Too Many Tomatoes. Too Little Time

Let me set the scene for you. It’s late at night on basket eve. You’re standing in front of an open refrigerator door looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, when you see it, behind the fat free sour cream and carton of leftover Chinese food from Tuesday night. No, it’s not the last piece of chocolate cake. Your husband devoured that earlier in the night. It’s a bowl of deep red tomatoes from last week’s bounty.

You examine them. They’re still edible, but won’t be for long. Plus, you’ll have a refrigerator full of much fresher fruits and vegetables tomorrow. What do you do?

A) Get out your canning supplies and stay up all night processing jars of tomato sauce.
B) Wake up your family for a midnight snack of homemade chips and salsa.
C) No one will know. You’re the only one up at this hour, so you throw them away.

This is a trick question, and if you chose any of the answers above you would be wrong. Savvy (and thrifty) cooks know there’s another option that offers the opportunity to save the tomatoes for another use at later time. The answer is freezing.

Freezing Tomatoes

Freezing Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • Whole, fresh tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the tomatoes and remove the core.
  2. Place whole tomatoes cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and place the pan in the freezer. Freeze tomatoes until rock hard.
  3. When the tomatoes are completely frozen, remove them from the pan and store in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag or container.
  4. When ready to use, rinse the tomatoes under warm water to peel off the skin, and thaw in the refrigerator.

I keep a bag of frozen tomatoes in my freezer at all times, adding to it when I have more tomatoes than I can use, then removing a few from the bag to put in soups, stews and other dishes that call for canned tomatoes. And now that you know the answer, you can too.

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12 Responses to “Too Many Tomatoes. Too Little Time”

  1. Karen says:

    Tomatoes freeze great. You can also chunk them and put them in freezer containers. Try blending a few and freezing the juice in pint freezer jars. You can mix the juice with chunks and put in chile, soups and stews.

  2. Karen says:

    Tomatoes freeze great. You can also wash and chunk them, and then put them in freezer containers. I also put some in the vitamix and blend them. Put the juice in pint freezer jars and freeze. Use this with the chunks for soups, chile, stews etc.

  3. Rosa Giotta says:

    I really enjoy the blog on this website, so many great ideas & recipes. Thank you for sharing

  4. Rosa Giotta says:

    This is a great co-op, I save by dehydrating a lot of what I get along with freezing. Great way to store food for a rainy day.
    Thank you,

  5. Alexandra says:

    Can you then use the frozen tomatoes to make sauce?

  6. Susan says:

    They could also be roasted. They are washed, sliced into thin slices if whole tomatoes or in half if cherry tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned if desired, and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 -30 minutes. Watch closely so they don’t burn. Freeze them and toss few in with your sauces, chilli, etc. The flavors will be concentrated.

  7. Beckie says:

    Darn, I wish I had read this last night before I made my contribution. Oh well, I am sure there will be more tomatoes in my future.

  8. Meadow says:

    I freeze mine too. It works wonderfully.

  9. Ashley says:

    I’ve done that (no one in my house likes fresh tomatoes, lol) but I didn’t know rinsing them will help remove the skin. thats awesome :)

  10. Susan says:

    Thank you I will remember this. THis is fantastic!!!

  11. Christine Heslop says:

    Wow! I have never known this. I will definitely have to try. I’ve always canned my tomatoes whole.

  12. Lana says:

    What a wonderful simple and simply fabulous idea…thank you so much. I love fresh tomatoes, but I live alone and a few times during the year (especially harvest time) have way too many around and they usually spoil before I can use them up. This will save them and help me! I appreciate your sharing.

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