Storing Tomatoes

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When you have enough fresh, ripe tomatoes to preserve, consider freezing as a quick, easy alternative to canning or dehydrating. All you need is freezer space, a sharp knife and freezer bags.

Rinse fresh tomatoes, then pat them dry or allow them to air-dry. Cut away stem ends and any blemishes. Leave as much of the “skin” on as possible to protect the tomato flesh from freezer burn. Pack tomatoes into freezer bags; it may require cutting a few into quarters or halves to fill up the space, leaving few or no air pockets. Seal the bags and freeze.

When you’re ready to use your tomatoes, simply open the bag and allow the tomatoes to thaw just enough so they can be separated. Here’s the fun part: Take each still mostly frozen tomato and hold it for a few seconds under running tap water. The skin will slide right off!

See our video on tomato storing and ripening at tnmagazine.org. And visit PickTnProducts.org or use the “PickTN” mobile app to find where local tomatoes are sold.

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About Author

Tammy Algood

Originally from Starkville, Miss., Tammy Algood has a Bachelor’s of Science from Mississippi State University and a Master’s from Middle Tennessee State University. She writes about food for The Tennessean and monthly for The Tennessee Magazine. Broadcast appearances include Nashville’s local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates as well as statewide on PBS. Tammy can also be seen nationally on the HGTV and DIY networks.

1 Comment

  1. Brenda Hare on

    When you have tomatoes that are pink in color and don’t want to leave them on the vine because they get brown marks on them, get large brown cracks in them, is there a way to pick them early and then store them until they ripen? It seems to me that when I was younge, I remember my mother picking them while they were green and placing them in brown paper bags until they ripened. Of course, I also remember the tomatoes were picked early and placed stem side down on the windowsill until they were red.

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