatoes are very happy. And since Dave planted Borage in with the tomato vines… HOLY COW! Borage is a Bee’s Dream plant. Borage draws them in and keeps them working on our tomatoes too.

Honey bees, mason bees and even bumble bees are ALL over those tomato flowers making us TONS of beautiful juicy flavorful tomatoes that will produce fruit clear to the first frost.

Dave has several tomatoes in his greenhouse and in some milder winters the greenhouse will keep us in tomatoes to Thanksgiving!

Dave is an avid tomato gardener. He brings in lovely ripe tomatoes every day from the garden and the greenhouse throughout the growing season.

Tomato preserving is my department. Salsa, dried tomatoes, marinara sauce and soups are all great ways to use them up.

But sometimes there are just too many of these gorgeous fruits. That’s where the ziplock bag and indelible ink pen come in.

Our lovely, greenhouse tomatoes July 2015

How I Learned to Freeze Tomatoes Whole: The Story:

Several years ago, on a lovely Fall day, my mom came over and took a look at the MASSES of tomatoes in boxes all over my counters. My food dehydrator was loaded to the top with lovely drying tomatoes. It was not keeping up with them!

I looked her in the eye and said. “More come in from the greenhouse every day!” The dear woman immediately offered me her food dehydrator and a tip.

“Why don’t you freeze them?” She asked. “Well, it’s over 90 in my kitchen and I hate blanching and peeling tomatoes,” I replied.

She told me her friend Marge, an excellent longtime gardener and harvest preserver, just froze her tomatoes whole. No blanching. NO peeling!

I was stunned….and suspicious. How long will they hold without freezer burn? All year… she said. Hmmm.

From Fresh to the freezer in about five minutes!

I waited the ENTIRE year before I shared this method of freezing whole tomatoes with you. I wanted to be sure I had the method correct (it just seemed too easy) and that it would work. It DID!

The flavor is fine. The tomatoes are perfect! I have used these so far in several soup and crock pot recipes. I made German Borscht with them the other day. Fabulous tomato base!

Why have I never known this???? Whoever is keeping the secret just got outed. Thanks, Marge!

freezing tomatoes Whole is SO easy!

Freezing Tomatoes Whole-NO Blanching or Peeling:

I put all the instructions in the printable recipe card for you at the bottom of this post.

Using your frozen whole tomatoes:

As you see in the printable recipe method, I just pull them out of the bag and put them whole into soups and stews, Like canned tomatoes.

Here is what happens when you do that:

  • The tomatoes go in whole but almost completely cook down to nothing.
  • The tomato skins fall off the tomato when they cook. So you need to fish them out of the pot if that concerns you. OR (Thanks to Our reader Linda for this tip), run the whole frozen tomatoes under water to quickly and easily remove the tomato skins so no fishing in your recipes for unwanted tomato skins 🙂
  • The whole tomatoes taste EXACTLY like whole canned tomatoes and make an excellent tomato base for soups or crockpot recipes like the one below.

I have not used them in other recipes yet. like casseroles or salads. I’m pretty sure they would act like canned tomatoes. You can let them defrost to room temperature and try them in lots of ways .

Let me know in the comments section how you use them. I’m so curious!

This method of freezing whole tomatoes is incredibly simple!

Here is the printable recipe card for you.

Prep Time: 15 minutes Chill Time: 2 hours Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

This is the EASIEST method for freezing whole fresh tomatoes. They hold well in the freezer up to 6 months if properly prepared with no freezer burn.

Ingredients

  • 12 tomatoes/ gallon bag OR As many surplus tomatoes as your freezer will store

Instructions

For small freezer spaces:

  1. Prepare your perfectly ripe, blemish free whole tomatoes by simply destemming them. Now wash and pat them dry. Ready!
  2. You will need a large freezer space for the baking sheet. If you don’t have a large freezer with space, you could use your refrigerator freezer in a pinch using this method.
  3. Lay the tomatoes on a piece of level heavy cardboard with space in between.
  4. When they are completely frozen; Bag them in labeled freezer bags.
  5. If you’re not able to lay the perfectly dried tomatoes flat Just bag them loosely and freeze them that way. Next day suck the air out of the bag as much as possible. This is NOT ideal. The tomatoes may stick together and get misshapen. But the food quality should be fine.

