I am wonder if any of you freeze much of your garden veg.
Do you ever cook down the tomatoes and than freeze them?
Any input would be great :)
Hi Sunflower. Yeah, I like to freeze some of my tomatoes. I usually blanch, peel and chop them. If I have plenty of peppers and onions on hand I'll chop and add those as well. I don't really cook them down but rather bring them to a boil and let them cool. As they cool there is excess water from the tomatoes that rise to the suface. I like to spoon that clear liquid out then pack in freezer bags. I put about 2 cups per bag.
With our tomatoes, if I am making a pasta sauce and have some extra, I will freeze it in jars if I don't have time to can it. Otherwise, I freeze tomatoes whole in 2lb freezer bags. I just bring them in from the garden, wash them off, dry them with a towel, and pop them in the freezer as is. They aren't good for slicing and eating fresh this way, but are great for cooking and canning. This is a great way to store them until I have enough of them (or enough time) to do a canning session. And the bonus is that when they thaw out, the skins just slip right off as if they had been blanched. Sooooo easy!
With other veggies, like green beans, carrots, broccoli, etc, I blanch first then flash freeze on a big pizza tray and pack into bags when frozen. With onions, leeks, and peppers, I will just chop or slice and flash freeze and pack, no blanching required.
I think gardens and freezers just naturally go together. Fresh veggies are the best, but we never can eat them all before they are past their prime. We have a chest freezer, and I don't think I'd have a garden at all if we didn't have the freezer to go with it. Saves so much time! Plus, if I want to fix something special, or do a canning session, or whatever, my freezer holds things for me until the cooler months when I actually WANT to heat up the kitchen.
Hope this helps,
I often put blueberries, peaches, strawberries, etc. into the freezer when I am pressed for time, then make jam or jelly later, or in the winter when it is cold outside and I don't mind heating up the kitchen.
I like some things better frozen, other things canned. I like asparagus and corn frozen, but I like green beans canned. Plus, we slaughter our own pork and beef, so it all depends on freezer space....