This heatwave has grown the most delicious tomatoes I have ever tasted!
Tomatoes need long hot days and then flower and ripen at night…therefore called nightshades. Here’s what ripened in a peaceful section of Peace Dale, RI in the northeast last night:
If you have been told by your friend, MD or dietitian nutritionist to stay away from night shades, read this short article first http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/4-myths-about-nightshade-vegetables/ and then have yourself a home grown delicious tomato or 2 while they are still in season and see if you really want to avoid this powerful fruit loaded with antioxidants. The color of the fruit tells us its high in lutein and lycopene which is good for the eyes in addition to helping fight cancer and heart disease!!!
You may have also heard that nightshades were once associated with witches and sorcerers who would mix up these crazy potions and then eat the concoction to turn themselves into a werewolf! The legend of the ‘wolf peach’ started in Europe and that’s where we’ll leave it until Halloween.
Tomatoes are botanically a fruit, along with bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans, eggplants, avocados and squash but the tomato is in fact a berry! Obviously it isn’t as sweet as a berry and is used primarily in savory recipes. To me it doesn’t matter what a tomato is; what matters is how it tastes and right now, I can’t get enough. There are 40 plants in my garden and the varieties range from small yellow and red cherry’s to medium purple, plum and juliet, up to huge pink brandy wines that turning out to be my favorites this year. I eat tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Tomatoes on toast with a poached egg…yummmmm. For lunch, my neighbor, who recently started a vegetable garden, used a sliced tomato on her sandwich with mozzarella and basil and ‘wowed’ herself. She proved to us that your tastebuds can and will change over time if you are courageous enough to start a garden, harvest the fruit of your labor and best of all EAT it…take it from Erin and don’t wait til you’re 40 to try a locally grown farm fresh tomato on your damn sandwich! Way to go Erin!
By the way, tomatoes should NOT be stored in the refrigerator…fughettaboutit!!! You will gag on the results, so mealy and gross (even if you add grated cheese Joey B.)!
On the other hand if your entire kitchen is covered in tomatoes and it’s too hot to make sauce, you can freeze whole tomatoes…they will never taste as good in a sandwich though. Use previously frozen tomatoes in soups, stews and sauces. The lycopene, lutein become even more available when cooked.
OK folks, here’s the bottom line, 1. get a locally grown tomato and get it fast, the season will soon be over. 2. if you know a gardener; trade them a cold distilled drink for a tomato or two 3. eating fruits and vegetables are a natural sunscreen, so get to the beach and bring a sandwich with a tomato on it! http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/6-foods-to-eat-to-avoid-sunburn-from-the-inside-out 4. Tomatoes are the anti-inflammatory medicine your MD forgot to prescribe. 5. Enjoy your tomato by eating mindfully…slow down, sit down and savor this incredible fruit with olive oil, basil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper!