The one thing I try every year to put up is tomatoes. I prefer to can them in a pressure canner, but you can also freeze them whole, roasted or in sauce form. Cherry tomatoes can be used in the same way as you would larger tomatoes.
We started freezing cherry tomatoes here at the farm a few years ago, to great results. They are actually very handy to have in the freezer, so when you're making something that calls for a few tomatoes - soups, stews, casseroles - you just pop open the container and throw a few in. I always leave the skins on the tomatoes, if i'm making a recipe where I want a smoother texture then I use the stick blender before adding the jar to the dish. The plus side of this is that you get extra fiber from the skins, and it's much quicker :)
Freezing cherry tomatoes is easy:
Simply wash the cherry tomatoes and let dry on a tea towel. Then bag them up and put in the freezer. You can lay them to freezer on a baking sheet and then bag them, but I don't find this is necessary because they don't stick together in the bag like other fruits and vegetables do.
You can use your frozen cherry tomatoes right from the freezer or thaw them before use if the thing you are cooking doesn't have a long cooking time.
In a post I was reading, they said they used their frozen tomatoes in this recipe with great results.
1 1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese
- You can roast your cherry tomatoes and put right into the freezer to add to sauces or soups in the winter (slow roasted grape tomatoes) or make a sauce, like in this recipe (Balsamic Roasted Cherry Tomato sauce), then put into jars or bags in the freezer.
- Canning cherry tomatoes is easy (but you must be sure to read about the process first from a tested recipe):
- My preferred method of canning tomatoes is to can them. I have been doing it for years and feel very comfortable with it. I have both cherry tomatoes and larger tomatoes in my garden and stew them both together to make my sauce.
- Cherry tomatoes can be canned in either a water bath or pressure canner. I prefer to make a sauce first before putting it into the jars, but you can place them in whole and process that way. If you process them whole, the tomatoes cook down and you end up with a 3/4 full jar, so it seems like a waste of jar space to me. When you make a sauce, you can fill up the jars and when you are done you have nice full jars of sauce.
- When I make sauce I just wash and cut up the tomatoes and stew them down. I use a pressure canner, so I do not add lemon juice to up the acidity, but if you are water bathing the tomatoes you should add 1 T per pint, and 2 T per quart. It's recommended that you always follow a recipe when canning tomatoes and that you follow the instructions on your pressure canner. A water bath doesn't have to be anything fancy, just as long as the pot is large enough to have the jars covered completely in water. If you add any vegetables to your recipe, then you must use a pressure canner.
- These canned tomatoes can be used in any place where they call for tinned tomatoes.
- I love looking at my rows of tomatoes in jars, knowing that I have locally grown, organic tomatoes for cooking with all year long.
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