Tomatoes

Summer, Fall

Health Benefits

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. They are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Tomatoes also provide folate, potassium, fiber, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and lycopene.

History

The tomato has a long and interesting history dating back to the early Aztecs, around 700 A.D. During Colonial Times, Americans grew tomatoes purely for decoration. They believed that if you ate a tomato, its poison would turn your blood into acid. The British also admired the tomato for its beauty, but believed that it was poisonous because it has an appearance similar to that of the poisonous wolf peach. For a long time, the tomato was classified as a fruit to avoid taxation. In 1883, the Supreme Court ruled that the tomato is a vegetable and should be taxed accordingly.

Recipes to Try

How to Store

Store at room temperature in a cool, dark place. If you do not have a cool area to store your tomatoes in, or if you have tomatoes that are already ripe, store in the refrigerator.

How to Prepare

First, wash tomatoes under cold water. For salads and sandwiches, slice tomatoes vertically by placing tomato on its side (stem facing to the left if you are right handed; to the right if you are left handed) and make parallel cuts. For diced tomatoes, first cut into slices. Then, stack slices on top of each other and cut into matchsticks. Gather sticks together and rotate 90 degrees. Cut across sticks to get diced tomatoes. When preparing tomato wedges, the goal is to keep the tomato juice and seeds intact. Place the tomato stem side up on a cutting board and cut straight down the middle. Halve each half through the stem again. You should now have four equal pieces. Continue this process until you achieve your desired size of tomato wedges. For stuffed tomatoes, cut horizontally to easily remove seeds. When peeling, make the bottom of your tomato with an X and place them in boiling water for about 20 seconds. Remove tomatoes and plunge them into cold water. The skins should come off easily.

Ways to Enjoy

Enjoy tomatoes sliced and salted, marinated, roasted, stuffed, or baked. Enjoy in salads, as a sauce, or raw.

Health Benefits

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. They are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Tomatoes also provide folate, potassium, fiber, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and lycopene.

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