Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday's tip: Freeze whole tomatoes to store for off-season cooking

This summer I only planted two big tomato plants (along with a whole lot of cherry tomatoes), but it still gave me more tomatoes than I could easily get through in a week. I decided to tried something new to save them for later in the year, by freezing them whole.

First I checked a number of how-to websites and discovered that tomatoes will need to be cooked after being frozen, as they become watery and don't taste good raw. No worries. I plan to chop them up and chuck them into soups, casseroles or pasta dishes like I would use a tin of chopped tomatoes.

All I did was wash and dry the tomatoes, then chuck them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. I kept on adding to the bag over a couple of weeks until it was full. You can also cut out the woody centre if you wish, but I decided to see what would happen if I didn't.

Only use perfect tomatoes for this, ones with no bug holes or rot.

In the next photo you can see my ziplock bag of frozen tomatoes at the front right-hand side of my dedicated vegetable drawer in the freezer.

In case you're curious about what else is pictured in the photo above, you'll see bags of grated zucchini from my garden, bags of cooked spinach and silverbeet also from my garden, bags of roasted capsicums, and bags of pasta sauce a friend gave me to help out when baby number two comes. (Thanks Jessica!)


  1. Hi Emma, great tip! I have been freezing cherry tomatoes (so easy to just pop them in a bag as they ripen), mini capsicums, chillies and chopped up beans. Its so convenient and lovely to have some out-of-season veges all year. I do want to get a food dryer to preserve herbs and veges though.... can you tell me more about the frozen spinach? I'd love a solution for excess silverbeet.....

  2. Hey Liz, I've drafted up a post for this Friday explaining how I cook up my spinach and silverbeet. :)

  3. Hey Emma....here's an alternative to freezing tomatoes whole,
    especially for those imperfect ones!
    Blend them & then freeze in an ice cube tray,before transferring
    to freezer bags.Perhaps a little more work but is a real space-saver!
    Works great with home-made baby food also e.g.veg,chicken livers,fruit etc

    1. Hey thanks for that. My tomatoes are finally about to start producing, so I'll give that a go.




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