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Friday, September 16, 2011

Preserving Your Harvest Bounty: Raw Tomatoes

Tomato harvest, and a few stray pumpkins that hitchhiked into the tomato patch
My sister Shelly and I are members of an awesome CSA  (community supported agriculture), Bluebird Gardens from Fergus Falls Minnesota.  We drive down there every few weeks to attend harvest events where we can pick our allotment of produce.  Some are unlimited, some have assigned limits but most often, as the case with tomatoes, the allotment is more than enough.

Up here in da great white north here, it gets a-mighty cold out in da winter doncha know..  We have to think ahead and preserve da harvest in da summer so we have something to eat in da winter.
gratuitous shower scene

The two best ways I've found to preserve produce and retain most of the enzymes and good stuff is to either freeze it raw or dry by dehydrating.  I'm doing both to my 'maters this year.  I cut up about 5-6 pounds of tomatoes and put them in my dehydrator for about 2 hours at 135.  There was such a mass of tomatoes in my dehydrator that I thought that anything lower would take way too long to dehydrate and I would run the risk of mold I turned it down to 105 after 2 hours and continued for 36 hours until they were dry but still moist and flexible. Some were done after 24 hours and I removed those from the trays.
Cut into slices that will fit your dehydrator with room around for air flow

The rest of my tomatoes took a ride in my food processor to get pureed into ... puree.   I just cut them into chunks and sent them twirling






And bagged up for the freezer.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. Next time you need tomatoes for sauce, soup etc you have some preserved by freezing and some by dehydrating.  Fresh tomatoes taste like cardboard in the winter around here anyway, so I save those dishes that require fresh tomatoes for the summer. 

3 comments:

  1. Great blog, Great recipes!

    When are you coming out with a cookbook?

    ReplyDelete