Grew Tomatoes. Now What?


tomato vine image credit: Good Search

Did you grow tomatoes this summer and now wonder what to do with them? If you can find a neighbor who grew zucchini, you’re in luck! Swap vegetables, and swap some recipes, too. Here are some facts about the tomato you can digest in good health:

When processed or cooked, tomatoes actually contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes. The structure of the antioxidant lycopene changes, making it more easily absorbed by our bodies. So, pour on the pasta sauce, and feel good about buying canned tomatoes in the winter. Just half-cup of tomato sauce is plenty for an adequate lycopene boost to your system. Food sources of lycopene have been found to be more beneficial than supplements. Here’s a link for more information about lycopene.

 

Tons of tomatoes—now what?

Tomatoes are consumed more than any other non-starchy vegetable in America. Here are some ideas to make sure they don’t go to waste.

  • Share them! If a friend or neighbor has plenty of something else, barter 😉
  • No sandwich is complete without a tomato slice.
  • Is spaghetti for dinner? Cook up some tomatoes, and crush them for the sauce.
  • To add some character to your breakfast eggs, dice some tomatoes.
  • Cold or warm tomato or gazpacho soup. You’re on your own here. I’ve never made either.
  • Stuff tomatoes like you would a stuffed pepper and cook, or stuff it with tuna, or cottage cheese.
  • Make stew or soup with all sorts of tomatoes: fresh, canned, dried – they each add their own flavor.

For snacks or h’orderves:

  • Make some salsa for a quick appetizer: (dice tomatoes, chop cilantro, onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and squeeze some lemon.) If you have a molcajete – a traditional Mexican version of a mortar and pestle, crush the ingredients – it’ll bring the flavor out even more by crushing them a bit. If you like smooth rather than chunky salsa, put things in the blender after you chop them up.
  • Another side dish or snack with tomato: thick slices of tomatoes and alternatively overlap with slices of mozzarella cheese as you make your way around a plate (If you’re near a Costco, they sell packages already sliced.) Add some fresh basil. Drizzle olive oil on top, and add salt and pepper, and balsamic vinegar if you want a stronger flavor.

 

 

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