First, think about how you would like to use your tomatoes over the winter and how much room you have to keep them in the freezer. This will guide you in the best way to freeze them.

• Freezing whole toms gives you the most options as they can be used one at a time to make chunky style soups or sauces. The downside is whole tomatoes take up a lot of freezer space.
• Making a sauce or puree is space efficient when freezer space is limited but doesn’t allow for much in the way of “texture”. You are also forced to thaw a whole ziplock at a time.

Freezing whole:

Boil 2 quarts of water. Core tomatoes and cut a small ‘X’ on the bottom of each one, just piercing the skin. Plunge the toms in the boiling water a few at a time for 1 minute. Pull them out and run them under cold water or place them in an ice-water bath until all the heat has left them. Starting at the ‘X,’ use a fingernail or a butter knife to peel back the skin.

Place tomatoes on a cooking sheet so that they are not touching and freeze. Pull them out in a few hours and pack them in ziplocks. Use them one by one all winter.

Freezing sauce/puree:

Boil 2 quarts of water. Core tomatoes and cut a small ‘X’ on the bottom of each one, just piercing the skin. Plunge the toms in the boiling water a few at a time for 1 minute. Pull them out and run them under cold water or place them in an ice-water bath until all the heat has left them. Starting at the ‘X’, use a fingernail or a butter knife to peel back the skin.

After the skins are gone you can roast them in the oven -6 hours at 200 with the seeds removed, or cook them down on the stove starting with onions, garlic, etc.

Seeding and pureeing them is also an easy option that provides a good base for lots of stuff.

To freeze, fill your ziplock, jar or tub no more than ¾ in from the top of the container, this will allow room for the contents to expand a bit. Try to place bags on a flat surface in the freezer. This makes the ziplocks more modular for moving around with your other frozen stuff.

 

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