“Here’s how to freeze fresh tomatoes easily and quickly! No blanching required!”
My little garden did so well this summer! I still have tons of tomatoes coming off the vine, way more than I care to eat at the moment. Sadly, I’ve let quite a few go bad on me over the summer. Lately, I’ve been remembering to freeze them. Now they are all prepped and ready for my winter chili!
I really wanted to get around to doing a canning course this summer but man how time flies! Honestly though, I think I prefer freezing my produce over canning it these days. It’s so much easier and quicker with my tight schedule.
You can use a vacuum sealer if you have one or you can use the straw method to suck out the excess air.
Vacuum Sealing With a Straw: Here’s a quick tutorial on how to vacuum seal your own freezer bags with a straw in case you’ve never tried it. It’s super important though to keep those tomatoes as fresh as possible.
Pros of Freezing Tomatoes
- Freezing tomatoes let you enjoy summer ripened tomatoes in the winter. Sure they lose some flavor as any fresh frozen produce will, but they are still great to cook with.
- Freezing tomatoes is one of the easiest and quickest ways to preserve them. You can do large batches or tiny ones as your tomatoes ripen, which is great for smaller gardens. This method of freezing tomatoes requires no blanching. (Yay for not having to deal with boiling and icy water!)
- Frozen fresh tomatoes are perfect for all those cold-weather soups, stews and chilli!
- Freezing tomatoes helps to prevent waste. I can’t tell you how many tomatoes I’ve had to toss from my fridge because they got all mushy.
Cons of Freezing Tomatoes
- They don’t hold their texture once thawed. Sorry if you’re expecting a firm tomato for a tomato sandwich or plump tomatoes for a salad. Not happening! Thawed tomatoes mushy and not as pleasant to eat plain as it is when it’s fresh. Use them as you would stew tomatoes in recipes that require cooking. (soups, chilis, casseroles, stews, sauces).
- If you have a small freezer you may not have room for bags of frozen tomatoes. Although it you freeze them flat you’ll be able to stack the bags and save on freezer space.
To thaw: Place the tomatoes in the fridge or on the counter until thawed. Pour off the excess water. When they thaw the skins will slip right off and there you have it!
Tips On Freezing Tomatoes
- Make sure your tomatoes are firm, ripe and free of major bruising.
- Wash and dry your tomatoes well before cutting. I like to scrub them with a vinegar vegetable wash if I buy them from the store and they aren’t organic.
- Be sure to cut away the stem and core before cutting.
- Be sure to package well for freezing. I use a freezer bag and the straw vacuum seal method. As a double precaution, I also place them in a freezer container.
You’ll love this method of freezing tomatoes because it doesn’t require you to blanch the tomatoes. Seriously you just remove the core, slice, freeze and then place in a freezer bag. DONE!
If you’ve been taking advantage of the sale of the dwindling tomatoes crop this time of year, then try freezing a few batches and let me know how you like them.
They will keep in the freezer for 6-9 months.
- Firm, ripe tomatoes
- Wash and dry tomatoes.
- Cut away the stem and core.
- Cut tomatoes into fourths or smaller (if desired)
- Place on a baking sheet, skin side down.
- Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
- Once frozen place in a single layer in labeled freezer bags.
- To remove the excess air (very important): Use a vacuum sealer or the straw method.
- STRAW METHOD: Insert a straw halfway into a freezer bag and seal the rest of the bag while pushing out as much air as possible.Begin sucking the air out of the bag until the bag clings tightly around the tomatoes. Remove the straw and seal the bag closed.
- Place bags in the freezer. (I also place them in a freezer container for extra precaution.
- When ready to use, remove tomatoes from the bag and let thaw completely. The skins will slide right off.
- Use for dishes that require cooking ( soups, stews, chili, sauces,)