Grape tomatoes are a specific type of tomato that is more round than its other varieties.
Grape tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked before serving.
The taste can be described as somewhat sweet and slightly tangier than regular red tomatoes.
They are suitable for fruit salads or even chili con carne.
Grape tomatoes require more cooking time than other tomato varieties, so the texture is not too mushy.
Grape tomatoes are also great for making salsa because they have a very concentrated flavor that blends well with the salsa spices.
Grape tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, which helps keep your immune system strong.
It can be frozen whole or as pieces.
The freezing process of the tomato does not lose its nutrient, but it just slows down the process of rotting and helps preserve its natural taste.
It can last up to 6 months in the freezer before you should use it.
In this article, we will discuss how to freeze and cook the tomato for a better taste.
Does Freezing Affect Grape Tomatoes?
The question does freezing affects grape tomatoes arises because of the high water content in their flesh and seeds.
The tomato product contains 92% water, making it less stable to be frozen or cooked without losing its original flavor.
When you freeze a grape tomato, the water within its cells begins to crystallize upon freezing.
This will form ice crystals which will cause the fruit to burst.
Also, when it thaws, the tomato will release more water because of the increase in temperature.
This process makes the tomato lose its natural taste and nutrients, eventually making it less tasty.
The best way to freeze a grape tomato is by blanching them first.
This helps change the structure of the cell walls and slows down water evaporation after it is frozen.
Blanching the tomato will also make it easier to peel its skin, and you will end up with a more natural-looking grape tomato compared to those not blanched before freezing.
Another way in which you can freeze the fruit without altering its quality is by flash-freezing them.
This process prevents water from escaping and causes minor damage to the tomato cells.
How to Freeze Grape Tomatoes?
Grape tomatoes are best blanched before they are frozen.
Remember that blanching works best if you have an abundance of grape tomatoes because the process is time-consuming.
Here are some things you need to know when freezing grape tomatoes:
- Prepare the Tomatoes before Freezing.
Wash and rinse the fruit thoroughly, then pat it dry with a clean towel.
Peel off the skin of the tomato using a paring knife.
Get rid of its seeds if you want but be careful not to cut through the flesh.
- Blanch Tomatoes.
After preparing the tomato, blanch it using boiling water for around 30-45 seconds.
Plunge the fruit in a bowl containing ice-cold water to stop its cooking process and allow you to remove more of its skin naturally, unlike when freezing without blanching, which requires peeling afterward.
After the tomato has been cooled, plunge it in room temperature water, then put it inside a clean zip lock bag.
Later on, you can add these tomatoes to any dish without worrying about losing their nutritional value and natural taste.
Then transfer it into the freezer.
This will prevent the tomato from becoming mushy and losing its flavor while being frozen.
Your tomatoes will stay fresh for up to 6 months in the freezer, even without blanching them beforehand.
If you want your tomato to last longer, you can flash-freeze it instead of freezing still whole or chopped.
- Flash Freeze the Tomatoes.
Flash freezing refers to freezing food very quickly at -35 degrees Celsius or lower in a very thin layer using either an ice cream maker or any other cold source.
The liquid within the cells of your tomatoes will solidify before water molecules escape and cause it to become mushy.
Remember that flash freezing is a faster and more efficient process than other methods of freezing the grape tomato.
However, it is advisable that you only flash freeze tomatoes if you have too much for immediate consumption and will not be needing some soon.
Once the tomatoes have been flash frozen, place them inside a freezer bag and put them in the freezer.
This will keep your grape tomatoes from spoiling for up to a year.
Make sure to mark the date and content of your container so that you will know how long it has been there.
How Long Does Frozen Grape Tomatoes Last?
As mentioned earlier, the quality of your frozen grape tomatoes may deteriorate once water molecules escape their cells.
However, how long will these tomatoes last?
According to food experts, you can expect your frozen tomatoes to stay fresh for up to 6 months in the freezer.
You may notice that the texture of the tomato inside the container has become mushy after a few weeks or months but is still safe to eat.
How to Thaw Frozen Grape Tomatoes?
Since grape tomatoes are best eaten when thawed naturally, here is how to do it:
Make sure you thaw your frozen tomatoes in the refrigerator but never at room temperature or any other warm place such as on countertops, near heat sources, and so on.
This will make sure that water molecules do not escape from your tomatoes.
You can also thaw your frozen tomatoes using warm running water.
This is best done if you thawed a whole container at once.
Otherwise, you can remove the tomatoes from the freezer and place them in a colander or strainer then submerge them in warm water until it begins to defrost.
Under no circumstances should you defrost your tomatoes using a microwave since this will make their texture mushy.
Once thawed, transfer your tomatoes to a serving plate and use it as needed.
How to Tell if Frozen Grape Tomatoes are Bad?
If you noticed any changes in the container or its contents, do not eat it.
Examine your tomatoes for discoloration, mold growth, and unpleasant odor to determine if they are no longer safe to be consumed.
If your grape tomatoes develop an unusual smell, taste sour or bitter, it is no longer fit for consumption.
Likewise, if the container cracked or was punctured in any way, then do not eat its content since this means that its natural juices may have leaked out.
If you notice water droplets on the surface of your grape tomatoes after opening their container, it is also time to throw them away.
It’s best to check its interior for any puncture marks or leaks to make sure that you know which container caused the problem and avoid using it in the future.
In conclusion, you can undoubtedly freeze grape tomatoes.
Just remember to properly wash and dry them before freezing, and do not forget to cook them first if you want your frozen tomatoes to taste good.
The next time you buy more than enough for immediate consumption, consider flash-freezing it instead of other methods of preserving its freshness, such as refrigeration or drying the tomato.
With flash freezing, you will be able to enjoy your grape tomatoes for a more extended period and minimize waste.