Storing and Ripening Tomatoes

 

Do you find that when you grow tomatoes in the garden they either all come ripe at the same time or they never quite get ripe? Did you know that you can ripen green tomatoes anytime? Maybe you planted the tomatoes too soon, or maybe the summer was really short. You need to bring in your green tomatoes before the freeze on the vine. All you need to do is pick them from the vine and let them ripen slowly on the windowsill.

If all of your tomatoes are ripening too quickly on the vine, pick some while they are still green, and they will ripen slower on the windowsill. You can use the ripe ones from the vine first as they ripen, and the ones on your windowsill will be ready when you've used up the ones from the garden.

Even if you really love tomatoes, you can only eat so many fresh tomatoes from your garden. Leave what you can use in a few days on the counter for everyone to admire—but don't put them in the refrigerator. Tomatoes don't take kindly to cool temperatures and quickly lose their flavor when refrigerated.

However, tomatoes freeze just fine as long as you plan to use them for cooking later (they don't keep the nice tomato texture when they're frozen). Spread the tomatoes out on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer overnight. Once frozen, store the tomatoes in your freezer in freezer bags.

An added bonus to freezing tomatoes for cooking is that they are very easy to skin when you thaw them out. When you are ready to use your frozen tomatoes, allow them to naturally thaw and you will find that the skins will peel right off. You can then slice them up for great additions to your home-cooked meals without any fuss!

If you absolutely HAVE to store tomatoes in the refrigerator, you'll find that they keep a bit longer when you store them with the stems down! Simple, yet effective.

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