The Preferred Method with a chest, or large freezer.

  1. Place perfectly ripe, blemish free, de-stemmed, washed and dried tomatoes on a large baking sheet. NOT touching each other. You can core the tomatoes if you desire but it is not necessary.
  2. Place the baking sheet in your chest freezer flat and level.
  3. After the tomatoes are frozen hard several hours later; Bag them in heavy duty zip lock freezer bags.
  4. Push or suck out as much air as possible. Use a paper straw if necessary)
  5. Label the bags with the current date.
  6. Store in the freezer for up to one year.
  7. To use the tomatoes, simply pull out as many as you need at a time and thaw them or put them frozen into your soup pot or crock pot. Use frozen whole tomatoes just like canned whole tomatoes in your recipes!

Notes

This method of freezing tomatoes DOES take a lot of room in your freezer. I find it worth it but you will need a roomy chest or upright freezer with a large capacity for large amounts of tomatoes.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet (2 Pack), Silver
  • AmazonBasics Permanent Markers, Black, 12-Pack
  • Ziploc Freezer Bags, Gallon, 3 Pack, 28 ct

Nutrition Information:

12

Serving Size:

1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 17mg Carbohydrates: 13g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 9g Protein: 3g

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How to Freeze Tomatoes – Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs

Looking for How to Freeze Tomatoes – Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs in 2020? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.

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Freezing home grown or farm fresh tomatoes for use in winter cooking is very easy to do! The flavor of spaghetti sauce, lasagna, and salsas you make then will be superior to those made from canned tomatoes or store bought so called “fresh” tomatoes.

Here’s how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated. This method is so easy, ANYONE can do this! It’s a great thing to do with your kids! If you’d rather can your tomatoes, see this page for canning directions for tomatoes!

These pages may also interest you:

  • How to make tomato sauce
  • How to make tomato paste

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Tomatoes – any quantity, ripe, but not over ripe, still firm.
  • Vacuum food sealer or plastic freezer bags
  • 1 large pot
  • Large slotted spoon

Process – How to Make Spaghetti Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

Step 1 – Selecting the tomatoes

It’s fun to go pick your own and you can obviously get better quality tomatoes!

At right is a picture of tomatoes from my garden – they are so much better than anything from the grocery store. And if you don’t have enough, a pick-you-own farm is the place to go! Below are 4 common varieties that will work:

Top left: Beefsteak

Bottom left: Roma, paste-type

Top right: Lemon Boy, yellow

Bottom right: Better Boy

The picture at right shows the best variety of tomato to use: Roma; also called paste tomatoes. They have fewer sides, thicker, meatier walls, and less water. And that means thicker sauce in less cooking time!

Also, you don’t want mushy, bruised or rotten tomatoes!

Step 2 – Removing the tomato skins

Here’s a trick you may not know: put the tomatoes, a few at a time in a large pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute (30 – 45 seconds is usually enough)

then….

Plunge them into a waiting bowl of ice water.

This makes the skins slide right off of the tomatoes! If you leave the skins in, they become tough and chewy in the sauce, not very pleasant.

Step 3 – Removing the skins, bruises and tough parts

The skins should practically slide off the tomatoes. then you can cut the tomatoes in quarters and remove the tough part around the stem and any bruised or soft parts.

After you have peeled the skins off the tomatoes, cut the tomatoes in half. Now we need to remove the seeds and excess water.

Note: why remove the skins? They become tough and discolored in storage. You wouldn’t want to eat them!

Step 4 – Squeeze of the seeds and water

Just like it sounds: wash your hands then squeeze each tomato and use your finger or a spoon to scoop and shake out most of the seeds. You don’t need to get fanatical about it; removing just most will do. Another way to do it is to cut each tomato in half, across it, instead of lengthwise. Then just shake the seeds and juice out. Here are before and after photos:

Step 5 – Drain the tomatoes

Toss the squeezed (Squozen? 🙂 tomatoes into a colander or drainer, while you work on others. This helps more of the water to drain off. You may want to save the liquid: if you then pass it through a sieve, screen or cheesecloth, you have fresh tomato juice; great to drink cold or use in cooking! By draining the water off now, you’ll end up with a thicker spaghetti sauce in less cooking time! And that preserves vitamins (and your sanity).

