Tomatoes are an important ingredient in fall preserving as you get high quality fruits for low price during the season and again, they are the most expensive in winter. Do not be scared if you haven’t done any food preservation. From the old canning method to the spicy herbal sauce, we have compiled five wonderful and simple ways to preserve tomatoes for the winter.
Ways To Preserve Tomatoes In Winter:
1. Sun Dried Tomatoes:
Cut the tomatoes into halves, remove the core and take away as much seeds as possible and add your favorite spices, such as thyme, basil, oregano, salt, etc, to the tomatoes. Ensure you do not disturb the pulp much when you take away the seeds. Dry them in the oven or direct sunlight to remove the moisture content completely. It would take a few days when you dry them in sunlight, but doesn’t matter, dry them until they are leathery. The drier they are, the longer will be the storage life. Put the dried tomatoes in a plastic sleeve or a jar and store them in a freezer or fridge for winter usage.
2. Home Canned Tomatoes:
Do not have a canner? No issues, you can do canning without a canner at home too. Boil the tomatoes, put those in ice water to slacken off the skin and peel the skin once it cools down. Take your sanitized mason jars and fill them with boiled water. Add two tablespoons lemon juice to the jar and stuff the jars with tomatoes leaving ½ inch space below the rim. Ensure there are zero air bubbles while placing the lid. Transfer the jars to a stock pot filled with water and boil them for 85 minutes. Remove the jars, let them dry and store in cool, dark place for winter use.
3. Tomato Paste:
Take ripe tomatoes and boil those over high flame for 2 minutes so that they get soft. Add ½ cup virgin olive oil and one tablespoon salt to the boiled tomatoes. Puree the tomatoes and strain it to remove the seeds and skin. Reduce the puree to 1/3 by cooking on the stove or in the oven. Stir constantly while reducing the puree over heat. Let it cool for some time before transferring it to a jar and refrigerate for winter use.
4. Homemade Herb Sauce:
Take boiled and peeled tomatoes, deseed and roughly chop them. Take olive oil in a pot and heat it over medium flame. Add garlic and chopped onions to the heated oil and cook for five minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the desired herbs to the pot and cook for one hour over low heat. Stir occasionally and cook until the sauce is reduced to 2/3. Add salt and pepper before removing from heat and fill it in sterilized jars. Let the jars cool down to room temperature before transferring those to the freezer.
5. Frozen Juice:
Blanch tomatoes for 2 minutes and peel of the skin once it cools down. Remove the seeds, core and any damaged flesh. Mash it in a processor to extract the juice and run it through a strainer so that you get clear red juice. Boil the juice again and add citric acid or lemon juice once the juice s transferred to the storing jars. Add salt if desired and can the jars with lids. You can store the unopened canned juice for almost 8 months.