To say we have a lot of tomatoes is an understatement. We planted a number of different varieties of tomatoes in our greenhouse, and they’re ALL growing really well. We have Cherokee purple tomatoes that are HUGE, green zebra which are a really pretty yellow/green variety that is super sweet, a reddish/orangish variety called “cosmos” – they’re speckled like a galaxy of stars, a japanese variety called momotaro, they’re pinky red color and are my husband’s favorite, and a small green/red tomato that looks a lot like a roma tomato called black icicle.
We’ve been experimenting with different recipes, but when I have a bunch like above I make spaghetti sauce. I love spaghetti, but don’t have the patience to skin and seed a ton of tomatoes, and over the years have created a very easy sauce with diced tomatoes skins and seeds included utilizing my crock pot. I combine the tomatoes with olive oil, garlic and other seasonings (all except salt), and slow cook it all day. An hour before it’s done, I’ll add some Italian sausage or hamburger, and then leave the lid off to let it steam and thicken a bit. If I have some eggplant, I’ll cut up bite size piece and add that as well. I don’t add salt until the very end. I’m not canning my sauce because I know that tomato sauce can be risky if not done properly, and haven’t studied up on it enough to feel comfortable with the process. I have, however, frozen it for later use, and it’s been great.
We’ve also dry tomatoes using our dehydrator, make salsa, and throw them in various dishes from stir fries to scrambled eggs. Or we just slice them up with a little salt and pepper or some balsamic vinegar and mozarella cheese. Today I juiced some to make some fresh squeeze tomato juice. I’m going to be making some Bloody Mary’s this afternoon as a surprise for the hubby. Not sure how it tastes yet, but I think with the right seasonings, it’ll be great.
Tomatoes are really easy to grow. If you’re limited on space, they’re easy to grow in pots. They just need something to climb on like a small trellis or wire cage once they start to get taller. That with some nice sunshine and water, and they’re pretty much good to go. Seeds are hard to come by right now, but you can use seeds from the tomatoes you purchase at the store or market. Ever thrown a rotten tomato in a compost bin?? If it’s in the right area with some sun, you’ll soon see tomato starts peaking out of the heap.
Tomatoes are good source of antioxidants. They’re high in Vitamin A & C, have lots of fiber, and are low in calories. There are so many varieties of tomatoes, and heirlooms are especially popular right now. Although many people refrigerate tomatoes because they keep longer, refrigeration actually causes tomatoes to lose their flavor. It’s best if possible to buy smaller quantities and eat them within a few days if they’re ripe. If they’re not quite ripe, put them on a window sill to catch some sun. An unripe tomato placed in the refrigerator will never ripen. Probably best just to grow your own, and eat them fresh off the vine!
Green Zebra tomatoes
Cherokee purple tomato
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