If you are wondering how to freeze tomatoes you are in the right place. Freezing tomatoes is incredibly quick and easy and a great way to keep it fresh
Tomatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables in the kitchen, or is it a fruit?
Botanically speaking, tomatoes are fruits (fruits come from seeds, and vegetables reproduce from other parts of the plant such as roots or stems).
But for any chef and most regular people, tomatoes are considered vegetables.
Fruit or vegetable, when we think of tomatoes, we think of Italians, pizza, and spaghetti sauce, but where do tomatoes come from?
Tomatoes come from the Andes, specifically from the regions around Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and traveled through Central America to Mexico before the arrival of Europeans to America.
When the Spanish explorers went to Mexico, tomatoes started another journey to Europe, where they received mixed reactions. The British used it as an ornament plant; the French believed it was an aphrodisiac, but the Italians and Spanish took a risk and cooked it, and the rest is history.
Nowadays, the largest producers of tomatoes worldwide are China, India, and the United States.
And the largest consumers in the world are China, the United States, and Turkey. There are more than 10.000 different varieties of tomatoes, although most of them are not even commercially harvested.
Can you freeze tomatoes?
Yes, you can freeze tomatoes in several ways: raw, cooked, blanched, whole, sliced, or in sauces.
But most tomatoes, once defrosted, can only be used for cooking, not for salads, since they become mushy and lose their shape.
How to freeze tomatoes (Step by Step)
To freeze tomatoes, choose those ripe and firm, and do not use those not in good condition.
Then wash the tomatoes and let them dry or pat them dry with a clean cloth or napkin.
Once dry, cut around the stem.
The process to freeze tomatoes depends on what you want to do with them since you can freeze them in several ways.
So let’s review the different ways to freeze!
To freeze whole tomatoes.
This procedure is effortless!
You have to place the tomatoes on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for a few hours.
Once they are frozen, you can transfer them to a plastic bag or any other container you consider convenient.
The good thing about freezing whole tomatoes is that you only need to remove and thaw the amount you need when using them, while the rest remains in the freezer.
Plus, you don’t even need to peel the tomatoes before freezing them!
Once they go through the freezing and thawing process, you can remove the skin very quickly.
If you want to freeze just a few tomatoes, you can take them directly into the plastic bag.
You have to be careful that they stay in a single layer and do not crush each other.
It would be best to place them in the freezer so that nothing presses them, at least until they are completely frozen.
Always remember to remove as much air as possible from the plastic bags before putting them in the freezer, to prevent freezer burn.
It is also a good idea to write down the date on which you are freezing the tomatoes on the plastic bag, so it will be easier for you to control their use.
Freezing peeled and chopped tomatoes
Some people prefer to peel and slice tomatoes before freezing them.
That depends on the preference of each person.
If that is your case, once you have washed the tomatoes and removed the stem, you will have to blanch them to remove the skin and then chop them.
Blanching tomatoes before freezing them
If you prefer blanching the tomatoes before freezing them, you need to place the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water.
You can cut a shallow X-shaped cut in the bottom of each tomato before adding it to the boiling water to make the process of removing the skin once blanched easier.
Once the water is boiling, add the tomatoes and leave them for a couple of minutes or until the tomato skin peels off.
Then you transfer them to a container that you will have prepared with water and ice.
In this way, you stop the cooking process of the tomatoes.
When they are cold enough, you can proceed to chop them in any way you prefer or even freeze them whole.
Remember that you must let them cool completely before placing them in the containers you will use to take them to the freezer.
Freezing pureed tomatoes
Freezing pureed tomatoes is a good idea, especially if you plan to use them to make sauces.
If you want to prepare them this way, place them in a pot once you have washed and sliced the tomatoes.
You must heat and crush the tomatoes little by little and let them boil slowly for approximately 5 minutes.
If you plan to freeze puree or sauces, you will have to let them cool before you store them once you cook the tomatoes.
Once the puree reaches room temperature, you can pour the sauce into freezing bags (half full) and place it in the freezer, or you can use plastic containers.
But remember, never use glass containers as the sauce may expand during the freezing process and shatter the glass container.
You can also see here how to freeze garlic
FAQ about freezing tomatoes
How long do frozen tomatoes last?
You can maintain tomatoes in the freezer for about 3 to 5 months.
Which tomatoes freeze best?
You can freeze all tomatoes, but cherry tomatoes freeze the best since they are small and have many seeds and juice.
Do you have to freeze tomatoes with or without skin?
It depends on the uses you wish to give your tomatoes once you thaw them.
If you want to use them raw, you can leave the skin on.
But if you decide to cook them, then it is better to peel them before you freeze them.
Implements and equipment you need to freeze tomatoes
You will need:
- Cutting board
- Plastic bags
In case you want to blanch tomatoes, you also will need:
- A recipient for cold water
For freeze puree tomatoes:
How to thaw tomatoes
To thaw tomatoes, you need to take them out of the freezer and leave them at room temperature for a few hours.
You can also put them in the refrigerator overnight.
Also, you can place them under running warm water or place them on the stove and start cooking frozen.
What can you make with frozen tomatoes?
As the freezing process changes the texture of the tomato, there are preparations in which it is better to use fresh tomatoes, such as for sandwiches or salads.
On the other hand, you can use frozen tomatoes wonderfully in different recipes, such as