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HELP!!! Tomato Invasion!

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HELP!!! Tomato Invasion!

Postby Carol C » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:53 pm

We are totally overrun with tomatoes and just found out that we will be getting 15+ in our CSA tomorrow! We eat them at every meal but still have way too many. Has anyone had any experience with freezing them? I've looked on the internet and some say freeze them whole and others say peel and seed before freezing. Since I have never done this before, not sure what is the best way. I would prefer to freeze them plain as opposed to making sauce so I can use them in soups, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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Re: HELP!!! Tomato Invasion!

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:36 pm

Carol, I can't testify from experience: We always make the bounty into a thick, fresh sauce and freeze it in meal-size portions to last through the winter, so I haven't tried freezing.

However, I found this page online from a pretty credible source - University of Nebraska at Lincoln, head shed for the state's ag extension offices. They seem to know what they're talking about, and are quite laid back about your various options for freezing:

http://food.unl.edu/web/preservation/freezing-tomatoes
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Re: HELP!!! Tomato Invasion!

Postby Deb Hall » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:17 am

Carol,

My tomato crop has been poor- you can always give them to me if they are a "problem"... :wink: :lol:

Are they plum tomatoes or regular slicing tomatoes? I always can a small amount of plum tomatoes( 10 jars or so) for later use in the winter. I find it very manageable when it's such a small amount. You do need to peel them ( blanch for 1-2 minutes in boiling water - remove with fork to cold water- skins will slip off pretty easily). Tomatoes are acidic enough that canning them only requires boiling for a short while.

After that, I make a slow-cooker sauce and freeze ( see this post: http://forums.louisvillehotbytes.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=12449&p=111636&hilit=Italian+plum#p111636). I think using regular tomatoes for this sauce would be okay too- it'll be soupier. then just cook for a while with the lid off to reduce.

I also make a quick cook fresh marinara with 1 1/2- 2 cups chopped tomatoes, a glug of olive oil, pinch of sugar, a little garlic and 6-8 leaves of fresh basil. Saute for 20 minutes, then cool and store in 2 cup portions flat in zip-locks. I use this all winter as the base for other fresh sauces ( ex. add more garlic, oil and shrimp to make " scampi" like pasta, etc.)This one works with regular tomatoes too- just a lot soupier.
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