Are tomatoes taking over your garden? You can only eat so many at one time. Think about preserving them by canning or freezing.
It’s easy to freeze tomatoes. Select firm, ripe tomatoes with deep red color. Wash them thoroughly in cool water. Core them and then dip in boiling water for 30 seconds and then into cold water. Peel skins and put into freezer containers.
These can be used in dishes that call for whole tomatoes or can be made into sauce later. I like to wait for a cold day in winter and then cook them down for sauce.
Tomatoes can be canned in a water bath canner or pressure canner. Start the preparation the same as you would when freezing. Select firm, ripe tomatoes with deep red color. Wash them thoroughly in cool water. Core them and then dip in boiling water for 30 seconds and then into cold water. Peel skins. At this point you can decide whether you want to can whole or halved, crushed or made into sauce or juice.
Specific instructions for each of the above processes can be found on the Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet, Canning Tomatoes at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/pdf/5336.pdf.
All tomatoes must be acidified before canning. Use 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice per pint and 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice per quart. Citric acid can also be used, ¼ teaspoon per pint and ½ teaspoon per quart.
Another way to use tomatoes, peppers, and onions is to make salsa. If you would like to hot water bath can your salsa, be sure to use a research tested recipe. If you would like to experiment with your own blend, salsa can be frozen for up to one year. A couple of tested recipes can be found at http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/pdf/5339.pdf.
If you live in Ohio and are interested in taking classes in Canning or Freezing Techniques, check out our web site http://fcs.osu.edu/food-safety/home-food-preservation for a class near you. If you live in another state contact your local extension office for more information.
Author: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State
Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Education, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.University Extension.