You Can Preserve Tomatoes Without Growing Them

I see many people that grow and preserve their own tomatoes. While I would love to grow my own tomatoes, I haven’t gotten to the point of growing enough for a year.

Here is how I preserve my own tomatoes without having to grow them all.

  1. Check your local market for bulk discounts or discounts for bruised tomatoes.
    • This year, I went to my local farmers market and saw they were selling “bruised” tomatoes for half price. They were less then perfect but since I am making sauce, the appearance doesn’t matter. I bought 25lbs of Amish paste tomatoes for $25 dollars (they are regularly 3-4 dollars per pound).
  2. Store them in the Freezer
    • Many of these tomatoes are ripe and on the verge of being overripe but I wasn’t able to preserve them that day. I washed, cored, and cut an X into each one and placed them into the freezer. This way, when I am ready to make sauce, the skins will slip off easily. You can also add more tomatoes to the freezer as you are able and make a large batch at your convenience.
  3. When I was ready to make my sauce, I took the tomatoes out of the freezer and placed them in my roaster with a bit of water. After about 30 minutes, the tomatoes are warm enough to slip the skins off but are not so hot that I burn my fingers. Save the skins! These can be dehydrated and used for tomato paste.
  4. Season and cook as desired.
    • I recommend following a certified canning recipe if you plan on canning your sauce. However, I added Italian seasoning, one chopped yellow onion, a few handfuls of brown sugar, and Bell Peppers (not pictured). I also made the sauce in a turkey roaster. I recommend going to your local flea market to find one on a budget.

See the pictures of the process below! How do you preserve your tomatoes?

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