I am a semi-seasonal vegetable grower, meaning I am very active in spring, summer and autumn, but half resting during the winter period – one reason being I do not have a polytunnel or (heated) greenhouse on my Patch.
Therefore, I work twice as hard during the warmer months to grow as much as I can so that I may enjoy the freshest vegetable and fruits as possible. As a consequence of growing too many plants, I have way too many to keep for winter. There are some vegetables you just can’t keep / preserve them for winter use. However, there are some vegetables that are staple to our diet and you can easily preserve them for the colder months, for instance, tomatoes.
Tell me, who doesn’t love tomatoes (I do actually know someone who hates tomatoes – my younger brother. He is a very strange boy.) It is such a versatile vegetable. You can make salad, soup, sauce, bread, pizza, pasta, stew and curry and many more. Tomatoes are one of my favourite veg! Whenever someone asks me what kind of food I like, I say anything that has tomatoes. Now you know when you invite me round to your house for supper
Unfortunately, due to our weather in the UK it is just not possible to have fresh tomatoes all year round. The next best thing I can do is to grow tons of tomatoes and then freeze them as soon as they are ripe. This is the first time I did it and I waited until the tomatoes season had gone so that I can try the result before writing this blog. The result is pretty promising.
I admit, I cannot use them on salad or pizza dressing, but these frozen tomatoes can be added to a stew, making your favourite pasta sauce or curry. I have a feeling that they will be fairly competent in making soup too. Pick them at their prime and put them straight into the freezer. There is no long and time-consuming processing to lose all the goodness of these little red things.
I am pretty sure most of you will agree that my method is very easy compared to other freezing methods our there. It also gives you some diversity as they are frozen in their full shape so you are not bound to make them into sauces.
What do you need:
♥ A lot of lovely tomatoes
♥ A lot of freezer bags
♥ Marker pen
♥ A straw
- Wash the tomatoes and dry them by using a clean tea towel or kitchen roll. I didn’t wash mine as they grew organically and I will use boiling water to thaw them when I am ready to use, so there is no need for pre-washing.
- Use a sharp knife take out the core.
- Put them in a freezer bag. As we only have two people in this house, I used small freezer bags and filled them with 6 or 7 tomatoes. You can decide how many tomatoes you would like to pack in each bag
- Seal the freezer bag and put the straw in the end of the zip, then suck all the air from the bag and quickly seal tight.
- Write down the date so that you can use up the older slots first in winter.
I also use this method to store my runner beans, I pre-cut them into small strips and then fill freezer bags with them. The result is pretty good and fresh too. I use them readily in soup and noodle dishes.
You can use the vegetable during the whole winter and they can be kept until next summer ready for your next fresh harvest.