Healthy Food Database
Tomatoes are descended from the wild tomato that grew in the lower Andes over two thousand years ago. The tomato is related to the deadly nightshade family along with potatoes and tobacco. Tomatoes have a smooth, glossy skin and juicy flesh containing numerous soft, edible seeds.
Tomatoes are rarely categorised by variety but distinguished by mainly by shape.
Round tomatoes are most common. They are medium sized and rounded. These are now available as vine ripened or truss.
Egg tomatoes are great for sauces. They have a firm skin and sweet juicy flesh.
Cherry tomatoes, also called teardrop tomatoes, are approx 3-5cm long. They can be red , yellow or orange with pink to red, or yellow flesh.
A tomato ripened by the sun is incomparable in flavour to those perfect shaped but insipid hot house varieties.
Tomatoes will continue to ripen off the vine but the flavour is compromised.
Note: the salicylate content in fresh tomatoes is relatively low, but canned tomatoes and processed tomato sauces have high levels of this compound.
In Season: Summer Autumn
Invest in vine-ripened, truss or organic if you can - use your nose as a guide. A flavoursome tomato will smell rich and woody. A hot-house tomato will smell of nothing. Look for firm, taut skin but don't be put off by an irregular shape or the odd brown scar. Buy small numbers of ripe tomatoes more often as refrigerating will reduce their flavour. Buy very ripe tomatoes for cooking.
Canned or cooked tomatoes and tomato paste have much higher amounts of lycopene (an antioxidant pigment) than raw tomatoes, but when buying the canned variety, check labels for unwanted added sugar, salt or preservatives and colours.
Store at room temperature to ripen over a few days. Ripe tomatoes should also be kept at room temperature and used in a couple of days. If very ripe, store in the fridge but use as soon as possible. Rest refrigerated tomatoes at room temperature for 1 hour before using.
Tips & Tricks:
To peel egg tomatoes before using in a sauce, dip them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until the skin splits. Once split it will slip off.
Use egg tomatoes to dry - delicious sprinkled on salads, egg and fish dishes. Halve and deseed the tomato. Sprinkle with seasalt and lay on wire racks. Preheat the oven to 60C and leave the racks in the oven for 8 - 10 hours. Store in sterilised jars with olive oil and shavings of garlic and fresh herbs.
Nutrition per 1 Unit:
Monosaturated Fat , g:
Benefits the Following Health Conditions:*
* This information is sourced by a qualified naturopath. It is non prescriptive and not intended as a cure for the condition. Recommended intake is not provided. It is no substitute for the advice and treatment of a professional practitioner.
The Food Coach provides all content as is, without warranty. The Food Coach is not responsible for errors or omissions, or consequences of improper preparation, user allergies, or any other consequence of food preparation or consumption.
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