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How To Preserve Tomatoes: 3 Easy & Quick Methods

How to preserve tomatoes
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Mrdidg

By learning how to preserve tomatoes, you can continue to enjoy their incredible flavor all year long. Try one of these three quick and easy methods.

Food preservation is a culinary technique used to stop food from spoiling so that it keeps its flavor, texture, and nutritional value for much longer. 

Tomatoes are a great fruit to preserve. Unripe tomatoes will only last one week at room temperature, and up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Preserving these fruits will help lock in their fresh juicy taste and texture, which allows you to enjoy them for much longer. Learn how to preserve tomatoes by freezing, canning, and drying them with our instructions below. 

1. Canned

Canning fresh tomatoes can be done easily and quickly.
Canning fresh tomatoes can be done easily and quickly.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / pcdazero)

If you have a large batch of fresh tomatoes which need preserving, canning is the most effective method. Be sure to sterilize your jars for canning before using them. Here’s how to preserve tomatoes using the canning method: 

  1. Give your tomatoes a good rinse to remove any dirt or grime.  
  2. Add about one tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt to each jar.
  3. Pack the washed tomatoes into the jars, leaving about ½ an inch between the tomatoes and the rim of the jar.
  4. Pour the boiling water into the jars, leaving ½ inch space from the rim.
  5. Remove any air bubbles by pressing gently down on the tomatoes with a spatula. Seal tightly. 
  6. Your canned fresh tomatoes will last in the pantry for up to 18 months. 

2. Frozen

Freezing fresh tomatoes is the easiest way to preserve these delicious, juicy summer fruits. 

  1. Wash your tomatoes and dry them completely using a clean kitchen towel.
  2. On a large baking tray, place the tomatoes, whole or chopped in half, onto the sheet, making sure to place them about ½ an inch apart, or so that they are not touching. 
  3. Flash freeze them by placing the tray in the freezer for a few hours, or until the tomatoes are mostly frozen.
  4. Transfer the tomatoes to a resealable freezer bag. Place them back in the freezer. Frozen tomatoes can last in the freezer for up to one year. To use them later, simply remove the desired amount from the freezer bag and add them to all kinds of hearty and warming soups, stews, casseroles and pasta dishes. 

Other great ideas for using frozen tomatoes include vegan goulash, vegan chili, or homemade ketchup

3. Dried

Learn how to preserve tomatoes by drying them in the oven.
Learn how to preserve tomatoes by drying them in the oven.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / ulleo )

If you end up having more tomatoes than you can handle this summer, drying them is another great way to preserve their delicious flavor to be enjoyed throughout the year. Drying tomatoes keeps their same tasty flavor, and they can be added into all kinds of dishes, either on their own, sprinkled over a salad, added to a creamy pasta sauce, or wherever a recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes. 

This is how to dry tomatoes at home:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the tomatoes with cool water and dry them out completely with a clean kitchen towel. 
  2. Hull each tomato (remove their cores) using a teaspoon to remove all seeds and juice. Note: Do not let the seed and juice go to waste, there is so much flavor there! Add them to a pasta sauce or salad dressing instead. 
  3. Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. 
  4. Place the tomatoes into a bowl and sprinkle with a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add any dried herbs of your choosing. Toss together. 
  5. Place the tomatoes evenly on a wire rack, about one-inch apart. Place the rack onto a large rimmed baking sheet and into the centre of the oven. 
  6. Transfer to the oven. Check on the tomatoes every 30 minutes or so. Once the edges have curled up and they have reduced by about one-third in size, you can remove them from the oven. This could take anywhere between two to three hours in the oven. 
  7. Leave them on the wire rack to cool completely. 
  8. Store your dried tomatoes in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator, or for up to six months in the freezer. There is also the possibility to store them in olive oil for longer by placing them in a glass jar and covering them with the oil. This infused oil can then be used to enrich pasta dishes or in salad dressings.

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