Sunday, August 02, 2009

Freezing Tomatoes

Freezing tomatoes are the EASIEST way to perserve your veggies for sauces all winter long. I'm not interested in spending all day/night canning so I found this way and have been doing it ever since.

Get out the following items:
A pot for boiling,
a strainer (mine fits inside the pot of boiling water),
a HUGE bowl w/ ice water in it. I set the ice water up 1st to get the water nice and cold.

Then do the following steps:
- Wash all tomatoes and slice a small X in the bottom (important step do not forget).
- Start the big pot of boiling water.
- Put a few of the tomatoes inside the strainer to wait for the water to boil. About 2 layers but not any higher.
- Once the water is boiling put the strainer inside the pot. Start your timer from the moment the tomatoes hit the water. It may take a few minutes for the water to start boiling again but blanche the tomatoes anywhere from 1-3 min. The time depends on how mushy or strong you want your tomatoes to be once blanched. I like mine a little bit harder so I blanch for around 2 minutes.
- When blanching time ends pour your tomatoes into the bowl of ice. This stops the cooking time and seals the tomato for freezing.
- Once the tomato cools off in ice (around 2 minutes) you can handle it and peel the skin off.
- I quarter the tomato or half it depending on size for freezing.
- Freeze tomatoes in a gallon freezer bag with 4C-6C of tomatoes in ea bag (w/ juice). Lay them flat to freeze so you can stack more in the freezer.
Note: Cherry tomatoes do not have to be blanched. To freeze wash and blend in the blender. Pour into freezable gallon bags by either 4C or 6C.

Click here for more pictures on Flickr