Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Preserving Tomatoes: DIY Freezing

Free Tomatoes
My stomach is larger than my freezer

I recently acquired 40 lbs of tomatoes (for free!). Since I cannot consume all these tomatoes at once, I have started making sauces, salsas, and other tomato based foods. I will be demonstrating one way of preserving without needing a pressure cooker or mason jars.

Freezing tomatoes is simple. I first remove the skin on each before stuffing them in plastic bags.
Getting ready to process
Let's save the harvest
To remove the skin, first start boiling a pot of water. Fill a different bowl with ice and water. Take the tomatoes you wish to freeze and cut a small 'x' into the end. This helps remove the skin after blanching.
Slicing an X
Yes, 'X' marks the spot
X gonna give it to ya
X
Throw these tomatoes into boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
Blanching Tomatoes
Cookin'
Once 1-2 minutes have passed, or if the tomato skin visibly cracks, remove the tomato from boiling water and plunge it into the ice water.
Removing tomato skin
Not quite the 300 Club, but close.
It should be easy to peel off the skins with your fingers.
Peeling tomato skin
'Naked'
Once the skin is removed, place tomato into Ziploc bag. Repeat above steps until bag is full. Place bag(s) into freezer. Congratulations you now have tomatoes for winter.
Bagged Tomatoes for the freezer
Bag it and tag it
Frozen tomatoes can be thawed by microwaving, warm water, or leaving them on the counter. They work the same as regular tomatoes and can be used the same way as fresh ones can. Here are a few images of food items I've made with my batch of tomatoes so far.
Pizza Sauce 1
Pasta Sauce/Pizza Sauce
Delicious Homemade Pizza
Pizza from sauce pictured above

UPDATE: 2/11/2014

Today is the day I decided to thaw and process these frozen tomatoes. I had 2 bags in my freezer. I thawed them by leaving them on the counter overnight. I used my new blender to liquefy them and made some sauce with them. I plan to make some pizza this week.
New blender
My new blender works well
Pizza Sauce 2
Concentrating tomato
I got about 80 ounces worth of sauce. That should be enough for at least a few pizzas.
I have mason jars now
2 1/2 jars worth of sauce

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