Step 6 – Fill the freezer bags

Don’t overfill the bags, leave a little room for expansion. Do try to avoid leaving any air pockets! A vacuum bag is shown at left, but you can use ziploc (or similar) bags, show below. But be sure to squeeze out the extra air (below left is before, below right is after squeezing out the excess air)

Step 7 – Vacuum seal the bags (if you have a vacuum sealer)

Obviously if you haven’t got a vacuum food sealer, just inspect the bags and you may need to open them and reseal them to eliminate any air pockets!

TIP: If you don’t own a vacuum food sealer to freeze foods, place food in a Ziploc bags, zip the top shut but leave enough space to insert the tip of a soda straw. When straw is in place, remove air by sucking the air out. To remove straw, press straw closed where inserted and finish pressing the bag closed as you remove straw.

Step 8 – Freeze the bags

Pop them into the freezer (on the quick freeze shelf, if you have one). Now leave them for 2 or 3 hours till frozen.

Put in the back (coldest part) of your freezer

And wait for a cold winter night when it is dark and dreary out, to remove it and defrost (microwave works well) and use in making so fresh tasting spaghetti sauce or other tomato cooking!

Freezing keeps tomatoes safe to eat almost indefinitely, but the recommended maximum storage time of 12 months is best for taste and quality. The quality of the frozen tomatoes is maintained best in a very cold freezer (deep freezer), and one that keeps them frozen completely with no thaw cycles. Excluding any air from inside the bags which leads to freezer burn, by using vacuum-sealed bags, is also important to maintaining quality

Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs
    to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter
    – to remove lids from the pot
    of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lid
    – disposable – you may only
    use them once
  4. Ring
    – holds the lids on the jar until after
    the jars cool – then you don’t need them
  5. Canning jar funnel
    – to fill the jars

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It’s much cheaper than buying the items separately. You’ll never need anything else except jars & lids! To see !For more information and current pricing:

Summary – Cost of Making Homemade Spaghetti Sauce – makes 7 pint jars, 16 oz each*

Item Quantity Cost in 2020 Source Subtotal
Tomatoes 20 – 25 lbs (to make about 16 cups of prepared tomato) free from the garden, or $0.50 cents at a PYO Garden $0.00
Canning jars (pint size, wide mouth), includes lids and rings 7 jars $8.00/dozen Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger and Safeway and local “big box” stores; sometimes Big Lots and even hardware stores $4.50
Total $6.50 total
or about $0.95 per jar INCLUDING the jars – which you can reuse!

* – This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars! Many products are sold in jars that will take the lids and rings for canning. For example, Classico Spaghetti sauce is in quart sized jars that work with Ball and Kerr lids and rings. Note that the Classico’s manufacturer does not recommend reuse of their jars: see what they have to say on this page:

Answers to Common Questions

What did I do wrong if my jars spoil?

Tomatoes are a borderline acid / low acid fruit (see this page about tomato acidity for more information) – adding lemon juice helps, processing at least 35 minutes in the water bath canner, or better still, using a pressure canner almost eliminates spoilage. If you don’t have a pressure canner, you must boost the acid level of the sauce, by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of sauce.

I have read in other homemade spaghetti sauce recipes that you need to cook the mixture for at least 4-5 hours. Is this necessary?

I suppose if you really want to make sure that absolutely no vitamins survive, you could cook it that long! 🙂 The only reason people used to tomato sauce that long was the Roma paste-type tomatoes, with thicker walls, meatier with fewer seeds and less water didn’t exist, so they had to cook it for hours to get rid of water and thicken it. And of course, modern sauce mixes that contain a little bit of corn starch as a thickener, also help shorten the time.
And for those who want to go strictly organic and au naturale, my method of squeezing out the excess water and seeds eliminates much of the excess juice (which you can save as tomato juice for drinking) and lets you start with a thicker tomato pulp which means much shorter cooking time!

Freezing Tomatoes

with Sharon Peterson

Freezing tomatoes is a great way to preserve tomatoes. Do you have tomatoes getting over-ripe but don’t have quite enough for a canner load or recipe? Freeze them.
Or if you are not planning on canning them, simply keep them in the freezer until ready to use in your recipes.

