If you have a freezer and an abundance of tomatoes to preserve, freezing tomatoes is the simplest preservation method of all. Plus it locks in much of the fresh taste that can be diminished from boiling using traditional canning methods.
Frozen tomatoes won't be solid or have their shape after thawing, resulting in more juice than pulp. But they'll taste great in your soups, stews, and other recipes where you traditionally would use a can of crushed tomatoes. Just follow these few simple steps for freezing tomatoes.
Wash the tomatoes thoroughly in clean water to remove all traces of bacteria-harboring dirt. While not generally necessary, there are also food-safe soaps sold by some health food stores and markets for removing oil-based residues that are not entirely water-soluble, such as pesticides, waxy preservatives, and oils.
Prepare a pot of hot (near- but not boiling) water. Plunge tomatoes into the hot water for 30 to 60 seconds. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and plunge into ice water to loosen the skins. For large quantities you can buy a blancher to make the job easier.
The skins should now slip off but you may need to use a serrated knife to help on stubborn spots. Then cut out the stems.
Don't have time for this step? Just freeze your washed tomatoes whole and remove the peels later while holding under running water.
After removing the skins. quarter or chop the tomatoes. This optional step helps to compact the tomatoes in their freezer containers and removes a later recipe preparation step. Freezing them whole is also fine.
Place the tomatoes into recipe-sized bags such as 1-qt. or 1 L freezer zip-lock bags. Square plastic freezer containers are also a good choice that conserve freezer space.
I'm sure you'll enjoy the fresh taste of the tomatoes that you grew yourself in your favorite stew or recipe!