Most food items are prepared out of tomatoes; especially in Indian foods tomatoes have a vital role. Tomatoes are included in almost all recipes like salads, soups, pulao, curries and other preparations. Tomatoes are eaten in cooked form or in raw form. It has plenty of health benefits and it has a prior benefit in beauty management, tomatoes are dense source of lycophene, vitamin-C and beta-carotene. The lycopene present in tomatoes give red color to the tomatoes. These lycopene has multiple health benefits like lowering cholesterol, boosting the immunity power and protecting our skin and eyes. You know these tomatoes have the power to prevent the onset of cancer; it’s all because of the presence of lycopene and beta-carotene in it. So such an excellent property tomato has, that is really beneficial to human health, but the shelf life of tomatoes is less. To make them available throughout and maintain their freshness you may required to store these tomatoes properly in correct way.
Now let us see the possible ways to increase the shelf life of tomatoes, by storing them in correct way;
For freezing you can choose a well ripe tomato that is fresh. The stem portion of tomato to be removed; now you can wash tomatoes in running water or tap water. By doing so it becomes clean and free of dirt, then you can make it dry, use a neat cloth to wipe the tomato nicely, it becomes cleaned now and dried completely. The top area of tomato to be sliced, in the back area of tomatoes you need to semi cut in small cross shape, it helps in peeling of tomatoes. Afterwards take a zip lock bag and place all tomatoes and seal it well, now you can keep it stored in freezer, whenever you need tomato, you can take it use it. But before using slightly keep in microwave oven or thaw them and use it, don’t use it as such, thus these frozen tomatoes can be kept for minimum one month or more than that.
For blanching tomatoes you require bunch of tomato, salt and water. First you boil well the water and add the tomatoes to it, then allow it to boil for three minutes, then you can switch off flame and allow it to cool, after cool down gently peel off the skin of tomato and keep it aside. Now take a glass jar or glass bottle, to it add salt and the tomatoes one by one, you need to use an air tight lid to close the glass bottle. Then place it in refrigerator, you may use it whenever it is required. This is the way of blanching tomatoes. The glass bottle should be sterilized well before the process.
The easiest way to store tomato is by making puree out of tomatoes. For this you need to take well ripe tomatoes, now discard the stem portion and cut them in to small slices. Pressure cook this tomatoes for 3 whistles, then allow it to cool, after cooling, add them in blender and grind it well. Strain well thoroughly and discard the leftover, now you may taken a pan to it add these tomato puree and need to cook for 10 minutes in an average flame, you can add salt as per your requirement. Your tomato puree is now ready, if you want to keep this puree for longer duration then use sodium benzoate to it and then store on an air tight container, this can be kept for 1 month period, and for tomato required recipes you may just add little puree of tomato to it and prepare the dish, so simple to do.
Discard the stem portion
You can simply remove the stem portion from tomato, since they can cause moisture loss in tomato and making the fruit look saggy and black in color, so to retain the freshness and juiciness in tomatoes simply discard the stem portion from it, also you can stored them by placing it stem side down flatly, this can helps to retain the moisture and keep it juicy for longer times.
The best way to use any of the preserving way of tomatoes is after the process of refrigeration, freezing you need to bring them to room temperature and then use it on cooking, by doing so the natural flavor of tomatoes is retained and the freshness of tomatoes can be felt. Tomatoes have an amazing tangy flavor, many loves to have tomatoes as such, it’s all because of the juice in it, the juiciness in tomatoes can be maintained and retained by properly doing the preservation technique, and this possible ways will definitely help you out to increase the shelf life of tomatoes.
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