How To Freeze Tomatoes

How To Freeze Tomatoes

How To Freeze Tomatoes. Would you like to save some of that summer bounty for use over the winter? Learn how to freeze tomatoes with this step by step tutorial. The process was pretty much the same, and fairly easy!




Would you like to save some of that summer bounty for use over the winter? Learn how to freeze tomatoes for a change of pace from canned tomatoes. The process was pretty much the same, and fairly easy!

How To Freeze Tomatoes


That was the giant pile of tomatoes we had to work with.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


I started off by washing the tomatoes as the Roma were quite dirty.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


A pasta pot with the strainer inserted was filled half way with water and brought to a rolling boil.
Tomatoes were inserted for 2 minutes and 30 seconds (2-3 minutes depending on the tomato type should do it). You want the skins to be easy to pull off, but not have cooked tomatoes.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


A larger container was filled approximately a third of the way full with ice and cold water.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


The scalded tomatoes were plunged into the ice water when removed from the stove to stop any cooking.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


I choose not to core prior to scalding. I worry about excess water entering the fruit. I also choose not to make an X at the bottom of the tomato before immersing in the boiling water. I think it is just an extra step myself, although many people do it.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


Once cored, the skins peel away quickly and easily!

How To Freeze Tomatoes


How To Freeze Tomatoes


Looks like those skins and cores did add to the bulk!

After the tomatoes were peeled, we let the tomatoes sit a few hours in the refrigerator so the excess water would drain.

We then squeezed the tomatoes into a bowl, removing juice and seeds. This was saved for later.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


The tomatoes were diced, and placed into containers.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


The excess tomato juice was strained.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


The clear juice was poured to “top off” the tomatoes in an effort to prevent freezer burn.

How To Freeze Tomatoes


The small containers contain 15-16oz, the large containers, 28-29oz of no salt, diced tomatoes.

While easy to do, this is a time consuming process. I swear I was on my feet for almost six hours processing all those tomatoes and cleaning up afterward (and in-between as I am a clean-as-you-go type cook and baker). I pulled out tomatoes to dehydrate, but still ended up with 19 pounds of unsalted, diced tomatoes to use in soups, stews and sauces this winter.

Update: I first did this a good 7-8 years ago. Since then, I have harvested whatever tomatoes have grown in the backyard, and what we have purchased at a roadside stand. And the process has gotten a whole lot easier. If I start with under 10 pounds of tomatoes, I can get them processed in under an hour usually. YMMV of course!


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How To Make Vanilla Extract

How To Make Vanilla Extract - from selecting the beans to making the extract, here is a comprehensive guide to making vanilla extract!


How To Make Vanilla Extract

How To Make Vanilla Extract – from selecting the beans to making the extract, here is a comprehensive look at making vanilla extract!



How to make Vanilla Extract begins with a very important step: selecting your vanilla beans. Make sure you select the best beans for your eventual need.

Your choice of vanilla beans depends on your personal preference in flavor. There are three main types of vanilla beans. Here’s a description and comparison of the three types of Vanilla Beans, so you can choose the ones that are best suited to your baking and cooking needs:

Madagascar- Bourbon Vanilla Beans – creamy and sweet, thin bean
Mexican Vanilla Beans (a type of Bourbon Vanilla) – smooth and mellow, woody fragrance
Tahitian Vanilla Beans (originally came from Mexico, now grown mainly in Papa New Guinea) – dark, floral, short and thick, less flavorful than a Mexican or Bourbon bean even though they are more aromatic.

Madagascar- Bourbon Vanilla Beans are rich, sweet and the thinnest of the three beans. Mexican Vanilla Beans generally have a smooth rich flavor, woody fragrance due to drying method (see below). Tahitian Vanilla Beans are the thickest and darkest of the main Vanilla Bean types, and although very aromatic they are not as flavorful as the Mexican or Madagascar- Bourbon Vanilla Beans .

There are over 125 varieties of vanilla orchids. Vanilla beans vary widely in taste and aroma – when grown as little as 20 miles apart they may have subtle differences in flavor and appearance. Beans to avoid are cured beans with very little scent, that are smoky, brittle or dry or are mildewed.

Vanilla pods are hand picked from orchids. They are then “water killed” by dipped them in steeping in hot water to stop their growth – the water-kill method results in a softer more pliable vanilla bean. A vanilla “sun kill” results when vanilla beans are put on concrete slabs and allowed to bake in the sun. Primarily used in Mexico, this results in a ragged vanilla bean skin.

