Food Storage: The Tomato

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tomato is yet another produce I would love to buy in bulk to save money, but fear letting to many go to waist. Here are the use and storage solutions I have recovered for this months tomato purchase. After all how can we justify our bulk store memberships if we don't use them to the full potential.

When selecting your tomatoes there are some factors you should look for.

  • Sniff them, the stronger the aroma the better.
  • They should be heavy for their size.
  • Look for them plump with tight and smooth skin
  • Make sure they are free from bruises, cracks, or blemishes
  • Ripe tomato will be completely red or reddish-orange

Vine ripened tomatoes are the best tasting, but go bad faster. Most package bought tomatoes will not be vine ripened. You can store tomatoes in a cool and dark place, they will continue to ripen until they go bad or are brought below 12.5 �C (54.5 �F).

Once a tomato is fully ripe you can store them in your refrigerator for a week. Tomatoes stored in the refrigerator will loose taste, so it's best to use them as fast as you can.

Always store shallow and out of sunlight. Wood or bamboo is the best containers, if you use other materials line it with cloth.

Alternate Storage and Use for Tomatoes

Freezing Tomatoes

Here is a suggestion for freezing them. Apparently you can do this as an alternative to canning. All you need to do before freezing is wash and dry, then place in a plastic baggies. They note there is no need to peel them as the skin will slip off when thawed. This use would be for storing tomatoes for cooking.

Here is yet another fairly simple way to keep tomatoes from going to waist. All you need to do is wash, dry, slice open, remove seeds and place in the sun single layered and not touching.

Easy Oven-drying
To use this method just slice in half, or in slices, place in the oven at 140 to 145 F and watch them carefully. Oven-drying takes 6 to 12 hours, depending on the tomato it self.

If you have a dehydrator, you can easily use it on your tomatoes.

Canning and Cooking
You can always can tomatoes, or make your favorite sauce or puree in bulk then freeze.

For more on tomato picking, storage and usage please visit the links provided below.

Drying Tomato Links:;
Tomato Selection and Storage and Freezing:;;;;;;