Sunday, July 29, 2012

What to do with all those tomatoes??

Friday, July 27, 2012

It is peak tomato season!  There are so many recipes that fresh tomatoes can be used in-salsa, salads, bruschetta, cucumber/tomato/onion salad, on burgers, on sandwiches, on pasta, the list goes on.

Whole, small tomatoes, ready for freezer
Dried tomatoes
So, what to do when you are eating tomatoes at every meal and still have them coming?  It is time to preserve them.

I freeze, dry and can my excess tomatoes.  
Be sure to put the date and description on each freezer bag and quart jar.  Use the oldest first and all within a year.

During peak season for any produce, you can get the lowest prices at your neighborhood farm or farmers market.  In many cases you can get a huge discount for any bruised or blemished tomatoes.  These are great to use for preserving, just be sure to remove any soft spots.

Right now, I prefer to freeze them because it is so hot that I don’t want to turn on any heat generators inside the house.  For cherry type tomatoes, I just throw them in a quart freezer bag and put in the freezer.  For larger tomatoes, I slice then put them in freezer bags.  They thaw much quicker this way.  They will have a fresh taste when thawed and used for salsa, sauces, or chili.  
Freshly canned tomato sauce
When it cools, I start drying and canning.  I just love “sun dried” tomatoes right out of my own dehydrator.  You store your dried tomatoes in a quart jar to use until next year.  Only a water bath is needed for canning tomatoes because they are acidic.  Make sure you follow a sauce recipe exactly as it is critical for keeping to the right acid level.

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