Tomatoes are the perfect late summer vegetable. They are sweet, tart, filled with nutrients, versatile, and oh so prolific. With so many delicious vegan tomato recipes to make, let’s celebrate!
All summer long I have been loving the foods coming out of my own garden. We’ve been enjoy mixed berry cobblers with all our fresh berries, kale chips and salads, and all the zucchini and eggplant recipes.
Now that tomato season is in full force, it’s time to turn our attention to that delicious red vegetable, I mean fruit, and make them the center of our dinners for a few short weeks.
How to Pick Ripe Tomatoes
The difference between vine-riped tomatoes (those picked at the peak of harvest) and the tomatoes you get off-season at the grocery store is incredible. Off-season tomatoes are often bland, mealy, and disappointing. When it comes to growing your own, there are three ways to check when it’s time to harvest your tomatoes.
- Look – A ripe tomato should be a deep, bright red. Dull or pale tomatoes will be bland and tomatoes with any type of small black spots or bruises may be rotten inside.
- Feel – Squeeze the tomato and test how it feels. A ripe tomato will be firm enough to resist pressure but still soft enough to gently squeeze. If it is too soft, it is no longer fresh and is close to becoming rotten.
- Smell – Ripe tomatoes should have a strong, sweet, earthy smell. If you’ve ever had a ripe tomato, you know that scent. The more fragrant the tomato is, the more flavorful it will be.
These tricks also work when buying fresh tomatoes at the grocery store. Look for tomatoes that say they are vine-ripened and give them the look, feel, smell test.
How to Preserve Tomatoes
There are three main ways to preserve fresh tomatoes. At the bottom of this post you will find some of my favorite recipes for preserving tomatoes.
- Canning – With a canner, you can make tomato sauce, tomato jam, salsa, bruschetta, and more.
- Freezing – Cherry tomatoes are easiest to freeze. First, wash to tomatoes and pat them dry. Destem them and cut them in half. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet and let them freeze all the way through before transferring them to freezer bags. Frozen tomatoes are a great addition to pasta, quiches, and savory muffins.
- Dehydrating – To dehydrate tomatoes, follow the cleaning steps outlined above. One they are cleaned and dry, place them in single layers on your dehydrator and dehydrate until the moisture has been pulled out, about 8 hours. Store the dehydrated tomatoes in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Dried tomatoes are great for pasta and baking.
Vegan Recipes with Tomatoes
Recipes for Preserving Tomatoes
Tomatoes are wildly prolific and are best eaten at the peak of their season. Here are a few ways to capture all that goodness and store that flavor for weeks or months to come.
- Semi-Dried Tomatoes
- Sweet and Savory Tomato Jam
- Tomato Basil Canned Tomato Sauce
- Easy Tomato Salsa
- Quick Tomato Ketchup
- Tomato Chutney
More Vegetable Roundups
Vegetables are amazing. They are versatile, delicious, and good for you! Do you need help with some of them? Here are a few of my other popular vegetable round-up articles.
- 15 DELICIOUS Vegan Zucchini Recipes
- PERFECT Sweet Potato Recipes
- AMAZING Eggplant Recipes
- SAVORY Pumpkin Recipes
- 11 of the BEST Cauliflower Recipes
That’s it! 11+ vegan recipes with tomatoes. What is your favorite way to eat tomatoes? Tell me in the comments below.
Written by Sarah McMinn