You can preserve tomatoes using many methods: they can be dried, pickled, preserved, frozen or used directly in delicious recipes.

Have you ever grown your own tomatoes? If so, you’re probably familiar with the situation: the summer gets warmer and suddenly the fruit ripens in large quantities. But how are you supposed to consume all those tomatoes? Because on average they are spoiled after four days. Here we show you which methods you can use to preserve your harvest and creative recipes for immediate enjoyment.

Preserving tomatoes: pickling them in oil

To increase the shelf life of your tomatoes, soak them in oil. Boil the screw-top jars in boiling water for about ten minutes before preparing them to kill germs. Afterwards, make sure that the jars with contents are sealed airtight. You will need the following ingredients: 17 ounces tomatoes, 4-5 cloves of garlic, 1 bunch oregano, olive oil, chili (optional).

  • Boil the tomatoes in a pot of water for about three minutes, dry them carefully and let them cool.
  • Peel the garlic cloves. Wash the oregano and pluck the leaves.
  • Divide the ingredients among 4 screw-top jars: Alternate layers of tomatoes, garlic, oregano and chili.
  • Fill everything with enough oil to cover the ingredients. Leave a little space up to the rim.
  • Close the jar tightly with a lid and store in a dark, cool place.
  • Preserving tomatoes in vinegar: longer shelf life.

Here, too, the same conditions apply as already with the oil. Carefully boil the screw jars in advance. You will need the following ingredients: 17 ounces of tomatoes, 1 onion, 13 fl oz vinegar, ½ lb. sugar, peppercorns.

  • Boil the tomatoes in a pot of water for about three minutes, dry them carefully and let them cool.
  • Peel the onion and cut it into rings.
  • Put the vinegar and sugar in a pot, boil for about three minutes.
  • Divide the ingredients, except the vinegar, among 4 screw-top jars.
  • Pour hot vinegar over everything so that the ingredients are covered. Leave a little space to the rim.
  • Close the jar tightly with a lid and store in a dark, cool place

Drying tomatoes increases their shelf life

Tomatoes can be gently preserved by drying them to retain as many nutrients as possible. Use a variety that has firm flesh and little juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper and herbs. You can store well-dried tomatoes in a closed jar for several months. Add a little rice to prevent mold growth. If they are still slightly damp, it is better to wrap them in paper towels. Store your dried tomatoes in a dry, cool place.

Three options for dried tomatoes:

  • In the oven: place the halved tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Dry them at 176 degrees Fahrenheit top/bottom heat (convection 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 7 hours. To allow moisture to escape, clamp a wooden spoon in the oven door.
  • In the dehydrator: Place the halved tomatoes skin side down in the dehydrator. At 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you will have beautiful dried tomatoes after 7-10 hours.
  • Outdoors: On sunny days and with plenty of time, tomatoes can be dried outside. To do this, place the cut tomatoes in the full sun, and in the evening you can bring them indoors. The whole process takes about four to six days. Protect the fruit outdoors with a fly hood or insect netting.

Preserving tomatoes: Preserve for delicious sauces

Stock up on delicious tomato sauce year-round: use your favorite recipe or just strain the tomatoes. Be sure to use sterile screw-top jars. After filling, turn the containers upside down to create a vacuum that securely seals the sauce.

More ideas for a longer shelf life

No household should be without tomato paste. Fill it into aseptic jars after preparation and additionally boil the concentrate: Your year’s supply is secured. Not only sweet fruits can be processed into delicious juices: Homemade tomato juice is above all healthy and will keep for a long time after opening.

Freezing tomatoes: Is it possible?

In principle, you can freeze tomatoes. However, their consistency changes significantly and the flavor of the fruit is lost. Therefore, it is better to process the tomatoes beforehand and then freeze them. What you should also consider for freezing tomatoes, read here.