In the Garden of Tomatoes – Freezing Tomatoes for Storage

We planted our tomatoes a week or two late, so we have just begun harvesting the first rich, red tomatoes.  There is no comparison in flavor to a tomato fresh from the vine.  The supermarket tomatoes may be red, but they usually lack the full spectrum of taste of freshly picked garden tomatoes.

Right now we are enjoying one or two tomatoes a day as they ripen.  In about two or three weeks, that will all change.  Most likely, we’ll have a dozen or more tomatoes ripening at a time as all those green tomatoes start turning red in earnest – and all at once.

Even after making some really excellent dinners (tacos, burritos, all variety of  salads, salsa, spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, tomato soup, to name a few), there will still be tomatoes to deal with.

Perhaps the best method I have found for storing these tomatoes for using at a later date is to freeze them.  The method I use is quick, easy, and the tomatoes stay bright red, tasty, and ready for cooking for up to a year.

Basically, you just carefully wash and de-stem the tomatoes.  Then you cut the tomatoes into wedges, put them in labeled freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible and then stack the bags in the freezer.  The tomatoes can be kept in the freezer for up to a year, although they are best used within 3 months.

Frozen tomatoes can be used in cooking and will substitute for fresh or canned tomatoes in most cooked or simmered dishes.  They lose their texture in the freezer, so they should not be used for non-cooked dishes such as a garden salad.

There is a detailed article with photo illustrations on the Simple Life website How to Freeze Fresh Tomatoes, the Quick, Easy Way.

Soon the garden will be overflowing with tomatoes.  There will be a few butternut squash, too, but not as many as last year.  The garden is already bursting with shiny green peppers, a long list of herbs, onions, and cucumbers in profusion.  The potatoes will be ready to dig soon and it looks like there are going to be a lot of them, too.  I can’t help but feel a sense of wonder.  When I stand next to the garden, I feel so awed at the generosity and beauty of nature.

And now I’d better get to those weeds.



PS  In case you were wondering, that is a photo taken last year of the tomatoes in my garden.  And yes, I froze a lot of tomatoes last year!






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