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.

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