Freezing tomatoes is a great way to store your tomatoes if you don’t want to can them, or if you have some that are getting too ripe and will go bad before you have enough to can.

How to freeze the tomatoes is so simple…. Just wash, pull off the stem, stick them in a zip lock baggy and pop in the freezer! Be sure and label the bags and squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible. Here are 2 gallon zip locks of Roma Tomatoes ready for the freezer.

The fun part is when you thaw them out.

Are you interested in an AD-free Simply Canning? Check this out…

The fun part is when you thaw your tomatoes out to use them. Just pull out the amount needed. Run them under warm water and the skins slip right off in your hands. You don’t even need to blanch them. Allow them to thaw the rest of the way and you are good to go.

If you are adding them to a soup or stew they can thaw right in the dish while it is cooking.

I have images of smaller tomatoes on this page but it works with any tomato big or small.

You can even peel the cherry and pear tomatoes if you want.

Freezing those cherry or pear tomatoes that are overflowing in your garden is a great idea too! I always had a lot of waste with these tiny treats. My kids and I love to snack on cherry and pear tomatoes so I always plant one bush each. They are so prolific there is no way we can keep up with the bushes. So now I freeze them. Pull them out when I need for a recipe.

The tomatoes will be softer than fresh tomatoes so this method works best for tomatoes used in recipes for sauces or directly in casseroles etc.

Measure the amount of tomatoes you need for your recipe. Place tomatoes in a bowl.

Run Warm water over the tomatoes

Give them a pinch and the tomato skins slide right off.

Freezing Tomatoes Video

Freezing and Peeling Tomatoes Part 1 – Super easy to peel tomatoes. No blanching involved.

Freezing and Peeling Tomatoes Part 2 – Bonus! Get a thicker tomato sauce.

If you like these videos you might be interested in Simply Canning YouTube.

More on Canning Tomatoes

Question from Sharon’s inbox…

I have 8 tomato plants in patio containers. All is going well. My hope is to make a bunch of tomato sauce. my question is: what do I do with mature fruit while i wait for other fruit to ripen? Can I freeze the tomatoes while I wait? My MIL does this but I’ve been told refrigeration kills the flavor. I have just over a pound ripe now.

Yes, you can freeze them then thaw and can them all at once. I’ve heard it does affect the flavor, but I have not noticed it. I figure it is because I’m using the tomatoes in cooking so maybe the seasonings etc cover it? It has not been a problem for me. I have a video on this page regarding freezing tomatoes. https://www.simplycanning.com/canning-tomatoes.html

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It seems weird, I know, but I never got around to canning. I have, however, fallen solidly and madly in love with freezer preservation. In fact, freezer preserving oven-roasted cherry tomatoes is hands-down my favourite perk of gardening, and much of the reason why I continue doing it.

Ever since I started up my planter (it’s in its third year now), I’ve used it to grow Sweet 100s Cherry Tomatoes. It’s an indeterminate variety, which means it will be extremely prolific–and will continue to be so until the plant gets killed by frost. While I love tomatoes, there’s no humanly possible way to keep up with this plant eating them fresh.

Years ago, my Aunt was telling me about her method of preserving tomato crops: oven roasting and freezing. Incredibly simple, very quick, and easy to do while you’re already roasting a chicken in the oven or baking something else.

After giving it a try, I had to give it an enthusiastic, licking-the-pan thumbs up. I’ve been doing it with my excess ever since. And let me tell you, if you’ve never tried roasting your own tomatoes, you are totally missing out. You end up with soft, juicy, potent tomato flesh with a hint of caramelized sweetness that’s excellent for a quick pasta dish, a loaf of bruschetta, or a beautiful, fast and tasty canapé for entertaining in those dull winter months.

Freezer preserving oven-roasted cherry tomatoes can keep you in the taste of summer all winter long. This trick is also a very good means of beefing up the taste of tomatoes that are slightly green (if the season ends before your tomatoes do). But even if you don’t garden… buy them when they’re ripe and in season and do this to put them by, or use it to make the hothouse tomatoes in the off season palatable.

