Save Your Extra Tomatoes for Later!
Who doesn’t love a fresh ripe tomato, right off the vine?! Well, I sure do. Our family has been enjoying Pink Oxheart tomatoes this summer. But I can only eat so many tomatoes in season. I always plant extras so I’ll have some to freeze, can, and make salsa or sauce. This year the tomatoes are ripening really late and I’m not getting enough at a time to can up a batch or make sauce.
Make the Most of Your Harvest
Without enough tomatoes on hand to fill up a canner, I’ve been making the most of my harvest by freezing them in small batches. Some are peeled, seeded and chopped into Mixed Frozen Veggies. On hot days, or when I’m too busy to do much processing, I wash the tomatoes, cut out the cores and bad spots, then pop them in a freezer bag to deal with later. It seems I’m not the only one to save my tomatoes this way. Quite a few websites and some of my very own dear readers have suggested this time saving method! I first learned this trick some 10 or so years ago from a neighbor who grew a small tomato patch each year so she could freeze the fruit and make her own sauce in the winter.
Easy Tomato Sauce
There is another great way to freeze your tomatoes for later. This is a method I use when the house isn’t terribly hot and I have a little time, but I don’t have enough tomatoes to make sauce or there isn’t time to cook the sauce for hours. I start out by washing and cutting up the tomatoes. Cut out any bad spots and the core, then chop into halves or quarters. Put them in a stainless steel pot and cook until they are soupy and soft. Allow them to cool until they are only lukewarm (put them in fridge if you can). Then run them through your blender to chop up the skins. The finished product will have seeds and bits of skin in it, but I don’t mind this. If you don’t like them, seed and peel the tomatoes when you are chopping them. If you have basil or oregano to add to your sauce, all the better. After blending, allow the sauce to settle for a few hours in your fridge so there won’t be so many air bubbles. Pour into freezer containers and pop into the freezer for the winter. You can add tomato paste to this mix if you’d like a nice thick sauce without having to cook it down. Or you can add tomato powder from dehydrated tomatoes.
How do you process your extra tomatoes to preserve them for the winter?