How to buy and how to store fresh tomatoes

There are many varieties of tomatoes on the market today, from large, juicy varieties great for cooking or slicing, to tiny cherry or grape varieties that are perfect for salad toppings. There are also many colors to choose from with historic heirloom tomatoes on the rise at many markets. When choosing tomatoes pick ones with bright color that are free of cracks and cuts with a smooth peel and ripe, sweet fragrance.

Once you pick the perfect tomato, store at room temperature away from direct light sources. If you want them to ripen faster, place your tomatoes in a plastic bag with bananas or apples. These fruits give off ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process. Tomatoes usually keep for up to a week. If your tomatoes are getting overripe too fast, you can place them in the refrigerator to slow their ripening and allow for an additional 2-3 days of storage.

Are Tomatoes Healthy For you?

Tomatoes, have several health benefits, including a high water content (keeping you hydrated in the heat of the summer) and provide good amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C and lycopene.

Although fresh homegrown tomatoes always taste the best, home gardeners and their friends, can sometimes be overrun with the abundance once they ripen. But there is no need to fret when this happens, because freezing them is a breeze once you know this easy trick for how to peel fresh a fresh tomato.

To peel and freeze fresh tomatoes, you will need:

A large stockpot to boil water

A large sturdy ladle for dipping the tomatoes out

A sink full or bowl full of cold water

Freezer bags or containers

A marker for labeling

First you want to start by filling the stockpot with hot water and bring it to a boil. While waiting, fill the kitchen sink or large bowl with cold water. Once the water starts to a boil, carefully place the tomatoes in the hot water. After about a minute, ladle the tomatoes out and place them immediately into the cold water. Once cooled down, the tomato skin slips right off. Take the peeled fresh tomatoes and cut them into quarters and place them into the freezer bags or containers. Label and date the bags, then freeze for up to 6 months.

You can use these frozen tomatoes in soup, chili or casseroles. If you prefer less chunky tomatoes, you can thaw them, then blend them in a blender prior to using in your favorite recipe.

And there you have it…A Nutritious Dish in a matter of minutes™.

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