You can roast with herbs or without, but whatever you do, don’t skip the salt. A cookie sheet with a little parchment paper is perfect for lightly roasting a few to go with a meal, but you can also use a Pyrex or Corningware dish with a heavy coat of olive oil. It makes cleanup easier and you can save more of the delectable juices and the tomato-flavoured olive oil in the pan… it’s perfect for pastas!

Freezer Preserving Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes 2015-08-10 06:05:38 Freezer preserving oven roasted cherry tomatoes can keep the taste of summer in your food long after snow is on the ground! Write a review Print Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 30 min Total Time 40 min Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 30 min Total Time 40 min Ingredients

  1. 1 lb cherry tomatoes, washed and halved (minimum)
  2. 1-2 pinches of coarse salt
  3. Extra virgin olive oil
  4. A few sprigs of herbs and/or coarse pepper, optional

Instructions

  1. Either use a cookie sheet lined with parchment, or lay a decent coating of olive oil along the bottom of a 8×11 or 9×13 Pyrex or Corningware casserole dish. A pound of cherry tomatoes halved pretty much fills up one of these, so you may need to opt for a larger pan if doing more.
  2. Lay your cherry tomatoes along the bottom, cut side up. Don’t overfill the dish/sheet.
  3. Sprinkle the salt and herbs over the top of your tomatoes, and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Roast, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, or until they reach desired doneness.
  4. Allow to cool, and package in airtight freezer-safe containers (Glassloc, etc.)

Notes

  1. I recommend using Pyrex or Corningware if you’re not using parchment because they can tolerate heavy scrub duty. Otherwise you may wreak your good roasting pans!

FoodRetro https://foodretro.com/

I have a small garden patch in my backyard, where my cherry tomatoes are thriving happily. I’ve noticed that my little tomatoes seem to ripen all at the same time! While I love having tomatoes for just about any dish, I simply can’t consume them all at once. I share them with my neighbors and friends, but I don’t want any of the leftovers go to waste.

Cherry tomatoes indeed are lovely additions to all sorts of dishes. It’s practical to care for your own produce, but having too much – and wanting none to go to waste – is a common problem. Good thing that’s easily solved by freezing your cherry tomatoes.

Freezing cherry tomatoes are the best option if you’ve got a lot of them on hand. While you won’t be able to use these tomatoes in a fresh salad, they’re great for cooked meals and sauces. Simply freeze them individually then store in freezer-safe containers. You’ll be able to enjoy your small harvest for a longer time.

Can You Freeze Cherry Tomatoes?

Frozen cherry tomatoes will lose their shape, become a bit grainier in texture, and have mild changes in flavor. Protect them from odor transfer by using tightly sealed containers.

If you’re dealing with full-sized tomatoes, core them first before placing them inside freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. You don’t need to peel cherry tomatoes – they’re too small for that.

Freezing the cherry tomatoes without peeling them retains all the nutrients found in their skin. This is great for those who like not only the taste but the health benefits of tomatoes as well.

Once the cherry tomatoes are thawed, they become soft and saggy. While they can’t be used in tossed salads, defrosted cherry tomatoes make great additions to stews, soups, and casseroles.

Thawed cherry tomatoes are also useful in making dressings. Blend them with pesto and oregano for a tasty pasta sauce, or mix with peppers and lime to make salsa.

You can keep your frozen cherry tomatoes inside the freezer for up to an entire year. However, for best results, use them within 6 months to prevent them from losing their flavor.

How to Freeze Cherry Tomatoes

With a large batch of cherry tomato harvest, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to eat all of them within a week. Preserve your tiny summer fruits with these simple steps:

  • First, pick the ripe and unblemished cherry tomatoes among the batch. Remove any stems while washing the tomatoes.
  • Next, drain them using a strainer and remove any excess water by placing them on paper towels.
  • Then, arrange the cherry tomatoes on wax paper. Make sure that the skins of the tomatoes do not touch the others.
  • Freeze solid the cherry tomatoes. This should take around an hour in the freezer.
  • Transfer the completely frozen cherry tomatoes into freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. Label them properly with the date of preparation.
  • To thaw your cherry tomatoes, retrieve the necessary amount from the freezer.
  • Allow the tomatoes to defrost inside the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours.
  • Use the thawed cherry tomatoes immediately after defrosting to prevent the fruits from spoiling.

