Tricounty News

Can you freeze tomatoes?

A young women called the extension office asking if you can freeze tomatoes. Yes, you can. She was glad to hear that as she thought it will be nice to enjoy a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich in the winter. Well, tomatoes do freeze well – but not quite that well!

The freezing of tomatoes can be a great option when you are short of time and energy or you are at the end of the gardening season, when you may simply be “tomatoed-out”.

To freeze tomatoes, dip them in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute to easily remove the skins. Core and peel. You can quarter, chop, or puree the tomatoes in a food processor. Put into a freezer bag or container, leave 1 inch headspace, seal and freeze.


Preserve Your Harvest workshops scheduled at Willmar Community Owned Grocery

Do you want a cupboard full of home-canned fruit and vegetables? Do you want to freeze vegetables from your garden? Whether you’re growing them or buying them, come learn how to can, freeze, or pickle them safely. Join University of Minnesota food safety extension educator Debbie Botzek-Linn to learn how to preserve your harvest. She will cover the safest and most current methods for canning, freezing, and pickling, including preserving tomato products and salsa. The workshop will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, at the Willmar Community Owned Grocery at 1600 E. Highway 12 (intersection of Hwy 12 and Lakeland Drive).

Pre-register by Aug. 20 by calling Jenny Klatt at (651) 341-9302. Cost is $10 for COG members and $15 for non-members.

Get answers that are reliable to food preservation questions


Strawberries are being picked. Vegetables are ripening. The Minnesota food preservation season is starting. Canning, freezing, drying or pickling fruits and vegetables allows us to enjoy the bounty of summer for months to come. Whether you’re making your first batch of salsa or you’ve been pressure canning green beans for years, you may have questions.

Where to go for answers? Call AnswerLine to ask a household expert questions about safely canning and freezing foods. AnswerLine is toll-free at (800) 854-1678 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m.


Taking Your Pickles to the Next Level

From Home Canning to Commercial Production

Taking Your Pickles to the Next Level – from Home Canning to Commercial Production is a new workshop being offered by University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. The workshop will be held from
1-4:30 p.m. Monday, July 14, at Cabela’s, in Rogers, Minn. If you have ever wondered how to market your dill pickles, salsa, or BBQ sauce, this workshop is for you. Cost for the workshop is $20. Register by calling MFVGA at (763) 434-0400, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Take your burger’s temperature

Are you using a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your burgers? It’s important to always use a thermometer to be sure hamburgers are cooked to 160°F for 15 seconds for best results in killing bacteria.

E. coli 0157:H7 is the pathogen of concern. A number of foodborne illness outbreaks have been linked to undercooked ground beef. This pathogen can survive both refrigerator and freezer storage, making proper thawing and cooking crucial.