At the end of the growing season, most home gardeners have loads of ripe and green tomatoes. They can be picked, and you can use them for tomato-based products over the following few months.
As much salsa or pickle as you can make, you stand a good chance of having plenty of green tomatoes leftover.
In our guide, you can learn how to not just how to be freezing green tomatoes but see how easy it is to make fried green tomatoes, which you can then freeze. (Learn How To Ripen Green Tomatoes Off The Vine)
How Do You Use Frozen Green Tomatoes?
Before knowing how to use frozen green tomatoes, it is good to know how to freeze green tomatoes correctly.
First off, when freezing green tomatoes, you need to freeze high-quality tomatoes. Doing this helps avoid the tomatoes becoming too mushy after being in the freezer. Once you thaw them, they should be sufficient to use to fry or in a sauce. (Learn How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes)
After selecting your high-quality tomatoes, you need to wash, core, and slice them into 1/2 or 1/4 inch thick slices.
Besides this, it all depends on what you plan to do with your green tomatoes how you will package and freeze them. Here’s how to freeze your green tomatoes for different use:
The best way you can freeze tomatoes for frying is to pack the slices into containers.
- Separate each slice using wax paper or freezer wrap.
- Leave about 1/2-inch headspace for tomatoes to expand a little.
Whole Peeled or Unpeeled Tomatoes
To freeze whole, peeled or unpeeled tomatoes, follow each step here:
- Wash and core tomatoes beforehand.
- Dip the tomatoes in boiling water for half a minute. Immediately plunge tomatoes in cold water to remove skins easier.
- Lay your tomatoes on a baking tray in your freezer.
- Once tomatoes have frozen, you can place each of them in a plastic bag.
- Seal and label the bag and place them back in your freezer.
- Freezing tomatoes individually prevents them from sticking together when frozen inside the plastic bag. Doing this also makes it easier to remove portions when you want to thaw them for use.
- Tomatoes for Puree or Juicing
- If you want to puree or juice green tomatoes after freezing, you can follow this step guide:
- Wash, core, and cut tomatoes in quarters
- Pack the quarters in freezer-safe containers. Make sure they are sealed tightly and labeled with the date you set the green tomatoes freezing.
How Do You Store Green Tomatoes for the Winter?
Once the weather turns, home gardeners can find that the bumper crop of tomatoes is still on the vine. (Learn About Tomato Blight Cure)
Here are some steps to select, pick and store tomatoes.
Selecting and Picking
Pick ripe or nearly ripe mature green fruits before you have a frost. You can spot mature green tomatoes as they have glossy, whitish-green fruit color and mature size.
Make sure to select green tomato fruits from strong, healthy vines, and pick fruits free of disease, insect, or damage.
Remove stems so they don’t puncture each other. If dirty, gently wash, then let them air dry.
- Store tomatoes 1 to 2 layers deep in boxes or in plastic bags filled with air circulation holes.
- Suppose you possess a cool and moderately humid room. Place your green tomato on a shelf.
- Keep the fruit out of direct sunlight, or you can store them in the dark.
- As tomatoes ripen, they release ethylene gas to stimulate ripening. To slow ripening, separate ripened fruits from green tomatoes.
- To speed up ripening, place green or partially ripe green tomato fruits in a bag or box containing a ripe tomato.
- Green, mature tomatoes, when stored at 65-70° F, can ripen in 2 weeks, and cooler temperatures slow this ripening process.
- At 55° F, tomatoes slowly ripen, yet they may have inferior quality.
- Likewise, when tomatoes are stored with high humidity, the fruit can rot and grow mold.
- When humidity is too low, fruits shrivel and dry out.
How Can I Preserve Green Tomatoes?
- Wash, core, and slice green tomatoes.
- Pack in pint or quart canning jars.
- To keep a safe acidity. Add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice. You can also use 1/2 teaspoon citric acid per quart of tomatoes.
- For pints, use one tablespoon of lemon juice from a bottle or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid.
- Cover the jars to 1/2 inch of the jar tops with boiling water.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of pickling or canning salt to each jar if you desire.
- Process the pints for 40 minutes and your quarts for 45 minutes in the boiling water bath.
When you wish to use them, drain the pickled green tomato slices and prepare them according to green tomato recipes.
Dried Green Tomatoes
- Peel and core your green tomatoes, then chop into 1/2 inch or fewer cubes.
- Drain well and then add to a food dehydrator at 140°F.
- Once they are dehydrated, store them inside glass jars or freeze.
- Soak for one hour in an equal amount of water before using any Southern recipes asking for called for chopped green tomatoes.
How Do You Freeze Fried Green Tomatoes?
- Slice tomatoes fairly thick and get rid of the ends.
- Make a double layer of breading instead of making a batter for fried green tomatoes. This makes them crispy.
- The first layer is a mix of flour, cornmeal, and spices. Dredge the slices in the mixture, then place them onto a large baking sheet.
- Once you have finished with the first layer, place this in the freezer.
- Freeze for 15-20 minutes or long enough, so the first layer sets firm once they are nice and chilled.
- Prep two shallow bowls. One with beaten egg, and another with flour, breadcrumbs, and cornmeal.
- Dip each slice in the egg, then in the breading mix.
- Place your double-crusted tomatoes, green slices on your baking sheet and place them back in your freezer.
- Freeze for 15-20 minutes, then cook in a large frying pan with hot oil for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- You can also freeze overnight in a single layer and carefully stack them in large Ziploc bags.
How to Freeze Fried Green Tomatoes
When freezing green tomato, follow the green tomatoes recipe until you’re supposed to be cooking your tomatoes. (Learn What Are Determinate Tomatoes)
Rather than frying them, lay them on a baking tray and freeze. Once hard, transfer breaded slices to your Ziploc bag.
When ready to fry your tomatoes, you don’t need to thaw for delicious and fresh-tasting green tomatoes.