Now, you can enjoy these tasty little tomatoes without worrying about having too much on your plate.

Cherry Tomatoes Recipes

Add some zing to your classic bruschetta by topping it with some roasted cherry tomatoes! Simply follow this Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta recipe for a scrumptious appetizer.

Make a creative dish using your cherry tomatoes with this Cherry Tomato Tulips recipe. The combination of cottage cheese, tomatoes, basil, and green beans make for a healthy snack.

Keep the summer alive with this dish that pairs cherry tomatoes and scallions. This Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomatoes recipe is sure to add some color and flavor to any gathering.

“Here’s how to freeze fresh tomatoes easily and quickly! No blanching required!”

My little garden did so well this summer! I still have tons of tomatoes coming off the vine, way more than I care to eat at the moment. Sadly, I’ve let quite a few go bad on me over the summer. Lately, I’ve been remembering to freeze them. Now they are all prepped and ready for my winter chili!

I really wanted to get around to doing a canning course this summer but man how time flies! Honestly though, I think I prefer freezing my produce over canning it these days. It’s so much easier and quicker with my tight schedule.

You can use a vacuum sealer if you have one or you can use the straw method to suck out the excess air.

Vacuum Sealing With a Straw: Here’s a quick tutorial on how to vacuum seal your own freezer bags with a straw in case you’ve never tried it. It’s super important though to keep those tomatoes as fresh as possible.

Pros of Freezing Tomatoes

  1. Freezing tomatoes let you enjoy summer ripened tomatoes in the winter. Sure they lose some flavor as any fresh frozen produce will, but they are still great to cook with.
  2. Freezing tomatoes is one of the easiest and quickest ways to preserve them. You can do large batches or tiny ones as your tomatoes ripen, which is great for smaller gardens. This method of freezing tomatoes requires no blanching. (Yay for not having to deal with boiling and icy water!)
  3. Frozen fresh tomatoes are perfect for all those cold-weather soups, stews and chilli!
  4. Freezing tomatoes helps to prevent waste. I can’t tell you how many tomatoes I’ve had to toss from my fridge because they got all mushy.

Cons of Freezing Tomatoes

  1. They don’t hold their texture once thawed. Sorry if you’re expecting a firm tomato for a tomato sandwich or plump tomatoes for a salad. Not happening! Thawed tomatoes mushy and not as pleasant to eat plain as it is when it’s fresh. Use them as you would stew tomatoes in recipes that require cooking. (soups, chilis, casseroles, stews, sauces).
  2. If you have a small freezer you may not have room for bags of frozen tomatoes. Although it you freeze them flat you’ll be able to stack the bags and save on freezer space.

To thaw: Place the tomatoes in the fridge or on the counter until thawed. Pour off the excess water. When they thaw the skins will slip right off and there you have it!

Tips On Freezing Tomatoes

  1. Make sure your tomatoes are firm, ripe and free of major bruising.
  2. Wash and dry your tomatoes well before cutting. I like to scrub them with a vinegar vegetable wash if I buy them from the store and they aren’t organic.
  3. Be sure to cut away the stem and core before cutting.
  4. Be sure to package well for freezing. I use a freezer bag and the straw vacuum seal method. As a double precaution, I also place them in a freezer container.

You’ll love this method of freezing tomatoes because it doesn’t require you to blanch the tomatoes. Seriously you just remove the core, slice, freeze and then place in a freezer bag. DONE!

If you’ve been taking advantage of the sale of the dwindling tomatoes crop this time of year, then try freezing a few batches and let me know how you like them.

They will keep in the freezer for 6-9 months.

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How To Freeze Tomatoes (No Blanching)

Easy and quick way how to freeze fresh tomatoes! Course Side Dish Cuisine American Keyword frozen tomatoes, how to Author Divas Can Cook

  • Firm ripe tomatoes
  • Wash and dry tomatoes.
  • Cut away the stem and core.
  • Cut tomatoes into fourths or smaller (if desired)
  • Place on a baking sheet, skin side down.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
  • Once frozen place in a single layer in labeled freezer bags.
  • To remove the excess air (very important): Use a vacuum sealer or the straw method.
  • STRAW METHOD: Insert a straw halfway into a freezer bag and seal the rest of the bag while pushing out as much air as possible.Begin sucking the air out of the bag until the bag clings tightly around the tomatoes. Remove the straw and seal the bag closed.
  • Place bags in the freezer. (I also place them in a freezer container for extra precaution.
  • When ready to use, remove tomatoes from the bag and let thaw completely. The skins will slide right off.
  • Use for dishes that require cooking ( soups, stews, chili, sauces,)

Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook or tag #divascancook!

