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Why storing cherry tomatoes ?
Storing cherry tomatoes is very important when there is a surplus of tomatoes from your garden. You can make salsa, sandwiches, salads and anything else you can think of when you have a lot of cherry tomatoes. However, one thing is for sure, you will need to preserve them sooner or later since you cannot eat all of them.
Storing cherry tomatoes is important also because heat and rain may affect the quality of your tomatoes. The change in climate might also promote pest and disease infection. For these reasons, you need to have different ways of storing the tomatoes so that you can use them on a future date. Below are some of the methods you can use for storing cherry tomatoes for the winter or any other time you need to do so.
Canning Cherry Tomatoes
Canning of cherry tomatoes is not only fun but also very rewarding. The great thing about canning cherry tomatoes is the fact that you do not need a pressurized system since the tomatoes have naturally occurring acids. This means you can utilize a water bath to can your tomatoes.
Before canning, however, it is very important to ensure you have prepared your tomatoes, jars and lids. Once this is done, the next thing you will need to do is to add a very small amount of salt or lemon juice to your jars before filling them with the tomatoes.
Next, pour some boiling water on the cherry tomatoes and cap the jars. Make sure you have some room left to do your sealing and also ensure the lids are tight enough. One this is done, you can store the cans of tomatoes in dark area. These will be good for consumption for a year.
Cherry Tomato Paste Method
Tomato paste is used as an essential ingredient on many dishes (1). It might not be expensive to buy it at the store but making your own is always a good idea since you can ensure it is as natural as possible. The first thing you will need to do is blanch the tomatoes in hot water to make it easy to remove the skin.
Next, remove the seeds and cut the cherry tomatoes into small pieces. Once this is done, the next thing you need to do is heat the tomatoes at medium or low heat. Add a teaspoonful of salt to the tomatoes after every 5 minutes depending on the amount you have.
Heat until a thick consistency is achieved. Once this is done, place the paste in ice cube formers and place these in a freezer for some hours. Take the frozen paste out of the ice cube formers and transfer these into a freezer bag. The tomato paste should stay up to six months in good condition before you start noticing off taste.
Freezing Cherry Tomatoes
All you are required to do is to clean the tomatoes and dry them. Once this is done, take a cookie sheet and lay the tomatoes on it. Next, put them in the freezer for several hours until they are frozen. Finally, place them in a freezer bag and place the tomatoes in the freezer. These tomatoes can remain in perfect condition for over a year.
The advantage of this method is the fact that you get to preserve all the nutrients that are found on the skin of the cherry tomatoes. (2)
The other way of storing cherry tomatoes is by roasting them in your oven. All you need to do is place the tomatoes in a generous amount of olive oil. After this, season the tomatoes with pepper and salt. Take the tomatoes and roast them for about 4-6 hours at about 300 degrees.
You can eat the cherry tomatoes once you have taken them out of the oven or store them in a refrigerator. The shelf life of the tomatoes is about 2-4 weeks from the day of roasting. This is a great way of storing cherry tomatoes if you do not have a lot of them.
Oven drying is another great way of storing your cherry tomatoes. This method is very easy and does not require you to have any experience with storing tomatoes. All you need to do is clean the tomatoes and dry them. Once this is done, cut them into small pieces and place them on parchment paper.
Once this is done, pour some generous amount of olive oil on the slices and season them with some salt and pepper. Roast the tomato slices at 175 degrees for a period of 2 hours. These can be stores in a refrigerator or filled with olive oil and refrigerated. The tomatoes can be stored up to one month.
The great thing about storing cherry tomatoes in olive oil is the fact that you can still use the olive oil once you have use up all the tomatoes. It can be used as salad dressing or marinades.
Storing Cherry Tomatoes in Olive Oil
Storing cherry tomatoes in olive oil is a great method is you intend to use the tomatoes within a short time. All you need to do is dry your tomatoes. You can use sun drying method, oven drying or oven roasting method. Once your tomatoes are dry, prep your jars and lids then add the tomatoes in the jar.
Next, fill the jar with some olive oil. Store the jars in a refrigerator until you need them. They can last up to 2 weeks in good condition. Do not worry about the olive oil freezing because it will become liquid once you have it at room temperature for some time.
In conclusion, if you have a garden which yields a lot of tomatoes, it is important to come up with different ways of ensuring you minimize wastage especially if you do not intend to sell your produce. This will enable you to enjoy the tomatoes for a long time even when there are no tomatoes in your farm.