As we are quickly approaching tomato season in Southern Ontario, hopefully, your garden is doing well and you are expecting an abundance of tomatoes. Here are a few ways to consider preserving the tomatoes that you aren’t able to enjoy fresh.
- Dehydrating – whole or powder
Freezing tomatoes is a quick and easy way to save your tomatoes. This can be especially helpful when things are hectic during the peak of summer. Frozen tomatoes will lose their structure and become kind of mussy. This means frozen tomatoes are best for making a sauce or chilli. This is also a great way to save up tomatoes until you have enough to can them for future use. Before I put the tomatoes in the freezer I will take the stem and core out of the tomato and slice an “X” in the bottom of the tomato to allow for the skin to be easier to remove when thawed. Once this is done I put the tomatoes into large bags and put them in the freezer. The one downside to this method is that you need the freezer space to accommodate all your tomatoes.
Dehydrating is another great way to save your tomatoes to enjoy later. There are two ways that I like to dehydrate tomatoes. The first is cherry tomatoes which I halve or quarter and then spread evenly on the dehydrator trays. The end product is a sundried tomato which is excellent to add to many dishes throughout the winter by quickly rehydrating with a bit of warm water. The second way is thinly slicing paste or San Marzano tomatoes and then dehydrating these. Once dry you pulse them in a high-speed blender until they form a powder. Tomato powder can be used for many things and can act as a substitute for tomato paste. Dehydrated tomatoes need to be stored in an airtight container but otherwise have no special storage needs.
Due to the acidity of tomatoes, water bath canning is another way to save your tomatoes for the depths of winter. There are a few different recipes that I make every year to have in the pantry. Whenever you are canning it’s best to use a well-tested canning recipe from a reputable source as food safety is important. My pantry staples for canning tomatoes are:
- Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce – great used for pasta, and pizza sauce.
- Roasted Salsa – the roasting adds extra flavour and I like that I’m able to adjust the level of spice to our taste.
- Diced Tomatoes – these are versatile and can be used in many recipes throughout the winter.
For more details on the varieties of tomatoes I’m growing this year, don’t forget to check out this post.
I hope you find these suggestions for preserving tomatoes helpful. I’d love to hear what ways you save your tomatoes to enjoy later in the comments below.