You planted your seeds a couple of months ago and now it’s time to harvest your fruits and vegetables. Many times we get an abundance of vegetables, especially tomatoes if you grew a couple of vines. It’s fun to watch them grow and nothing tastes better than vegetables grown in your own back yard. But, you can’t spend the rest of the summer eating tomatoes, so what could you do?
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One of the easiest things to do is to give them away to your friends and family, but as expensive as tomatoes are in the fall and winter, you might want to reconsider. Making preserves is very easy and tomatoes have a lot of antioxidants. They are a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C, folic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, fiber and much more.
Canning is a great way to preserve those tomatoes that you’ve grown in abundance. Tomatoes have natural acids, which is why they’re so easy to make preserves and they last long. Many preserves can last a couple of months to a year if you freeze them.
You can cut up your tomatoes or chop them up to make a chunky sauce. Then boil them with a little bit of salt, onion and garlic for added flavor. You can put these in sealed plastic bags. Lay them flat so they won’t take up too much space in the freezer or put them in tightly sealed jars.
We all know how important tomato paste could be for many dishes, but why buy a can that has a funky metal taste, when you can make your own. To make your own tomato paste, just peel the tomatoes and add salt to taste. Boil the tomatoes until it becomes a paste and then store in jars.
Sundried tomatoes can be pretty expensive and you don’t really need to leave them outside to dry. Cut your tomatoes in half and carve out the seeds with a spoon. You can add oregano, salt, thyme and basil and stick them in the oven. It might take up to 12 hours in the oven, but it will be worth the time.
Everyone loves salsa and it’s very easy to make. If you prefer a chunky salsa you can dice your tomatoes and add hot peppers, onions and salt. You can boil it and add it in a jar or even freeze it. You can also make your own herb flavored tomato sauce by adding your favorite herbs like thyme or basil and add olive oil, garlic and onions to your tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and then put it in jars or freeze it in plastic bags to use later.