Vegetables and Fruit forum: Freezing tomatoes

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Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Aug 7, 2012 10:17 AM CST
Years ago a friend gave me a BUNCH of tomatoes. Way more then I could use before they'd rot. I don't can, so he told me to freeze them Confused Just rinse them off, put in a freezer bag and stick them in the freezer. No good for salad or sliced, but great for sauces and soup. Just take out what you need and let sit for a little while....the skins come off easily and they're ready to be used whole or chunked up.
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 7, 2012 10:28 AM CST

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That's exactly what we do. As we harvest our tomatoes through the season, we wash them and cut them in half or quarters and then freeze them on a cookie sheet.

Once they are frozen we remove them from the sheet and throw them into a clean pillow case and keep frozen where they are stored until we make a huge batch of sauce.
Name: Rita
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Newyorkrita
Aug 7, 2012 10:32 AM CST
I have cooked down tomatoes to sauce and then frozen the sauce in portions many times. The sauce is unseasoned and then in the winter I just take it out of the freezer and use it as the base for spagetti sauce or chili, whatever I want to make. But I have never frozen whole tomatoes. Do do intend to try doing that this year as I had heard about this method.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
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CDsSister
Aug 7, 2012 11:34 AM CST
Dave, I tip my hat to you.

Why do you put them into a pillow case? Is that a reusable as apposed to plastic bags?

Does freezing them in chunks cause them to be less mushy when you take them out? I do that with berries

but never thought of doing veggies that way. Confused

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 7, 2012 1:36 PM CST

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Why a pillow case? Well, it was originally Trish's idea so she would know for sure. It started a few years ago when we picked way more blueberries than we could reasonably store in ziplock bags, so Trish put them in a pillow case and that worked perfectly. Anytime we wanted blueberries, we just opened it, scooped out the berries we wanted, and then tied it back closed. Since then we put all our big frozen items in pillowcases if there is more than, say, 3 gallons worth.

We use ziplock bags for the smaller things, like fresh shelled southern peas. Those go in quart bags. Peeled and sliced cantaloupes go in gallon ziplock bags.

They are definitely very mushy when thawed but that's okay since we only do this for our saucing tomatoes.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 8, 2012 9:02 AM CST
Rita, you mentioned that you cook down tomato juice to make sauce. I learned a trick years ago to make sauce out of tomatoes with out the long cooking process that seems to condence the acid, uses lots of energy, and you have the chance of scorching it if you don't stand there all day and watch it. I just cook the tomatoes until they're soft, run them through my Kitchen aide Fruit and Vegetable strainer attachment to make juice. Then I pour the juice into a clean pillow case and tie it up to drain. Only the water drains off, leaving the pulp. This can take a few hours. When it's as thick as I want it, I can it unseasoned. (or you could freeze too) If you want your tomato juice to be a bit thicker, you can do this for a while to drain off some of the water, making a very rich thick tomato juice. I keep a special pillow case just for this purpose. I boil it in hot water after I run it through the washing machine, and then when it's dry, put it in a plastic bag for next year. I learned this method from a recipe for making katsup years ago, and have used it ever since.
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
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Newyorkrita
Aug 8, 2012 9:29 AM CST
I don't make tomato juice. I make tomato sauce. I just cook the tomatoes down until I have sauce and feeeze. Of course I have to blanch those tomatoes first so I can peel off thne skin. Then I chunk them up and put them in a big pot too cook. It does take hours.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 8, 2012 10:56 AM CST
I must have been confusing in how I worded the above, I make sause this way. In fact, you can make paste too, if you let it drain long enough.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 8, 2012 11:02 AM CST

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I thought it was pretty clear. Smiling I'm going to give that a try myself!
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Aug 8, 2012 12:29 PM CST
My wife used to make Chili Sauce which required long cooking to thicken. She would cook it down in our electric oven/turkey roaster which she would put out on the patio...wouldn't heat the house. It only had to be stirred a few times before it was ready. Years ago when I was a boy there was a cannery here and they would make chili sauce in the fall...the kind in the little round bottles. The whole town smelled liked chili sauce and it was wonderful.
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Name: Paul
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paulgrow
Aug 18, 2012 4:26 PM CST
I froze a couple of bags, thought I'd give it a try.
I peeled and cored mine.
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