The good thing is that you can safely and easily freeze tomatoes, in any form. Tomatoes, like a lot of fruits and vegetables, are quite easy to freeze and they still taste delicious once defrosted.
Moreover, they can be stored in the freezer for a long time. So, it’s a very good idea to stock up on them during their prime season so that you can indulge in them throughout the year, especially during winter.
Tomatoes are some of the most delicious food items out there. They are low in calories and they contain a huge dosage of vitamin C as well as potassium. Furthermore, they are incredibly delicious and can be used in almost any dish imaginable.
This versatile food item can be incorporated in salads, various dishes as well as eaten on its own. The best time to get fresh tomatoes is spring and summer so you probably wonder whether you can freeze tomatoes so that you can enjoy them all year round.
Nevertheless, there are some important factors that you should be aware of and consider when freezing tomatoes.
How do you freeze fresh tomatoes?
There are a few ways to freeze fresh tomatoes.
- One of the most popular and efficient ones is to gently wash your tomatoes in the sink, not using any soap or detergent since those can stay on the surface of the tomato and give you food poisoning.
- Then, remove the stem with a knife and place the tomatoes on a baking tray, making sure they are reasonably distanced from each other so that they don’t freeze together.
- Afterward, put the tray with tomatoes in the freezer and wait until completely frozen approximately 5 hours.
- Once frozen, you can place the tomatoes in a ziplock bag and store them that way.
This is called the flash freeze method which i have made an entire article on here.
- Alternatively, you can cut up your tomatoes into smaller pieces so that it’s easier to store them. After cutting them up, place them on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Then, you can store them in a plastic or ziplock bag, just as you would whole tomatoes.
- You can also choose to remove the skin prior to freezing your tomatoes. Simply cut across at the bottom of the tomato and blanch them by submerging them in boiling water for one minute.
- After that, run them through ice-cold water and the skin will easily come off.
- Then, freeze them on a baking sheet before storing them in an air-tight container, such as a ziplock bag. While removing the skin, it’s also very useful to deseed your tomatoes prior to freezing if you are considering using those for soups or sauces as the seeds tend to make such dishes bitter.
How do you freeze tomatoes without blanching?
You don’t have to blanch your tomatoes prior to freezing. Simply, wash your tomatoes with lukewarm water and remove the stem. Afterward, make sure to label your freezer bags so that you know when your produce was frozen.
- Place the tomatoes in the bag and make sure to account for the expansion that occurs when the produce freezes.
- Then, close the bag tightly to avoid any scents from the freezer to change the flavor of your tomatoes.
- Tomatoes that are frozen using this method can last in the freezer around 6-12 months.
- Tomatoes that haven’t been blanched are best suited as a side dish or for salads as the skin and seeds can make stews and soups taste bitter. Hence, if you know you’re going to make a stew, sauce or soup out of your frozen tomatoes, make sure that you blanch them, remove the skin and deseed them.
How long can you keep fresh tomatoes in the freezer?
Fresh tomatoes can be stored in the freezer for a minimum of 6 months and up to 12 months. Once taken out of the freezer, they should be consumed or used up for a dish within a few days.
If the tomatoes smell funny or look discolored, it means they have gone off and you should discard them. They also should be firm upon defrosting.
Another way to know that your tomatoes have gone off is if they become too watery and mushy.
Sometimes, tomatoes stored in the freezer might get frostbites, hence it is always best to store them in a bag rather than place them loosely in the freezer as the bag will protect them.
Can I freeze cherry tomatoes?
Just like their regular counterparts, cherry tomatoes can be frozen as well.
- First, start by washing them in lukewarm water. Make sure that the cherry tomatoes you picked for freezing are firm as it helps to ensure that they will be fresh once defrosted.
- Then, remove the stem from the tomatoes and place them on a baking tray or wax paper.
- Once you do that, put the cherry tomatoes in the freezer for about an hour until they slightly freeze — doing that prevents the tomatoes from sticking to one another.