When picked, a vanilla bean doesn’t have any smell or flavor. The beans must be cured, usually at a central curing house. They are heated in the sun and wrapped to sweat at night for up to 3 weeks. The vanilla beans are then air dried for 4-6 months to allow them to ferment and develop their aroma and flavor.

There are two grades of Vanilla Beans commonly sold to consumers:
• Grade A (gourmet, prime) Vanilla Beans are oily and moist (30-35% moisture content). There are about 100 to 120 grade A beans per pound. This vanilla is lovely to look at so is used in gourmet cuisine.
• Grade B (extract) Vanilla Beans are less moist (15-25% moisture content) and less attractive than Grade A beans. There are about 140 to 160 grade B beans per pound. These are used in extract because less moisture in the beans results in less water in your extract.

Vanilla extract is made by transferring the flavors and aromas of the vanilla beans to the alcohol – either vodka, brandy or rum. Vodka is preferred because of the neutral flavor. When using a liquor other than Vodka, the liquor itself will contribute flavors to the vanilla extract.

Here is the FDAs definition of Vanilla extract:
Code of Federal Regulations Title 21
And, this is how 35% alcohol is determined: 169.175

To make Vanilla Extract is simple. You use vanilla beans, a corked bottle and a cup of vodka:

How to Make Vanilla Extract

• Use 5-6 vanilla beans per 1 cup of unflavored Vodka.
• Slit or scrape the beans before adding the Vodka.
• Place vanilla beans in bottle, add 1 cup Vodka.
• Cork tightly, and store in a dark cabinet.
• Shake the vanilla extract bottle several times a week, on at least two different days for the first month.
• Your vanilla extract will be ready to use in a few months (plan on 4-6 months).

I actually have two bottles of vanilla made at all times. When I run out of one bottle, I start making the vanilla again, and use the second bottle. By the time I use that bottle, my original bottle is again ready for use!


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How To Make No Sodium Vegetable Stock

How To Make No Sodium Vegetable Stock. Many people are on low sodium diets. Canned Vegetable Stocks can be very high in sodium. This easy recipe made with vegetable scraps and cast-offs is a great way to make no sodium vegetable stock!




How To Make No Sodium Vegetable Stock

Many people are on low sodium diets. Canned Vegetable Stocks can be very high in sodium. This easy recipe made with vegetable scraps and cast-offs is a great way to make no sodium vegetable stock!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 4-8 hours

Ingredients:
1 gallon bag of Frozen Vegetable Peels and Stalks
24 cups Water
2-3 Bay Leaves
6-8 Peppercorns

Directions:


• As you cut, dice, chop fresh vegetables, take the scraps and place them in a gallon size bag in the freezer. When you fill a bag or two, you are ready to make a no sodium vegetable stock.
• In a large pot, add 12 cups of water per gallon sized freezer bag.
• Add frozen vegetable scraps.
• Make note on the outside of the pot with a ruler where the water level is, then add 12 more cups of water – you are going to reduce that water back down to 12 cups, so it is an important notation.


• Add bay leaves.
• Add peppercorns.
• Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 4-6 hours or until half the liquid in the pot cooks off from your original mark.


• After the water is reduced by half, remove the large vegetable pieces (these can be composted at this point).
• Strain the leftover liquid through a colander.
• Strain the colander liquid through a chinois or fine mesh strainer.
• Strain again, this time lining the chinois or fine mesh with a cheese cloth.
• Portion out strained No Sodium Vegetable Stock for freezing or immediate use.

Makes 12 cups No Sodium Vegetable Stock

How To Make No Sodium Vegetable Stock. Many people are on low sodium diets. Canned Vegetable Stocks can be very high in sodium. This easy recipe made with vegetable scraps and cast-offs is a great way to make no sodium vegetable stock!


Notes:

This recipe makes 12 cups of vegetable stock per full one gallon bag of vegetable scraps.
Hubby always has a bag of vegetable scraps in the freeze. We just keep adding to it as he scrapes carrots, cores peppers, onion skins, etc. Just remember that your stock will take on the flavor of the vegetables, so don’t go too crazy with anything that has a very strong taste, or a lot of green.

These days, Hubby generally uses a pressure cooker to make his No Sodium Vegetable Stock. It takes about an hour that way!


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