How to Freeze Tomatoes to Savor Them All Year

Can you freeze tomatoes? Absolutely! Tomatoes are in peak season from June through September, that’s when to look for fresh garden tomatoes at farmers markets, pick-your-own farms, or to harvest those you grew yourself. When selecting tomatoes for freezing, look for ones that are firm and richly colored. They should be free from blemishes, heavy for their size, and have a fragrant aroma. Tomatoes that are perfectly ripe will give just slightly to palm pressure. We’ll teach you how to freeze garden tomatoes so you can save your extras for the months to come, and we’ll also share tips for freezing whole tomatoes and freezing tomatoes without blanching. Plus, if canning tomatoes is more your speed, we’ve got tips for that too!

Most varieties of tomatoes can be frozen. However, plum (roma) tomatoes contain the most pulp and will produce the best results. If you don’t plan to freeze your tomatoes immediately, store them at room temperature. Avoid storing fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator, which can make them lose flavor and become mealy.

Tip: Plan on 1 quart of frozen tomatoes per 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes.

How to Freeze Soon-to-be-Used Tomatoes

If you plan on using your frozen tomatoes within a month or two, you can freeze them pretty quickly without much prep (no need to peel them). Just follow our instructions for how to freeze tomatoes without blanching:

  • If you’re using roma tomatoes, core them and remove the seeds. Chop your tomatoes into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces.
  • Line a large rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on the pan. Freeze for 4 to 6 hours or until firm.
  • Transfer the tomatoes to labeled and dated airtight containers or freezer bags. Freeze up to 2 months.

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How to Blanch Tomatoes

Blanching is a heat-and-cool process. It stops or slows natural enzymes in the tomatoes that could cause loss of flavor and color. Blanch tomatoes before freezing if they’ll be in your freezer for more than a couple months. Blanching your tomatoes also makes easy work of peeling them. Here’s how to do it.

  • Fill a large 7- to 8-quart pot with 1 gallon of water; bring water to boiling.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow X on the bottom of each tomato. This encourages the skin to split during blanching so you’ll be able to slip off the skin easily with your fingers once the tomatoes have cooled.
  • Working in 1-pound batches, immerse tomatoes in the boiling water.
  • Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the tomato skins split open.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water.

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Peel and Freeze the Tomatoes

When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, use a knife or your fingers to peel the skin off the tomatoes.

  • Using a small sharp knife, cut out the stem end from the peeled tomatoes.
  • If desired, halve, slice, or chop tomatoes (you can also freeze whole tomatoes).
  • Spoon the tomatoes into freezer containers or bags, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Seal and label the container or bag.
  • Freeze for up to 10 months.

If you’re wondering how to use frozen tomatoes once you’ve stocked your freezer, there’s a lot of different dishes you can make with them, such as fresh marinara sauce, tomato soup recipes, and other recipes for tomato sauce. But since freezing changes the texture of the tomato, you’ll want to avoiding using frozen tomatoes in recipes that call for fresh (like salads and sandwiches). Stick to tomato sauces, soups, and stews to make the most of your frozen tomatoes.

How to Freeze Crushed Tomatoes

Crushed tomatoes are great for adding to sauces because a lot of the prep work has already been done. Follow the instructions above to wash and peel your tomatoes, then start here.

  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters; add enough tomatoes to a pan to cover the bottom.
  • Lightly crush the tomatoes with a spoon.
  • Heat and stir the tomatoes until boiling.
  • Slowly add the remaining tomato pieces, stirring constantly. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Set the pan of tomatoes in ice water to cool.
  • Fill your containers, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • If desired, add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt for pints or 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt for quarts.

