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Food Safety & Preservation

Latest food safety and preservation information from Cook County Extension

Preserving Summer's Bounty-Freezing Tomatoes

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables eaten by Americans. Tomatoes are technically a fruit, but they are served and prepared as a vegetable. One medium tomato has only 35 calories, 5 mg sodium, no cholesterol and less than a gram of fat. But, it provides 20 percent of the vitamin A and 40 percent of the vitamin C an adult needs every day.

"Tomatoes can be frozen, but use them only for cooking or seasoning since they will not be solid when thawed," says Martha Winter, University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator. "Cooking or stewing tomatoes provides better texture and flavor."

Select firm, ripe tomatoes with deep-red color. Wash and dip in boiling water for 30 seconds to remove skins. Core and peel. Freeze whole or in pieces. Pack into containers, leaving 1-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

Stewed Tomatoes

Remove stem ends, and peel and quarter ripe tomatoes. Cover and cook until tender, about 10 to 20 minutes. Place pan containing tomatoes in cold water to cool. Pack into containers, leaving headspace. Seal and freeze.

Source: Martha J. Winter, Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness,

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