As much as I love eating local produce, it kills me that in just a few short months, most of what I love will be gone (like zucchini, eggplant and potatoes).
So for this post, I’d like to show you how I preserve some of my bounty without fancy canning techniques (which I will tackle someday, just not yet). I do have a vacuum sealer and a chest freezer, though. So for right now, freezing is the way to go.
On my way home from work yesterday, I stopped by the farm stand off of Loomis in Franklin, WI. This place is a gem – awesome produce and it’s cheap. I stocked up on tomatoes for $1/pound.
How to Freeze Tomatoes
To freeze tomatoes, start by picking ripe (but not overly ripe) produce with no bruises.
Next, you’re going to blanch them in boiling water for about a minute so you can easily peel the skin off (to blanch, place the tomatoes in boiling water and then after a minute, submerge them in ice water to stop the cooking process).
Next, peel the skin off (it’ll come off very easily) and core out the stem with a knife. After that, quarter the tomatoes and try removing as much of the seeds as you can. Place them in a colander to drain for about 10 minutes.
Next, divide the tomatoes equally in freezer bags (I used vacuum sealer bags), but this can easily work with Ziplock freezer bags – just make sure to get most of the air out.
Stick these in the freezer to enjoy all winter long (like when homemade pasta sauce is calling your name in January).
This is the perfect weekend project, so make sure to stock up on some tomatoes if you’re heading to the farmers’ market on Saturday (or picking from your own garden). Me? I’ve gotta get back to that farm stand – you can’t shake a stick at $1/pound :)
Question: How do you preserve summer produce?
P.S. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I’ll show you how to freeze peaches :)