You don’t have to waste your green tomatoes whenever you have some of them unripe left inside the fridge or when the season just ended. The ideal thing you can do to save your green tomatoes to be used later is to freeze them.
Green tomatoes can be frozen but this process will limit how they can be later used. Just like many foods when frozen, your green tomatoes are going to get mushy when you thaw them from your freezer and they could get almost slimy. This means that there are techniques you are supposed to follow when you freeze your green tomatoes and also when you want to thaw them and eventually use them to cook.
Limitations of Freezing Green Tomatoes
When you freeze your green tomatoes, there will be formations of ice crystals on them and the tomatoes’ cell walls are broken down by the ice crystals which denote that the firm quality of your green tomatoes is not going to remain after freezing. This might necessarily not be bad for your green tomatoes because you can still fry them after frozen and they will turn out to be just as excellent as if you had fried them fresh. Your green tomatoes can no longer be eaten or used in salads because they would have become mushy in the consistency and also soggy.
How To Freeze Green Tomatoes
Anytime you want to freeze green tomatoes, always endeavor to get high-quality green tomatoes frozen so that you can prevent them from getting a bit too mushy inside your freezer and for them to be fine enough to be used in your sauce or fried when you thaw them. Wash the green tomatoes once they have been selected and core as well as slice the tomatoes into thick slices of ½ or ¼. The way you have prepared and packaged your green tomatoes have determines how you want to use the tomatoes. Check below for how you can freeze your green tomatoes to use for a variety of purposes according to your preference:
Juicing or Puree
To freeze tomatoes that you will use as juice or puree after freezing, check below:
- Firstly wash them, core them, and then proceed to cut them into quarters.
- Pack the quarters inside freezer-safe containers and proceed to tightly seal as well as label with the freezing date
When you want to freeze your green tomatoes to be used for frying, the best thing to do should be to pack individual slices into different containers so that the slices can be separated with plastic freezer wrap or wax paper. Allow about ½ inch of headspace because the tomatoes will slightly expand.
Unpeeled or Peeled Whole Tomatoes
When you want to freeze unpeeled or the peeled variety of whole tomatoes, follow these steps:
- Firstly, wash your tomatoes and then core them.
- You may dip your tomatoes for ½ a minute inside boiling water and then you can plunge your tomatoes inside cold water so that the skins can be easily removed.
- Line your tomatoes on your baking tray and place them inside your freezer.
- Once your tomatoes have become frozen individually, put them inside your plastic bag and remember to seal as well as label the bag, then return them into your freezer.
- When you first freeze your tomatoes individually, it will not allow them to stick together when they become frozen inside your plastic bag and it makes it very easy to remove them individually when you want to thaw them.
Choosing a Package for Freezing your Green Tomatoes
Your selected containers to freeze your green tomatoes have a huge difference on your tomatoes’ qualities when you thaw them. You are recommended to use freezer bags or containers that are resistant to moisture and vapor and that can also resist cracking and break at a low temperature. The bags or containers should very much protect the tomatoes from the tendency of absorbing some other odors as well as flavors in your freezer and it should also be simple to put labeling on the containers.
Some suitable containers that can be used to freeze green tomatoes are freezer-grade plastic bags, heavy-duty aluminum foil, freezer-friendly glass containers, and rigid plastic containers. For small freezers, the freezer-grade plastic bags will make an excellent choice because you can lay them flat if you want to save yourself some space. The plastic and glass containers are, however, better options for freezers that are eco-friendly because they can be reused.
How Long Can Green Tomatoes Be Kept In The Freezer?
If you store your green tomatoes correctly inside the freezer, they should stay for about 12 months. You can still eat the tomatoes after this time, but their qualities would have degraded because there will be formations of more ice crystals that will destroy their cell walls turning the tomatoes to become mushier than they should be.
How To Thaw your Frozen Green Tomatoes
The way you thaw your green tomatoes has an impact on how they will turn out to be. The safest and best way that you can use to thaw your green tomatoes will be to allow them to be inside the refrigerator overnight. Your green tomatoes will thaw slowly without exposing them to the temperature where the growth of bacteria is aided. There will not be any risk of adding additional heat into your green tomatoes that may make them a bit soggier. Ensure you put your green tomatoes inside a bowl or bag that will contain juices from them as they thaw.
Another alternative to thaw is to place your green tomatoes that are still inside the freezer container or bag into the sink that you have filled with cold water. Thawing this way will be a bit quicker as compared to when you left them inside the fridge and they will still be at a very cool temperature. The best option to thaw your green tomatoes, however, is to do it inside the fridge.
Frying your Frozen Green Tomatoes
As long as you have followed our steps for freezing above, you should not have a problem with frying the green tomatoes and the good thing is that they are not needed to be thawed before they are fried.
Your green tomatoes can be placed directly from frozen into a frying pan and cooked from there. When you first thaw them, some of their qualities might have been lost and this could be a bit messy. The best end results can only be gotten when you fry your green tomatoes directly from frozen. If you want to coat your green tomatoes before you fry them, you should do that before you freeze them so that it will be easier when you want to fry the potatoes.
- Firstly, wash your green tomatoes, slice, and proceed to line them on the plate.
- Pour yellow cornmeal or coating into your shallow plate and coat them well.
- Put your coated green tomatoes inside your freezer container. Separate them with a plastic wrap or baking sheets and proceed to freeze.
- When you want to fry, all you need to do is to put frozen green tomatoes that have been coated directly into your frying pan to fry.
- You can then add pepper and salt once you have fried the tomatoes.
Refrigerating Green Tomatoes
You can keep your tomatoes well at a temperature that is not below 50°F. If you wish to keep them fresh for a longer time, store your tomatoes at room temperature by wrapping them individually inside the newspaper and with their stems down. Put the wrapped tomatoes inside your box that will allow adequate circulation of air. They can be kept like this for up to three to five weeks safe and fresh.
What can I do with green tomatoes?
Frying is the most common way of cooking green tomatoes because they are very delicious that way. You can, however, also use your green tomatoes in other ways. You may pickle your tomatoes because they are firm and can hold up excellently in a vinegar brine. Green tomato jams can also be made by baking into a gratin, toss them inside stews and sauces or even use them to fill up a pie.
Can you freeze green cherry tomatoes?
You can get your green cherry tomatoes frozen and there is no need to have them blanched before they are frozen.
- Firstly, wash your green cherry tomatoes and dry them before you put them on your baking sheet.
- Place your baking sheet inside a freezer and allow your cherry tomatoes to become frozen.
- Once they have been solidly frozen, place them inside a plastic bag or a freezable container and return them into your freezer.
How do you keep green tomatoes from ripening too quickly?
If you don’t want your green tomatoes to become ripen too quickly, wash them and leave them to completely dry out. For green tomatoes with smaller quantities, place them with banana into a paper bag at room temperature out of contact with direct sunlight. You should endeavor to store larger quantities inside your cardboard box and try to keep them out of high humidity or where fruit flies can locate them.