There might be a number of reasons why you want to store tomatoes. It might be that you got them at a very low price and ended up buying them in bulk. Yet another case can be that almost every one in your house bought tomatoes from the market, while coming back from work, with the same aim in mind. Whatever be the cause, the truth is that you now have too many tomatoes in hand, with no immediate use in sight. On top of that, you do not have the slightest idea as to how to store these tomatoes. This is where you come to your rescue. Go through the following lines and explore the best tips on storing tomatoes.
Best Ways Of Storing Tomatoes
How you store your tomatoes will depend upon the extent of their ripeness. Let us explore the procedure of storing ripe as well as unripe tomatoes.
Tomatoes can usually last at the room temperature for almost a week. However, if your tomatoes are getting overripe, you will have to place them inside the refrigerator. The method will also hold good if you want to store the tomatoes for more than a week. The low temperature of the refrigerator will help slow down the ripening process and provide you with an additional 2-3 days of storage, keeping rotting at bay.
You need to remember the fact that tomatoes are best consumed at room temperature. In the other words, they tend to lose their delicious taste on becoming cold. This is reason why you see 'do not refrigerate' labels on the tomatoes found in the grocery stores. So, in case you ever have to refrigerate tomatoes, make sure to bring them out of the fridge and keep them at room temperature, a couple of hours before consuming.
If you have bought unripe tomatoes (may be because they were sold at a much lower price than the ripe ones), storing them at room temperature will be the best bet. However, do make sure to keep them away from direct exposure to light. If you want to quicken the ripening process, place the tomatoes in a plastic bag, along with bananas or apples. Both the fruits produce ethylene gas, which will help make your tomatoes become ripe in no time at all.
Two More Ways - Freezing & Sun-drying
If you do not want to use the tomatoes for quite a number of days in the future, putting them in the freezer is a very good option. You can freeze tomatoes in the form of juice, whole fruit or even slices. Yet another option is to sun-dry the tomatoes, a process which increases their lifespan by a considerable amount. You can store the sun-dried tomatoes in an airtight container, along with olive oil, to prolong their life further. However, do make sure to keep the container in a cool, dry place, away from light.
Never ever keep green tomatoes in the refrigerator, if you want to ripen them soon. This is because, at temperatures lower than 12.5oC (54.5oF), the enzyme that ripens tomatoes gets inactivated.