Do you have green tomatoes in your garden at the end of the season? My vines are usually hanging full and will need to be dealt with before they are hit with frost. We are having some unusually cool weather in Kentucky for August. I am sure the hot weather will return but autumn is just around the corner folks. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the crisp air of the cool mornings and the beautiful colors but autumn is also a time of harvest.
Did you know that green tomatoes are just as good for you as red tomatoes. Green tomatoes are lower in calories, less sweet and have the same amount of fiber as red tomatoes. Green tomatoes have more vitamin C and three times as much calcium as red tomatoes. They also contain powerful antioxidants, beta carotene (beta carotene is good for the eyes), low sodium and they are high in potassium.
Here are some tips for dealing with green tomatoes:
My first thought is to fry them all! Southerners love fried green tomatoes.
If frost is predicted, you can always cover them with a sheet if it is a light frost.
Later, when cooler weather arrives, you can pull the plants up leaving the roots intact and hang in a cool, dry place to continue ripening. (The garage or basement would work well for this process)
Window sills work well for ripening a few at a time in a sunny place.
Another way, is to wrap in newspapers and place in a cool, dry place. Check them often for any signs of rotting.
Apples give off a gas that causes tomatoes to ripen more quickly. Place your tomatoes in a paper bag with apples to speed up the process of ripening.
My favorite way to preserve green tomatoes is to slice 1/4 to 1/2 inches thick, pack them into freezer containers with wax paper between the slices. Frozen green tomato slices will keep up to a year in the freezer. Do not thaw before cooking. Just use seasoned cornmeal or flour and fry for a yummy meal. (Some people bread the slices before freezing).
I hope this has been of some help to those of you that have green tomatoes on the vines when summer is over. Maybe, you have suggestions to add to this post. Leave me a comment and give us your ideas, too.
Green tomatoes are great for pickling, making salsa and green tomato ketchup. Here are a couple of great recipes for using up green tomatoes. Just click the links to go to the recipes: Fried Green Tomatoes and Green Tomato Muffins with Cheese.
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