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How to Can Tomatoes

If you’re running out of room in your freezer, don’t panic! You can still save your garden-fresh summer tomatoes for later in the year. Follow the steps above for boiling and peeling tomatoes, then use these tips to learn how to can tomatoes.

  • Place a wide-mouth funnel in a hot, clean pint or quart canning jar. Ladle whole or halved tomatoes into the jars, along with any juices from preparing the tomatoes. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to each pint jar, or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each quart jar. The lemon juice will raise the acidity of the tomatoes and ensure safe canning. Add boiling water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Remove the funnel and wipe the jar rim with a clean, damp paper towel to remove all traces of food (food on the rim prevents a complete seal). Position the prepared lid and screw the band on the jar and tighten according to the manufacturer’s directions. Set each jar into the canner as it’s filled (the jars shouldn’t touch each other). Cover the canner. Process the tomatoes in a boiling-water canner for 40 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts. Begin timing when the water returns to boiling.
  • When the jars have cooled, press the center of each lid to check the seal. If the dip in the lid holds, the jar is sealed. If the lid bounces up and down, the jar isn’t sealed. Unsealed jars should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 3 days, or you can reprocess the jar within 24 hours. Label the jars with contents and date. Your tomatoes should be safe to eat for up to a year.

Related: Learn How to Can Tomato Sauce

Can Fresh Tomatoes Be Frozen – How To Freeze Garden Tomatoes

Here in the Pacific Northwest we had an unseasonal extra hot summer. Global warming strikes again. In our garden, however, we reaped the benefits. Peppers and tomatoes, which are generally lukewarm producers, went absolutely bonkers with all the sunshine. This resulted in bumper crops, far too many to eat or give away. So what do you do with extra produce? You freeze it, of course. Keep on reading to find out how to freeze garden tomatoes.

How to Freeze Garden Tomatoes

I like to think of myself as an excellent, if sometimes, lazy cook. I cook pretty much every night of the week not only because I can but to save money and ensure that we are eating healthily – at least one meal each day. Same reason for planting a veggie garden. So with this year’s bumper crops and preserving tomato harvest, I had every intention on canning the summer’s bounty.

But I got busy. Or maybe I’m just really lazy. Or maybe the fact that we refer to our kitchen as “the galley” because it’s so small I can literally turn from sink to stovetop without taking a step, put me off. Whatever the reason (I’m sticking with too busy), I never got around to canning but I

also couldn’t stand the thought of wasting all those gorgeous tomatoes.

So this conundrum got me to wonder, can you freeze fresh tomatoes? Lots of other produce can be frozen so why not tomatoes? Does it matter what type of tomato can be frozen? After a little research, which assured me that you can freeze fresh tomatoes, I decided to try it.

Freezing and Preserving Tomato Harvest

There are a couple of different methods for freezing tomatoes from the garden. I, of course, settled on the easiest approach. I washed the tomatoes, dried them and then plunked them into large zip-loc baggies and threw them in the freezer. Yep, that’s all there is to it. The really cool thing about freezing tomatoes from the garden in this manner is that once they are thawed, the skins slip right off!

Preserving the tomato harvest in this way does require either a larger freezer, which we don’t have in “the galley” or a chest freezer, which we do. If you lack extra freezer space, you can also pre-prep them to save some space. Wash the tomatoes and cut into quarters or eighths then simmer them for 5-10 minutes.

Push them through a sieve or pulse them in the food processor. You can then season them with a bit of salt if you want or just pour the puree into a container and freeze. Be sure to leave a bit of space in the container so when the puree freezes it has somewhere to go. You can also pour into freezer zip-loc bags and freeze on a cookie sheet, flat. Then the flat frozen puree can be easily and neatly stacked in the freezer.

Another method is to stew tomatoes prior to freezing. Again, wash the tomatoes, remove stems, peel, and then quarter them. Cook them, covered, for 10-20 minutes. Cool them and pack as above for freezing.

Oh, as to what types of tomatoes can be frozen, that would be any type. You could even freeze cherry tomatoes. This type of preserving works well if you want to use the frozen tomatoes in sauces, soups, and salsas, but don’t expect your frozen tomatoes to work well on a BLT sandwich. You would have a devil of a time slicing a thawed tomato that has been frozen; it would be a slushy mess. As for me, I definitely see some homemade red sauce in my future.

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