Can you have too many tomatoes? Apparently so! Today I’m sharing a super simple way to freeze tomatoes and make tomato sauce for rainy days! It will take you around 15 minutes.
Years ago, I remember my grandmother used to spend days canning fresh yummy tomatoes from her garden.
She did it all: tomato juice, tomato sauce, canned whole tomatoes, even tomato jelly as crazy as it sounds.
“Tomato is still a fruit” she would say.
Thanks to my dad, who is a great gardener, every year, we still enjoy organic, homegrown tomatoes all through July and August.
This year, my dad gave us four buckets full of ripe, juicy tomatoes so far.
After eating two buckets in just a week – in salads like this one, juices or the tomato sauce my toddler devours – our cravings for tomatoes went a bit down.
We did not want the rest to go bad or to make our own La Tomatina at home. So, we decided to preserve these tomatoes as long as we can.
How To Preserve Tomatoes?
There are many options when it comes to preserving tomatoes. It really depends on what you like and how much time and energy you want to invest in this. Here are a few ways to keep your tomatoes and eat them too:
- Canning. Canning tomatoes takes a while, but they’ll keep fresh for a year, or as my mom can guarantee, a few years.
- Turn into tomato paste. You’ll need to invest some time (what feels like 5 years) to cook your tomatoes down to this, but then you can make a pizza in 10 minutes with it.
- Drying tomatoes. Ever heard of sun-dried tomatoes? Of course, you have! This is another way to preserve tomatoes. If you don’t have the patience to dry tomatoes in the sun, you can do it in the oven or buy a dehydrator.
- Freezing tomatoes. By far the easiest and quickest option that preserves the fresh flavor!
With my 2-year-old keeping me fairly busy, I decided to skip the canning ceremony this year. I decided to take the easy route and freeze the two buckets of fresh tomatoes my dad gave me from his garden.
How To Freeze Tomatoes (or Tomato Sauce)
You can freeze your own tomatoes in around 15 minutes. You’ll need tomatoes, a knife, a ladle, freezer bags and a high-speed blender or a bowl and a hand blender.
Here’s how to freeze tomatoes in 4 easy steps:
- Wash and chop the tomatoes.
- Put them in your high-speed blender or in a bowl and use your hand blender to make a sauce.
- Using a ladle, put the tomato sauce in a freezer bag and seal it. Now, I admit I overdid it a bit with filling the freezer bags this time. I recommend putting around 2-3 ladles of tomato sauce per bag, because once it’s defrosted you’ll need to use the whole bag of tomatoes and more than 2-3 ladles might be too much if you’re not feeding a big family.
- Repeat for all the tomato sauce!
Voila! Now you can enjoy all the vitamins from fresh tomatoes all through fall and winter.
If you don’t feel like reading, here is our 90-second video on YouTube.
What To Do With Frozen Tomatoes?
Once you defrost the frozen tomatoes, you can:
- add any herbs and spices you like: basil, oregano, crushed chili flakes, black pepper – you can be very flexible here!
- use in soups or chili
- make dishes with rice, quinoa, beans, chicken or fish
My toddler loves tomatoes on their own and that’s one reason I wanted to keep this “sauce” super simple.
I hope your tomatoes are still good and fresh, so you can freeze them and enjoy anytime you want.
La Tomatina (…or what to do with bad tomatoes)
If some tomatoes went bad, you can do your own Tomatina at home, in case you can’t visit the Spanish one this year. Sure, it will be messy and smelly (if the tomatoes are bad), but it’s probably worth the experience. For some reason.
We were in Valencia in June, so it was too early to visit the biggest food fight festival where people throw overripe tomatoes in the streets.
As fun as that sounds, I still prefer to freeze those tomatoes on time instead of fighting with the ones that went bad.