How to Blanch, Peel, & Freeze Whole Tomatoes

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Freezing tomatoes is a convenient way to keep your summer garden harvest tasty throughout the fall and winter months. According to the University of Missouri, blanching fruits and vegetables slows or stops enzyme action, which is what causes them to grow and ripen. Blanching tomatoes prior to freezing them will ensure optimum taste, quality and texture. Use the frozen and thawed tomatoes in a variety of recipes such as pasta sauces, soups and stews.

Blanch whole, fresh tomatoes in boiling water for the best results. Fill a blancher or large kettle with 1 gallon of water per 1 lb. of tomatoes. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.

Place the tomatoes into a blanching basket and carefully lower them into the boiling water. Cover the blancher or kettle with a tight-fitting lid and allow the tomatoes to boil over high heat for 30 seconds.

Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water using a slotted spoon and transfer them to a large bowl of ice water, which will stop the cooking process. Allow the tomatoes to rest in the ice bath until they are cool.

Peel the skins off of the blanched tomatoes using your fingers. Place the tomatoes into plastic storage containers, allowing a 1/2-inch head space for expansion. Press airtight lids onto the containers.

Store the tomatoes in a freezer set at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below for up to eight months.