Minnesota Cooking: How to Freeze Homegrown Tomatoes
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.
- unlimited tomato, fresh picked
- Wash the tomatoes. Look for bad spots. Discard any that look bad.
- Poke the juice extractor into the tomato at stem and twist, loosening the core. Twist sideways and dislodge from inside of the tomato. Discard the core.
- Place cored tomatoes on a tray. Place them in the freezer.
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.
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.