- Afterward, just place your cherry tomatoes into a bowl or a ziplock bag and leave in the freezer for up to 12 months.
What’s the best container to freeze tomatoes in?
Choosing the best freezing container depends on the form that you are freezing your tomatoes in. If you are freezing whole tomatoes, then it is best to first freeze them on a baking tray, and later move them into a sealable bag.
That way, they won’t stick together. On the other hand, if you choose to freeze puréed tomatoes, then it is best to freeze them in a freezable container, such as a Mason jar or Tupperware. Similarly, if you freeze diced or sliced tomatoes, you can easily freeze them in a bowl or a ziplock bag as it will make them easier to defrost later on.
Regardless of what container you will choose for freezing, make sure that it can, in fact, be frozen. Some jars and packaging are not suitable for a freezer since they might break or leak chemicals into your food. Hence, it’s always best to check the instructions and packaging prior to using any freezing container.
Does freezing tomatoes affect flavor?
Generally, freezing tomatoes doesn’t affect their flavor. In fact, if you chose to freeze your tomatoes when they are firm and fresh, they will taste the best while still a little cold and frozen.
Then, you can use them in salads or in various recipes, such as sauces, stews, soups, and more — tomatoes in such a state have the best taste. However, if you don’t consume your tomatoes within a few days after defrosting them, they can become watery and mushy and, as a result, lose their flavor.
So, prior to defrosting all your tomatoes, make sure that you will use or consume all of them so that none will go to waste.
Can I freeze diced tomatoes?
Yes, you can safely and easily freeze diced tomatoes. In order to do that, however, you first need to remove the skin and deseed them.
- Start by washing the tomatoes in the sink
- Then cut an ‘X’ at the bottom.
- Then, place the tomatoes in boiling water for about a minute and plunge them into ice-cold water immediately after that.
- Once the tomatoes cool down, gently peel off the skin
- Cut them in quarters.
- The next step is to gently squish the tomatoes, place them in a pot, and bring to a boil.
- Once they are boiled and mushy, wait for them to cool down and store them in a freezable Tupperware.
- The tomatoes can last for around 10 months, so make sure to mark the date on the container.
How do you thaw frozen cherry tomatoes?
In order to thaw cherry tomatoes, remove them from the freezer and leave them in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours. Once they are defrosted, make sure to consume them within a few days as they might spoil and you’d be forced to throw them away.
Alternatively, you can run your frozen tomatoes under some lukewarm water and leave them on the kitchen counter for about an hour. If you defrost your tomatoes this way, make sure to use them immediately as they might become too watery.
Can I defrost my tomatoes in a microwave?
It’s best not to defrost any type of vegetables or fruits in a microwave as it can spoil them or affect their taste. The best way to defrost tomatoes is to let them thaw in the freezer or at room temperature. Alternatively, you can choose to grate frozen tomatoes into sauces, stews, or soups.
Nevertheless, if your microwave has a slow and low heat defrosting setting, you can use it to defrost your tomatoes. However, make sure to monitor the temperature and your tomatoes constantly as they might get too warm and mushy otherwise.
The best way to do it is to leave your tomatoes in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time. Furthermore, it’s good to put a cup of cold water in the microwave since it helps ensure that your defrosted tomatoes will remain firm and juicy.
Do frozen tomatoes taste good?
Surprisingly, frozen tomatoes taste very good. (of course, this depends on taste) What’s more, they taste the best while they are still a little frozen, and they can be used in salads in this state. They also work well in stews and soups while they’re still frozen since the taste is confined in them and they will slowly thaw in the dish that you are making, adding flavor to it.
Can I freeze already defrosted tomatoes?
It’s never safe to repeatedly freeze produce. Once defrosted, all food items should be eaten or used up within a specific amount of time — when it comes to tomatoes, it’s usually around a few days.
Freezing already defrosted food items is dangerous since you are risking freezing bacteria with it, which can ultimately lead to food poisoning. Hence, it is best to make sure that you can consume all the defrosted produce within a safe amount of time.
