If your garden looks anything like mine, you have more tomatoes this year than ever before. Did you know that you can freeze tomatoes whole? No canning, boiling, or chopping involved—it’s my preserving method of choice. I freeze whatever abundant produce I know we won’t have time to eat while it’s still fresh. And believe it or not, there is a correct and an incorrect way to freeze, and it’s just as easy to do it the right way as it is the wrong. Here are some tips to avoid freezer burn and clumping for tastier end results come mid-winter.
Tips for freezing:
I freeze green beans, strawberries, zucchini— you name it. But right now, I’m freezing basket upon basket of tomatoes. Some produce, like zucchini, should be cut beforehand, but I keep my tomatoes whole.
• Wash and dry well with cloth towels.
• Remove stalks or stems.
• Lay out your produce on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper — don’t allow your fruit or vegetables to touch each other.
• Slip that entire cookie sheet (uncovered) into the freezer and freeze until your produce is frozen solid — depending on size, this can take anywhere from one to five hours.
• Pour your now-frozen produce into a freezer safe bag (date it!) and store for up to six months.