An alternative to canning tomatoes

I have a small garden, and one of the main things I harvest is tomatoes. Some years, the tomatoes are out of control so I had to find a way to preserve them. I do not know how to can fruits and vegetables, and for some reason, the idea of canning intimidates me. Thankfully, my mother-in-law taught me a good way to preserve your tomatoes without canning - freezing them. It is a very simple method that even I can do! In the wintertime, I just go to my freezer and grab some dices tomatoes for my chili or spaghetti sauce.

Here’s how you do it:

1. First, put your tomatoes in a big pot and cover with water. Cover with a lid. Turn on medium high to high heat. After a few minutes, it will start to heat up. The key is to get it really hot and steaming but NOT BOILING. When you get it nice and hot, remove from the stove.

water

2. Remove your tomatoes carefully from the pot – they will be hot and soft. I use a slotted spoon. On a cutting board, gently cut the tops off of the tomatoes. Try to do this without squishing the tomatoes.

cut

3. After you cut the tops off, you will notice that the skin is very loose. Gently pull off the skin. It will practically fall off by itself.

skin

4. Next, slice your tomatoes into bite-size pieces, either big or small depending on what you use them for.

slice

5. Divide your diced tomatoes into 1-cup portions and place into freezer bags.

freezer bags

Voila! You can use these tomatoes all winter long in yummy soups, chilis and spaghetti sauce.

Amber Tincher and Amy Leckrone

Co-founders of Camp Mommawatchi

Purchase at-home camp curriculum at www.campmommawatchi.com

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