Freezing fresh, raw tomatoes which are available in the summer season can be helpful in storing them for a long period (as long as 8 months). Freezing will be helpful for storing tomatoes for winters and you can use them for these months to make sauces, salsa, soups, and other recipes. This is pretty easy job, all you need is some basic equipment in your kitchen.
Here are the things you will require and the simple steps for storing and freezing raw tomatoes. Things you will need for this easy tomato freezing recipe are:
- Fresh tomatoes
- Boiling pot
- Empty vessels
- A good cutting knife
- Freezer bag
- Paper towels
Step #1: Selecting
You will need to select fresh and ripe tomatoes; the variety which have less water and more pulp, so that you can make a thick sauce for various tomato recipes. You can buy them from a grocery store, but it will be better if you get them from a farm. Some of the best varieties which you can opt for are the beefsteak, the Roma paste-type, lemon boy yellow, and the better boy. Make sure you do not pick any mushy, rotten, or bruised tomatoes.
Step #2: Washing
Before cutting or peeling tomatoes, it is important that you wash them. Wash them under clean running tap water, rub the surface to remove any dirt, and wipe it dry with a paper towel. Cut the stem scar and the surrounding area. Do not use any soap to wash the tomatoes, as the chemicals in the soap can get absorbed by them.
Step #3: Preparing
Tomatoes can be frozen whole, pureed, sliced, or chopped. Also, you can either freeze them raw or cooked in any form. For any recipes where you are cooking the tomatoes later on, thawed raw tomatoes can be used. You should always season them before serving. Never add any seasoning to the tomatoes when you are freezing them, as the flavor of the seasoning won't be retained.
If you wish to store cooked and chopped tomatoes, then you should remove its skin, because if the skin is not removed the tomatoes might become tough and lose their color. Put them in a boiling pot for a minute and then quickly immerse them in a bowl of ice water, you will notice that the skin has started to slide away. Chop each tomato into two halves. Remove the skin and squeeze out the seeds and water from them using your hands. Chop each half of tomato again into two halves. Drain the tomatoes and follow the next step.
Step #4: Packaging and Storing
Set the empty freezer bags in a small container, so that it will be kept open and it will be easier to fill the tomatoes in it. Using a ladle scoop the tomatoes and put them inside the freezer bags till the bag is ¾ full. If you have a vacuum sealer then remove any air and seal bags. In case you don't have a vacuum sealer, then remove all the air by pressing the bag and seal it. Wipe the bags clean and store them in the freezer.
So, buy some fresh tomatoes and freeze them in any way you like. But remember that peeled and drained tomatoes of a good variety will give you a thicker sauce.