Backyard Tomatoes

Backyard Tomatoes

A Guide for Growing Your Own Tomatoes 

What is Easiest Way to Preserve Tomatoes?

So, you have a garden bursting with more tomatoes than you can use. So, what is the best way to preserve those summer gems? In this article, we will discuss the easiest ways to preserve those juicy tomatoes to enjoy all year long.

Tomatoes can be preserved in three main ways – Freezing, Drying, or Canning. 

These methods won’t keep your tomatoes fresh but are worth trying to enjoy your tomatoes after the season has ended. Canning is the rockstar of long-term tomato preservation. Canning does take a little more effort and research to ensure you get the best results. We will discuss the safe and recommended methods of canning tomatoes in another article.

Freezing 

Freezing is a super easy quick way to preserve tomatoes until you are ready to use them. 

Is it better to freeze tomatoes whole or chopped?

For larger varieties of tomatoes, whole tomatoes will lose their shape as they thaw. Larger tomatoes are better frozen in slices or wedges.

For smaller or cherry varieties of tomatoes or if you are short on time you can freeze them whole. 

Some people like to blanch them first but we just wash, dry, and lay them on a tray before putting them into the freezer overnight. Once frozen we then pop into a container, jar, or reusable clip lock back to freeze until we are ready to use them. Perfect for easy access to tomatoes needed for a pop of tomato in your dishes. Best for stews, sauces, and soups.

Do you need to remove tomato skins ?

You don’t need to remove the skins before freezing, in fact, the process of freezing them makes the tomatoes easy to peel as they thaw. Small varieties of tomatoes don’t need to have the skin removed to be used in recipes, but you may choose to remove the peels for larger varieties of tomatoes.

Frozen tomatoes will retain their flavour for about 9-12 months, perfect to get you to the next growing season, and plenty of time to use them in your favourite stews, sauces, or soup recipes.

TIP: Why not just make a big batch of sauce? 

If you’re all about convenience, turning your tomatoes into sauce is the way to go. Simmer those tomatoes with garlic, onions, and your favourite herbs, blend it all up, and you’ve got a flavourful tomato sauce ready for pasta, pizza, or anything that needs a saucy upgrade. Freeze it or can it – the choice is yours!

Drying  

Use your dehydrator or oven to turn tomatoes into flavour-packed snacks or a flavour bite for your recipes.

Slice the tomatoes thinly or in quarters for cherry tomatoes and place them in your dehydrator or oven (on its lowest setting) to do the magic. You can even sprinkle a little salt or herbs to taste. Once your tomatoes are dry and leathery, store them in a jar with olive oil, and voilà – your homemade ‘sun’-dried tomatoes are ready to elevate your dishes.

TIP: Try your dried tomatoes in a salad, on a cheese platter or charcuterie board, or as a pizza topping.

There you have it, fellow tomato lovers – your guide to keeping that tomato goodness long after the harvest season. Whether you’re freezing, drying, canning, or saucing, preserving tomatoes is like capturing summer in a jar. So, go ahead, savor those homegrown flavors year-round, and let the tomato fiesta continue!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Whenever you are preserving tomatoes it is important to choose ripe, undamaged fruit. Damaged fruit may be contaminated and will spoil the whole batch. 

Cultivate, Learn & Enjoy

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