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Minnesota Cooking: How to Freeze Homegrown Tomatoes

Updated on September 12, 2017

Tomatoes Grow on a Bush or Vine

Tomatoes grow in my garden. First, I almost thought I wasn't going to get any fresh tomatoes at all, and then—wham!—there were more than I could deal with. So, now, the problem is I need to process them so I can use them later.

I don't have time right now to can; plus the house gets too hot since Minnesota is very humid in this time of year, so it's more of a later-in-the-fall event. It's nice to freeze them, since you can core them and freeze them with their skins on. Then later, you can rinse them with cool water, and the skin washes right off. No scalding required.

Ingredients

  • unlimited tomato, fresh picked

Instructions

  1. Wash tomato. Look for bad spots. Discard any that look bad.
  2. Poke juice extractor into tomato at stem and twist, loosening core. Twist sideways and dislodge from inside of tomato. Discard core.
  3. Place cored tomatoes on tray. Place in freezer.
Cast your vote for Preparing Tomatoes for Freezing

Boxes of Tomatoes Ripening to Red

I picked two boxes worth of tomatoes in a single picking. I had a couple boxes that I placed the Sunday Tribune in the bottom. It helps to keep them from rolling around. Plus, if one happens to spring a leak, the paper is somewhat absorbent.

When getting ready to process the tomatoes, it is important to discard those with indented, discolored spots, since these indicate interior rot and could ruin an entire batch of cooked tomatoes. A bad tomato is always a bad tomato.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
many, many tomatoestarget area on tomatohandy extractor toolline up with stem end, and push into tomato, gently turning with teeth.
many, many tomatoes
many, many tomatoes
target area on tomato
target area on tomato
handy extractor tool
handy extractor tool
line up with stem end, and push into tomato, gently turning with teeth.
line up with stem end, and push into tomato, gently turning with teeth.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
poke into tomato by stemturn and pull outit leaves a neat hole
poke into tomato by stem
poke into tomato by stem
turn and pull out
turn and pull out
it leaves a neat hole
it leaves a neat hole
Click thumbnail to view full-size
core removed completely with extractorcore is not used, just discard it on your compost pileI had a lot of tomatoes with bad spots, so they will join the cores on the compost heap.
core removed completely with extractor
core removed completely with extractor
core is not used, just discard it on your compost pile
core is not used, just discard it on your compost pile
I had a lot of tomatoes with bad spots, so they will join the cores on the compost heap.
I had a lot of tomatoes with bad spots, so they will join the cores on the compost heap.

Juice Extractor

The juice extractor tool worked well for poking into the tomato and cutting out the cores. As you can see, I cut one tomato in half after using the extractor and it was very effective.

The tool is actually supposed to be poked into an orange. You're supposed to squeeze the orange and drink the juice right from the orange. The extractor was obtained from a Tupperware party, and I see that someone on Etsy is selling them.

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