RECIPE: boil tomatoes before freezing ?

kvbchAugust 14, 2008

No sure if this is the most appropriate forum to post this, BUT, I have lots of tomatoes that are fully ripe and I want to chop them up a bit and freeze them to add to soups and stews later this winter.

I've read that, the nutrient value actually INCREASES if you blanch them BEFORE freezing them..true or not?

Basically I am looking for the best procedure to freeze my fresh tomatoes for (1) the Maximum nutrition and (2) The best flavor.

Many thanks.

Kevin

Garlic guy in Southern Illinois

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marlingardener

Before freezing I dip tomatoes in boiling water just long enough to make the skins slip, but I have no idea if this enhances the nutrient value. Then I place the whole, cored tomatoes on a cookie sheet and freeze them. After that, they go into freezer bags so I can pull out what I need. I personally wouldn't chop the tomatoes until needed for the stew or soup. Chopping would expose more surface area and perhaps affect the overall taste and consistency of the tomatoes. Isn't having an abundance of ripe tomatoes one of life's great pleasures?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 3:48PM
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twila_2008

My mother would slice them, about 1/2 inch slices, and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, she'd place them in a zip lock bag and keep frozen until needed.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 11:45PM
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roselin32

I peel mine as marlingardner suggested, chunk them up and freeze them in ziploc bags. Use them all winter.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 9:01AM
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benflower

I do the same as roselin-- just peel and chunk. However, if you want you could cook them a little, then cool and put into bags or plastic containers. Just whatever you prefer.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 11:13AM
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Vickey__MN

Wow, I must be REALLY lazy, I take the stems off, freeze them as is. Then put in the plastic bags. When I want to use them, I thaw a little, when they're barely thawed, the skins come right off (or if I'm in a hurry, run a little hot water over helps the skin come off quicker), then use however I want. Don't know which way is "more nutritous", I just don't have time to fart around with them.

Vickey

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 1:06PM
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liza070831

I cook tomatoes in the micro like this. Cut an x in the bottom of each tomato cook on hi for about 15 min take out and strain out seeds and skin (use a foley or a big hole strainer). Return to micro and cook in hi for another 20 min. Cool and store in the freezer. This makes a nice basic tomato sauce that can be used with your favorite recipe.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 8:09PM
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blueberrier1

Kevin, I must be the laziest commentor! I only core and remove any blemishes from the skin, section as desired, steam a few minutes, cool on platters and freeze in snack packs or zip lock freezer bags. My usual storage container is a half gallon paper milk carton with packets of 'toms' topped by a piece of closed cell foam. Fold down carton top and rubber band...Label. Freeze.
I raise all our toms (mainly paste varieties), organically. We EAT the skins!..in soups, pizza sauce, taco filling, whatever. If skins challenge your palate, you could process the thawed goodies.

If the toms are excessively juicy, I separately freeze the juice.

Usually, I add a little ACV to each pkt of toms...and sometimes a slice of steamed onion.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 2:01PM
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ninjabut

Kevin, IF I have time I make sauce. That's a BIG IF!!!
In the past, if, no WHEN I run out of time and those maters are filling the bowls, I would blanch then freeze them. Then attempt to get those darned skins off when they were thawed.
Last year I was REALLY short on time, so I just dumped them in a plastic grocery bag, tied it up and tossed them in the freezer!They were fine! No loss of taste as far as I could tell!
When I was thawing, I would put a few in the microwave for a few seconds so they were still frozen on the inside, slit the skin and they came right off.
Usually, I just process them skins on.
If using my foodsaver to freeze them I'll put some whole leaves of basil in the bag to use when I make sauce or whatever. color isn't great, but who cares? Nancy

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 8:45PM
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ilene_in_neok

The hard part about an abundance of tomatoes is that it happens when the weather is hot and we are air-conditioning the house.

Fuel costs being what they are, I just hate to introduce more heat into the house. I wish I had a separate "canning kitchen" like some do, but alas I do not. I prefer canned tomatoes, simply because of the convenience, however. And my freezer is nearly always full of other things so it's really hard to find space.

So I, like some of the others who have posted here, remove the core and any blemishes and pop them in the freezer. I do not blanch first because the skin slips right off when the tomatoes thaw. I feed teenagers, so I have a lot of those gallon-sized plastic ice-cream pails. I use these to store the tomatoes.

When we get one of those rare cool days that allows us to turn off the air conditioning and run the attic fan, then I get my tubs of tomatoes out, thaw them, slip off the skins and heat them, pour them into quart jars and process in a boiling water bath.

I think the thinking about blanching the tomatoes follows the idea that fresh vegetables and fruits contain an enzyme that causes them to turn color or be bitter if you do not kill it by blanching before freezing. But I've never found this to be true for tomatoes, or, in fact, for a lot of other vegetables. In addition to tomatoes, I freeze the following without blanching: bell peppers, corn, green beans, squash and zucchini, okra. --Ilene

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 8:02AM
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blizlady

I'm with vicky. I never peeled the fresh tomatoes before freezing them - just washed, stemmed and dried, packed them in zip lock bags and tossed in the freezer. I think I allowed about 6 tomatoes for a pot of chili. When I wanted to use them, I just put the frozen tomatoes in a big kettle on low and gradually brought them up to a simmer. The skins just slipped right off once they thawed and I continued to cook down for sauce or chili.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 5:17PM
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triciae

I love to freeze roasted tomatoes. Just slice in half around the equater. Place on rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt/pepper, & sprinkle with chopped basil. Roast on 350 until they've reduced down & the moisture is almost gone & they're slightly blackened around the edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a couple hours. I package them in Rubbermaid freezer tubs in layers separated by parchment paper so they don't stick together. They are WONDERFUL added to soups, pasta sauces, salads, etc. during the winter. I've prepped about a 100 this way & have them in the freezer now. To use, chop them right from the freezer still frozen & add them last minute. They retain that fresh summer flavor that's so hard to get in February.

I also freeze them whole unblanched...no need to peel as others have already said...the skins just slip off when they thaw.

/tricia

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:36AM
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