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Archive for September 2016

Three Easy Ways To Freeze Tomatoes

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We don’t know about you, but when we think about preserving our summer tomatoes, our minds go to the hours upon hours spent canning. Naturally this entails sanitizing?equipment (after we shake off the?dust from?the basement), endless chopping, blanching, and cooking ?until?our kitchen looks like a tomato massacre and someone?gets scalded from a big pot of tomato sauce.

We’re here to tell you, there’s a better way: Freeze ’em! It’s the easiest way to store tomatoes all winter long.

But will?a defrosted freezer tomato in December taste like a fresh tomato plucked ripe from the vine in July? Well, no. But freezer tomatoes make wonderfully flavorful sauces and stand up well in tomato-based dishes. You’ll find the acidity and bright flavors will still shine through. We love using our freezer tomato sauces (option 3) whenever a sauce or soup?recipe calls for a can of chopped, diced, or whole tomatoes. We also use whole frozen or diced and frozen tomatoes?(options 1 and 2) in pastas and curries. Sometimes we add in freezer herbs, additional vegetables, or peppers before we store them.?Below are three great options for storing summer tomatoes all winter long.

Option 1: Freeze them whole. While not ideal for city dwellers, this is the fastest and easiest option for those with a freezer chest or a large home with plenty of freezer space. Simply stuff your tomatoes into freezer ziplock bags or containers. De-thaw individually and use them in flavorful sauces, curries, pastas, stews, and soups.

Option 2: Dice fresh tomatoes and freeze them. This saves space over freezing tomatoes whole, and we find it’s easy to pull out a freezer bag of chopped tomatoes and throw them into recipes when you’re short on time. The downside is that diced tomatoes will still take up some space, as water comprises a great deal of the tomato. This is another great option for those with freezer chests or large freezers.

Option 3:?Cook them into a chunky, rustic sauce. This is the best option for those with a small space, as cooking will take out much of the water in the tomato and will condense your summer bounty. We like to cook our tomatoes (seeds, peels and all) for 1-2 hours until it transforms into a hearty sauce. Sometimes we add herbs and vegetables as well. We store our tomato sauce in containers or freezer ziplock bags, and pull them out whenever a recipe calls for whole, peeled, or diced tomatoes.

Friends, we’d love to know: what are you favorite ways to preserve tomatoes, and which recipes do you use them in?

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