Simple Secrets: How to Fast Freeze Fresh Tomatoes at Home
When the farm stand tomatoes are so well priced at five (or more) for just one dollar I like to buy them in abundance and freeze them for future use.
For awhile...I took on the tedious, humid task of blanching each one before freezing...until...a generous friend told me that she has been skipping the blanching process for years. How? She simply places the fresh tomatoes onto a tray or cookie sheet and pops them directly into the freezer...similar to freezing berries. Of course, I was immensely attracted to the idea and implemented it immediately with great success. So much so that I've been using this useful trick for well over a decade!
Once the tomatoes are frozen solid (several hours or overnight) I pop them into a large zip lock bag.
Whenever a recipe calls for canned tomatoes I pull a few from my freezer bag and set it into a pan or bowl of water (no need to heat it, room temperature works fine) fully frozen. I let them sit for a few minutes while I putter around doing something else. Then I scoop it out of the water and peel it over the sink.
Using my thumb and forefinger I rub the outside of the tomato. The peel slides right off. At the core I may have to loosen it a bit with my fingernail or a butter knife. I then carefully dice the still partially frozen tomatoes and add them to my recipe. So simple.
HINT: I use frozen tomatoes in lieu of canned tomatoes in recipes such as soup, salsa, Chile', marinara sauce and the like.
Once you try this you will be hooked. It's amazing how this little trick transformed a tedious, time consuming task into a simple, easy and quick way to freeze large quantities for use in cooking.
I hope this little trick enhances your time, budget and life as much as it has mine!
Good thoughts and love to all.