6 Ways to Savor End of Season Tomatoes Year-Round

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1. Freezing

Freezing tomatoes is a super simple way to turn what seems like a million leftover tomatoes into the promise of several great meals. I think little tomatoes, such as teardrop or grape, work best (and don’t take up much of that precious freezer space). Simply cut them in half and lay them cut side up on a cookie sheet. Freeze until hard and then transfer them to a bag or other container. When you need a yummy meal, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put tomatoes in a single layer in an oven-proof glass container or cookie sheet, sprinkle with a little olive oil and salt and bake until the tomatoes are well-cooked, about 45 minutes to an hour. Toss with rice, pasta, or other grains or as a topping for salad (or eat just as a snack).

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Image © flickr user tvol

2. Dehydrating

Sundried tomatoes are full of flavor, super tasty, and usually very expensive when store-bought. Cut out the middleman and save yourself a ton of money. Buy several pounds of tomatoes and cut them: smaller tomatoes can be cut in half, larger ones in quarters or slices. If you have a dehydrator, place them cut side up on the vented dehydrator sheets and let dehydrate for about 10-14 hours, until the tomatoes are completely dry. You can also add herbs and spices and a little salt to the tomatoes before dehydrating to flavor them.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a cookie sheet and bake until they have released their juices and shriveled up, around 2-5 hours depending on the size of the tomatoes. These tomatoes will keep for months and also make great culinary gifts! If you find after dehydrating or baking them that you didn’t get all the moisture out of the tomatoes, simply consume them sooner to avoid spoiling.

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Photo by Shutterstock

3. Juicing

Tomato juice offers a great source of nutrients such as Vitamin C and lycopene, believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. It’s also tasty and easy to juice at home. After juicing, drink immediately or freeze in ice cube trays or in glass jars (making sure to leave some space for expansion at the top of the jar). When you need the tomato juice for recipes (we recommend trying a beet, tomato, apple juice mixture or using the juice in a soup or sauce), simply defrost and add as needed.

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