Tomatoes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, but when ripe are juicy and delicious! Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A and an excellent source of vitamin C. Lycopene, which is a red pigment in tomatoes and a carotenoid (precursor for vitamin A), is an antioxident found in tomatoes that can help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. Lycopene has been found to be better absorbed by the body when the tomatoes are cooked and consumed with a (healthy) fat.
Tomatoes are in abundance now, but come winter, we will have the mealy tomatoes found at the supermarkets.
Storage: fresh tomatoes are best kept at room temperature and consumed within 1 week. Store in a single layer.
If you have a little time, energy and freezer space, freezing tomatoes can be a quick and easy way of preserving tomatoes. And, yes, they can be frozen raw.
Overview of Freezing tomatoes:
- wash, remove stem and let dry
- can be frozen whole, chopped or sliced OR make and freeze your favorite sauce
- freeze in tightly closed plastic bag. If freezing sauce, let cool, portion (the amount you usually use at one time) in plastic freezer bag, and lay the bag flat to freeze – it saves on space and decreases thawing time.
Fun Fact: In 1894, tomatoes were a topic of the United States Supreme court, which ultimately labeled them as a vegetable.