Tomatoes could easily top a list of the most difficult fruits and vegetables to store if we had to make one.
Even in the best conditions, their storage does not promise to keep them fit for consumption for a long time. Still, with a little more effort and the right steps, you can achieve good results.
If you want to provoke violent reactions from a room full of foodies, announce to everyone that you keep your tomatoes in the refrigerator, and watch the waves of sarcasm pour out.
After all, keeping tomatoes in the fridge is absolutely taboo, isn’t it?
No matter the type of tomato, storage methods are practically the same. There are certain types that do better under certain conditions but overall, you should follow the same rules. As for today, we will focus on the storage of grape tomatoes.
How should you store grape tomatoes? Normally, tomatoes should be kept at room temperature. The cold fridge environment stops the ripening process and within a few days, the tomatoes lose some of their taste, aroma, and texture. But since grape tomatoes are usually sold almost-ripe, it is better to store them in the fridge.
This is the reason behind the whole fuss about storing tomatoes in a refrigerator. There is a situational counter to this, however. While a refrigerator is not generally a good place for unripe tomatoes, you should keep the ripe ones inside if you want to extend their shelf life.
What are Grape Tomatoes?
Since grape tomatoes are fairly uncommon in comparison to most other types you regularly see on the market, you may easily mistake them for regular cherry tomatoes that give us sun-dried tomatoes, since they are both small.
The most obvious difference is that grape tomatoes are not round in shape as cherries. Instead, they have the shape of the fruit whose name they took – grape.
Since you have undoubtedly eaten cherry tomatoes, we will use them as an example for further comparison too. With this said, grape tomatoes are not as sweet as cherry tomatoes but have a meatier texture. They usually also have fewer seeds.
How to Store Grape Tomatoes
The following guide can be considered general for all types of tomatoes but we will be addressing grape tomatoes for the sakes of the general topic.
In short, keep tomatoes at room temperature for as long as possible or until they are fully ripe. Then, you should store them in the refrigerator if you want to extend their shelf life for another few days.
Storing Unripe Grape Tomatoes
Unripe tomatoes of all kinds should be left to ripen as long as you do not prefer them greener.
With this said, you should definitely not put them in the fridge. Always keep them at room temperature but away from direct sunlight. We recommend layering them next to each other but never stack them up.
Most importantly, to keep them fresh for longer, keep them upside down until fully ripe. Of course, it can be troublesome to balance grape tomatoes upside down due to their shape but you can achieve that by arranging them one next to the other.
The benefits of keeping them with their stem facing down are twofold: putting them this way blocks the area where you usually have the twigs connected.
As a result, the moisture in the tomato will not leave as quickly just as less air will enter the tomato. In other words, this will prevent the growth of bacteria and mold and thus, extend the shelf life of your grape tomatoes or tomatoes in general.
Storing Ripe Grape Tomatoes
Here is where we will go against the majority of opinions about the correct method to store tomatoes because we recommend keeping them in the refrigerator as long as you do not plan to eat them in 24–48 hours.
Unfortunately, most people have been taught that the refrigerator is the worst place for tomatoes in any state and they follow this “rule” blindly.
Speaking about grape tomatoes, in most cases, they are sold in a near-ripe state which means that you will not have to wait a lot until they reach their perfect form.
But once they reach their peak, you have only a few days to eat them before they’re bad. With the way many families buy their groceries weekly or even in longer intervals, this leaves them with a lot of product that requires proper storage to extend the shelf life.
With grape tomatoes in particular, there is only one way to do that once they ripen perfectly – storing them in the refrigerator.
Believe it or not, any tomato that has been kept in the refrigerator after it reached its prime will taste better than any ripe tomato that you left at room temperature too long.
Can you Freeze Grape Tomatoes?
When it comes to tomatoes, in general, you can freeze them in various ways – whole, sliced in different ways, or as a puree. As for grape tomatoes, you can freeze these as well but the options are more limited.
When you work with regular tomatoes, you have the option to peel them before freezing.
It is not necessary but some people prefer it this way. Since you wouldn’t normally peel grape tomatoes, you will have to work with the skin on. Be careful not to freeze any spoiled tomatoes as this would destroy the whole batch later.
To do the actual freezing, wash each tomato and remove the stems. We recommend cutting a little bit of the side where the stem was located. Use a tray or cookie or baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer with some space between each grape tomato.
Allow the tomatoes to freeze completely. Then, transfer them in resealable freezer bags or any type or airtight container.
In general, frozen tomatoes should be eaten within 3 months if you are keen on quality and taste but they will remain safe to eat for a longer period.
How to Tell if Grape Tomatoes Are Bad, Spoiled, or Rotten
Perhaps tomatoes, in general, are harder to store than we would want but as a result, it is extremely easy to know when any tomato is losing its qualities.
Once fresh grape tomatoes reach their prime state, they begin to soften. In some cases, they begin to leak liquid. In other cases, mold begins to grow which is not necessarily bad for a whole big tomato, but for our small grape tomatoes, it means that you should not eat it.
It is possible that fruit flies appear depending on the region you live in which could happen no matter what fruit or vegetable you are keeping on the counter. Many people have problems with fruit flies and do not know how to get rid of the little intruders.
There is a simple solution to getting rid of fruit flies. Take a bowl and fill it with water. Add a tablespoon or more of vinegar to the bowl and put it right next to the basket or whatever you are keeping the grape tomatoes in.
Leave it overnight and you should find a bunch of dead flies in the bowl in the morning. If there are some left, repeat the process until you get rid of all.
Nutritional Value of Grape Tomatoes
It would be pointless to point out the nutritional value of a single grape tomato as we would do for a regular large one via a chart. We can, however, give you the general benefits of eating grape tomatoes.
Fibers are one of the most important nutrients for our health and grape tomatoes can help you get the necessary daily value when you add them to your menu. Other than that, grape tomatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C.
Even more importantly, grape tomatoes are rich in antioxidants such as lycopene which gives them their red color.
Moreover, it is incredibly beneficial for overall health protection and heart health in particular. It is even considered to be particularly useful in lowering the risk of certain types of cancer although more research is required in this field.
We hope that you have found this guide to properly storing grape tomatoes useful – and we hope it isn’t too shocking to find you can store them in the fridge.
We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that may be helpful to you.
Are Tomatoes Good for Weight Loss?
First of all, tomatoes are incredibly nutritious. At the same time, they are extremely low in calories with less than 30 calories per regular-sized tomato.
This makes them a great addition to your menu if you are looking for foods that make you feel full while reducing the calorie intake.
Due to the high antioxidant consistency, they help with water retention and leptin resistance which further tones up weight loss.
Can I Eat Tomatoes on an Empty Stomach?
Despite the obvious nutritional value of tomatoes, they are not a suitable snack if you have an empty stomach. As a part of your meal, yes, but otherwise, consider eating something else.
Why are tomatoes not good for empty stomachs? Due to the tannic acid which is abundant in tomatoes, it could lead to stomach problems like gastritis.
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