How to Save Summer Tomatoes

 Some of the tomatoes I grew last year, sliced into quarters and individually froze. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Some of the tomatoes I grew last year, sliced into quarters and individually froze. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

How to Save Summer Tomatoes

Tomato season is almost here so this is a good time to talk about the easiest way to save some of the wonderful summer tomato flavors out of our gardens for the upcoming winter.

Tomatoes made a wonderful base for chili, soups and sauces. Chili is my favorite dish to cook mid-winter using some of my saved summer tomatoes. Soups are second so whatever tomatoes I save, they will both become smashed in the cooking process.

The first step is to pick wonderfully tasty tomatoes that are ripe and ready to use. After washing and letting them drip dry on a towel, I cut them into quarters and place in a tray that fits in my freezer.

A couple of hours later, when they are individually frozen, I toss them into a good quality freezer bag and return them to the freezer for winter use. If I remember, I will mark on the bag when I froze them and what kind of tomatoes they are. Considering that most of my tomato plants are volunteers that sprout early spring in my inside plant pots, most of them are of the mystery variety.

Friends of mine go through the canning process but I find this much quicker and easier to do.

Charlotte