Moreover, because of that, it’s best to freeze your food in smaller portions since then you can control how much you defrost at once.
What can I make with frozen cherry tomatoes?
Frozen cherry tomatoes can be grated and used as a quick and homemade pasta sauce. In order to do that, simply grate your frozen cherry tomatoes and add spices to the mix. Then, mix them with water and add to your meat or pasta.
Similarly, you can use frozen cherry tomatoes to make a roasted cherry tomato stew or sauce. They also go well in salads as they are slightly sweeter than regular tomatoes. What’s more, adding frozen vegetables makes the sauce and stew more flavored as well as intensifies the taste.
Can you get botulism from frozen tomatoes?
If you don’t know, botulism comes from dangerous toxins that are produced when Clostridium botulinum spores grow in low acid foods. In order to prevent this from happening, there are a few things you need to do.
First of all, make sure that you choose the right tomatoes. They should be firm and fresh, not mushy, and ripe. Ripe tomatoes are capable of supporting this type of bacteria, hence you should never freeze them.
What’s more, make sure not to add any additional ingredients to your tomatoes prior to freezing them as they change the acidity level and can make you sick once you consume them. It’s also important to wash them carefully before freezing since there might be some lingering bacteria.
Can I freeze tomatoes in Mason jars?
You can safely freeze your tomatoes in Mason jars as long as the description of the jar doesn’t state otherwise. Sometimes, certain types of glass jars can break once in the freezer, so make sure that you check the one you are planning to use.
If your Mason jar is safe to use in low temperatures, then you may safely put your diced tomatoes in it and freeze them. Freezing tomatoes in jars are the best if you plan on using them for stews or soups as they are already prepared.
However, in case you’re not sure if your Mason jar can be kept in the freezer, it’s always best to freeze your regular as well as cherry tomatoes in a sealable bag or special Tupperware. That way, you will be sure that you’re being safe.
Can you freeze canned tomatoes?
If the canned tomatoes have not been opened yet, then you can simply store them in a cupboard.
However, once you’ve opened the can of tomatoes. they either need to be consumed instantly or safely stored. In order to do that, pour the leftovers into a Tupperware container or any freezable jar.
After you have done that, make sure to close the lid tightly and place the tomatoes in the freezer. You should consume such tomatoes within 3 months.
What’s more, ensure that you never freeze canned tomatoes in their original can and unopened as it makes them spoil and can contribute to food poisoning. Unopened cans should be kept at room temperature since they are already sealed.
Can I freeze sauces and soups made from frozen tomatoes?
If you use frozen tomatoes to make a sauce or soup, you can safely freeze the whole dish again as it has been prepared and thoroughly cooked. The rule for freezing whole dishes is generally that you can store them for up to 3-4 months as long as you do not defrost them in the meantime. If you do, however, defrost them once, you can’t freeze them again.
Can I freeze puréed tomatoes?
Puréed tomatoes, just like any other types of tomatoes, can be safely frozen. Once you have puréed your tomatoes, put the leftovers into a freezable Tupperware or a bowl covered with foil (so that no scent from the freezer can affect the taste) and place it in the freezer.
Puréed tomatoes have to be defrosted and consumed within 5-7 months, depending on whether you have added any additional ingredients. If you have, you should keep puréed tomatoes in the freezer for around 1-2 months.
However, if you added any milk or dairy products, it’s usually not safe to freeze them as they might contain bacteria. If not, it is safe to have them frosted for around 6-12 months, just like whole tomatoes.
Where in the freezer should I keep my tomatoes?
The best place to keep your tomatoes in the freezer is far away from any food items that smell intensely. This is due to the high water content in tomatoes, which makes them absorb other smells relatively quickly.
Generally, tomatoes, as any fresh produce that has been frozen, do best at the top shelf. What’s more, it is important to make sure that the temperature in your freezer is 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Tomatoes stored at that temperature will last for a maximum of 12 months and it is also the healthiest temperature for this type of food.