Yesterday, we had three large bowls filled with tomatoes in our kitchen and many more ripening on the vines in our greenhouse. So I decided to prepare the tomatoes for freezing.
You will need:
1 large pot
1 metal mesh cooking basket that will fit in the large pot
1 large bowl of ice water
1 large colander
Ziploc Freezer Bags
A lot of ripened, uncooked, unpeeled tomatoes (remove stems)
Fill the large pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Wash all of the tomatoes and place some of them in the mesh cooking basket and place it in the boiling water for one minute to blanch the tomatoes. As soon as the minute is up, remove the basket of tomatoes from the boiling water. Place the basket of tomatoes into the cold water for a few minutes and then dump them into the colander to drain.
Fill your cooking basket with more tomatoes and repeat until all of the tomatoes have been blanched and cooled.
Once all of the tomatoes have been blanched, the fun begins! This part of the process can create big mess because some of the tomatoes sort of burst when you pull the skins off and seeds fly all over the place, including on your clothes so make sure you wear something that can get stained. Shout does a pretty good job in getting out tomato stains, but you may not want to take the chance.
On a large cutting board, pull the skin off of each tomato. Why? Because freezing discolors the skin of the tomato and then they look ugly in your dishes. So just take the time now while they are so loose and remove them. You will thank me later if you do it now!
Most of the tomato skins will be cracked and they will come off of the tomatoes very easily just by pulling them. Cut off the place where the stems were. Then cut the tomatoes into quarters and put back in the large colander so the tomatoes can drain some more. There will be a lot of liquid.
Once all have been peeled, cut, and drained, place the tomatoes in the Ziploc freezer bags. Seal well and date each bag with a Sharpie. The good thing about freezing tomatoes is that they will stay good in the freezer for up to 12 months.
When you use them, they will not be firm so you will not want to use the fruits in salad. They are perfect for making spaghetti sauce, chili sauce, casseroles, pizza, or in any recipe that calls for canned tomatoes.
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