Everyone always asks me when I am at my produce stand, can you freeze garden tomatoes? The simple answer is, yes, and very easily too. I have never been one to follow directions. Always had to learn the hard way. Gardening has been no exception.
There are people that know a lot more than I do. What I do know, though has been through trial and error. A lesson learned the hard way is never forgotten. I have either gardened or been around gardening all of my life. I have found a few short cuts but also have found a few failures.
Freezing Green Garden Tomatoes For Frying
Do you like fried green tomatoes? If you said yes, there is no reason that you can’t have them from your garden year round. For me tomatoes are the easiest garden vegetable to freeze.
You will need baking sheets or as I know them cookie sheets. Waxed paper will also be needed. Cornmeal if that is the way you fry them as I do. Get your batter ready, your favorite one for frying them in.
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Slice’em The Way You Like’em
Slice your tomatoes the way you want them when fried. Some like them thick while others want them thin. I am not normal and want them in between.
Careful now, don’t cut your fingers off like my wife tries to do. When she picks up a knife I go ahead and get the band-aids ready.
Dip the tomatoes in the batter and cover them with the cornmeal. Lay them out on waxed paper covering the cookie sheets. Put them in the freezer long enough to freeze solid.
Take them out of the freezer and place them in zip-lock baggies suitable for freezing produce and replace them in the freezer. You can take as many as you need out at a time when freezing them this way. If you would rather vacuum seal them they may last longer in the freezer.
GERYON Vacuum Sealer Machine, Automatic Food Sealer for Food Savers
Freezing Fresh Slicing Tomatoes
Fresh slicing tomatoes can also be saved for eating throughout the winter months. My process is mainly the same as with the green fried tomatoes above.
Slice the ripe tomatoes and place them on waxed paper. Again the waxed paper should be on baking sheets or cookie sheets as again mentioned above. Place them in the freezer till rock solid. Bring them out and quickly place them in freezer grade zip-lock baggies or other containers.
Put them back in the freezer and enjoy however many slices as you want at one time throughout the winter months.
The quality is not the same as a fresh garden tomato. They do seem to get a little more mushy. Still they are definitely better than you can buy in the super market during the winter months.
Can You Freeze Garden Tomatoes – An Accident Turned To Knowledge
I like home made chili and soup. I found the perfect way to keep it good through the winter months by accident. While canning tomatoes and tomato juice is quite easy I found a better way.
I also like roma tomatoes. I especially like the big ones (Pony Express) is a big, up to 8 ounce roma tomato. The only place I have ever found the seed is through Harris Seeds. Pretty sure it is a hybrid that they created themselves.
Anyhow I had somewhere around 70 to 80 pounds of them one day. I didn’t have the time or energy to try to can them and couldn’t get them sold. Also I was too lazy, I guess you would call it, to blanch them and remove the skins.
I proceeded to do something that I actually thought was a stupid mistake. So I washed them and let them dry. Then I cut them up into 3 or 4 pieces each. After that I proceeded to put them in freezer bags.
At the time I did have the mental capacity to bag them in sizes suitable for making chili or soup. 😎
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet (2 Pack), Silver
Frozen Roma Tomatoes Still In Their Skins
So the garden died from frost and I wanted a big pot of chili. i went and got a bag of the frozen roma tomatoes out of the freezer. I looked at that big chunk of tomatoes and skins and thought, man I have got a mess.
Threw them back in the freezer and started to go get some canned tomatoes out of the storage room. Then I decided that, I did this, might as well fix it. I got the bag back out and laid it in the sink to thaw out.
Ok, I’ll run some water over them to help them thaw. Low and behold, soon as the water hit them those skins just rolled up right off of the tomatoes. Turned out that it was even easier than scalding them. Who would have thought that going against everything I knew would be such a learning experience.
Lesson learned, that’s the only way I freeze them anymore. Skins and all just thrown in the freezer. When anyone asks me, can you freeze garden tomatoes, I always pop that story in there.
TeamFar Baking Sheets Set of 3, Stainless Steel Cookie Sheet Baking Tray Pan, 16x12x1 inch
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