I created this post in November 2011 on another blog, but have decided to consolidate and since it’s August and my tomatoes are in full swing, I thought it was relevant. Enjoy 🙂
My vegetable garden did somewhat well this year. I had some issues with my squash, but that’s ok, not every attempt can be a success! I have tons of tomatoes this year and not enough people to give them to. I don’t want to just let the animals in my yard (both wanted and unwanted) snack on my crop, but what to do with them?
My brother suggested canning tomato sauce, but when I looked into that I did not have nearly enough tomatoes for that project. So my mother had suggested freezing them to use in stews, soups, etc. in the winter. What a great idea and so simple too!
- Container to freeze on (I used a metal jelly pan)
- Ziptop bag (whatever size you want to use for storage, I used sandwich size)
- Paper towel
Start by gently washing the tomatoes in the strainer and then lay them on the paper towels to dry. I left mine to dry for a bit on the counter, but you could roll them around on the paper towel to dry. They don’t need to be fully dry, but you don’t want ice to form on the outside of the tomatoes during freezing.
Arrange the tomatoes on your freezing tray in a single layer. Make sure there is some space around the tomatoes so they do not stick together and then put them in your freezer so that the tray is as level as possible. I left mine over night, but this was just due to when I did them. They should be frozen within a few hours. It’s not possible to leave them too long as once they are frozen, they are frozen!
What else can you freeze to use in the winter you ask? Or even better to stock up when things are on sale? Basically anything! I sliced bell peppers and froze them in a similar method. Works the same way with onions. I just throw them in the frying pan when making a meal and defrost in the pan. Does not add much time to cooking and the prep work is already done, making dinner after work simple to make. I have heard that with squash you should parboil them first then freeze. I shall try that next year when I manage to grow some.