How to ensure a longer shelf life for tomatoes?

Photo: Shutterstock/Milton Buzon

The skyrocketing prices nearly squeezed tomatoes out of our kitchens till a few months ago. But the prices, of late, are tumbling, thanks to a surge in production.

For an easily perishable vegetable like tomato, stocking them up in large quantities for future use isn't generally practical. However, there are certain methods through which you can store the fruit-cum-vegetable for months. Here they are:
1) Take water in a large vessel. Add two tablespoons of vinegar to it and mix well. Now put properly washed tomatoes into it such that the tomatoes get fully immersed in the solution. Keep aside for 10 minutes.

Drain off the solution completely and wash the tomatoes again using fresh water. After that, clean them using a kitchen towel. Take out each tomato and wrap it with a newspaper. Now keep them in a bowl and store in the fridge. They will remain without decaying for months altogether.

2) Fold and place tissue paper into a box. Sprinkle some salt (fine powder) into it. Place the tomatoes into the box such that their pedicels are in contact with the salt. You don’t need to store them in the fridge if you do like this. They will remain intact on the kitchen countertop for a few months.

3) Those who want to store tomatoes intact for up to six months can experiment with the following tips:

Remove the pedicels of tomatoes with a knife and make a crisscross cut on the opposite side. Put them in a zip-lock cover and suck out the air in it with a straw. Now you can store the cover in the freezer. This will not only result in retaining the freshness of the tomatoes, but you can also store them for months without them rotting.

4) Rinse the tomatoes well. Cut them into small pieces and put them into a mixer jar. Don’t add water. You can grind the tomato pieces by adding adequate salt. Wipe out the entire tomato pulp and pour the same into a glass jar while ensuring that there are no water particles. Now you can store the pulp in the fridge and use it as and when needed.

5) Another way to ensure a longer shelf life is to prepare tomato puree. Make a crisscross cut on the top side of the tomatoes using a knife and put them into hot boiling water for five minutes. Put out the flames and let the tomatoes cool down. Then slowly and carefully, peel off the tomato skin.

Now, put them into a mixer and grind them adding only salt. Tomato puree is ready. You can put the same into a glass jar and store it in the fridge. No preservatives of any kind are to be added. It will remain intact for up to six months.

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