Q.: Can tomatoes be frozen in a way to save their taste and flavor later on?
— Gerald Galinsky, Springfield Township
A.: Tomatoes easily can be frozen and, if done properly, will retain their flavor. However, they won’t retain their shape.
Frozen tomatoes will be too watery when thawed to try to slice them for a salad or sandwich. After freezing, however, tomatoes are perfect for sauces, soups, and any other dish that calls for chopped or stewed tomatoes or tomato juice.
Here are methods for freezing tomatoes recommended by the National Center for Home Food Preservation:
“Preparation: Select firm, ripe tomatoes with deep red color.
“Raw: Wash and dip in boiling water for 30 seconds to loosen skins. Core and peel. Freeze whole or in pieces. Pack into containers, leaving 1-inch headspace. Seal and freeze. Use only for cooking or seasoning as tomatoes will not be solid when thawed.
“Juice: Wash, sort and trim firm, vine-ripened tomatoes. Cut in quarters or eighths. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Press through a sieve. If desired, season with 1 teaspoon salt to each quart of juice. Pour into containers, leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.
“Stewed: Remove stem ends, peel and quarter ripe tomatoes. Cover and cook until tender (10 to 20 minutes). Place pan containing tomatoes in cold water to cool. Pack into containers, leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.”
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