Freezing Whole Tomatoes

| 1/21/2016 4:39:00 PM

Tags: tomatoes, freezing, food preservation, Maryland, Ilene White Freedman,

When you have more freezer space than time, freezing tomatoes whole is a great way to preserve the harvest. Sometimes I just don't have time to process the tomatoes. I toss them in the freezer, sometimes on trays, sometimes in bags. With the skins on. No prep is needed!

The cost of this speedy, no-work preservation method is your freezer space. Whole tomatoes take up a lot of space. If space you have, even temporarily, then go for it. On our farm, we have chest freezers, so I can dedicate some space to tomatoes. Later, when I have time in the fall or winter, I condense them down into sauce.

Frozen Tomatoes

And remember: Freezing whole tomatoes is for the harvests that just didn't make it into the stock pot. The ones you can't bare see go to waste. The ones that are sitting on the counter or in the processing shed and making your eye twitch because you are getting ready for a trip or a busy spell. You could let them rot, toss them to the chickens or toss them in the freezer. Easy decision and done.

It is not a solution for the bulk of tomatoes. I process about a hundred quarts of tomato puree and salsa, plus tomato sauce in the freezer. If I froze every tomato whole instead of concentrating them into jars during the growing season, I would have to fill a barn with freezers.

So here I am, making tomato sauce in January like it is a summer day. Those frozen tomatoes are turning into a treat for me. The kitchen smells like summertime as I simmer tomatoes all day on the stove top. Frozen tomato globes are piled up on the countertop. Red, pink, yellow and orange.

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