Tomatoes are one of the most loved fruits. In fact, they are even considered a vegetable because of their high nutritional value. Tomatoes can be eaten in many ways such as fried, baked, or simply raw. They are rich in vitamins A and C which provide antioxidant benefits to your body. This means that you are getting more health benefits from a tomato than any other fruit or vegetable.
What makes tomatoes so special is that there is no need to purchase them from stores when you can grow them yourself at home! You don’t even have to wait for them to ripen on the vine either; green tomatoes can actually still be used for cooking if you know how to ripen them properly first.
When and how to harvest Tomatoes?
- When to harvest?
Harvesting tomatoes can be tricky. If you wait too long, they’ll rot on the vine but if you pick them too early, then their flavor won’t be fully developed. The best time to grow tomatoes is when the vines begin to turn yellow and die back (usually around mid-August). At this point, most of your tomato fruit should be ripened and ready for picking.
- How to harvest?
To avoid bruising them while harvesting, use a sharp knife or scissors and cut off each vine at its base with a clean cut (don’t pull on it!). This will ensure that no part leaves behind any traces of tomato residue that could cause molding in future storage.
How to use?
Tomatoes are delicious and versatile, so you can use them in many ways. Here’s how to get the most out of your harvest:
- Eat them fresh! They’re best when they’re picked at the peak of ripeness and eaten right away, but if you have an extra one, try freezing them whole on a baking sheet until hard enough that they won’t squish when packed together into a container or bag. You can also puree or dice them for sauces and salsas.
- Make the tomato sauce by simmering chopped tomatoes with garlic, onion (or shallots), basil leaves, and salt until thickened as desired. Add black pepper if desired (it enhances flavor). Use this basic sauce in lasagna or pasta dishes; add meat like sausage for an even heartier meal.
- Make the salsa by chopping ripe tomatoes along with onion, a jalapeno pepper (or bell pepper), cilantro leaves; lime juice; salt; black pepper; garlic powder if desired (adds another layer of flavor). Refrigerate any leftovers within 1 hour after making it so it last longer!
- Add diced tomatoes to salads—they provide contrast against crisp lettuce leaves while still being refreshing enough not to overpower other flavors in a salad dressing such as oregano-infused oil mixed with vinegar on top.. This technique works especially well when pairing sweet greens like arugula against sour fruits like kiwi slices tossed together with olive oil-based dressings such as lemon juice mixed with honey syrup which mellows out both flavors while amplifying each one individually’s distinct qualities at once.
Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are among the most versatile foods you can have in your kitchen. Not only do they taste delicious, but they’re also rich in vitamins and minerals that your body needs for good health.
Vitamin A: Tomatoes provide 90% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A per serving. Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, cellular growth, and vision, as well as for maintaining optimal immune function.
Vitamin C: They contain 14% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C per serving.
Dietary Fiber: Tomatoes provide 2 g per serving (about 1/2 cup), which helps lower cholesterol levels by reducing the absorption of dietary fat. It also contributes to digestive health by helping food pass through the intestines more quickly.
How to ripen green Tomatoes?
- Ripening is the process of changing a tomato from green to red.
- Tomatoes will ripen more slowly if they are picked green. The best way to ripen them is to leave them on the vine until they are fully red, but this can take several days or even weeks depending on how ripe they were when picked and whether or not you live in an area with long summers where there is plenty of heat and sun to accelerate their development.
- You can also hasten the process by putting your unripe them in a paper bag together with an apple or banana (or similar fruit), as these fruits emit ethylene gas which promotes ripening in other fruits such as avocado and papaya.
Wrap in newspaper
To ripen green tomatoes, first, you must wrap them in newspaper and keep them away from direct sunlight. Store the wrapped tomatoes in a paper bag or cardboard box that has been lined with newspaper. Store this container in a dark place where it can stay warm, but not too hot. Keep the temps between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You do not want to let your green tomatoes get cold or hot during this process, so avoid storing them near refrigerators or heaters if possible.
You may also consider wrapping each individual green tomato individually with newspaper if you have more than one to ripen at once (this works best for large-sized fruits). This method allows for better control over temperature levels by providing less insulation for all of your ripe fruit at once—if any gets too warm or cold during this process, it will affect only one tomato instead of an entire bunch.
Keep in a paper bag
You can ripen green tomatoes in a paper bag. This is one of the simplest and most reliable ways to get those greenies to turn red, although there are a few things you should know before trying this trick. The first thing is that it’s not going to work for all varieties of tomatoes, so check ahead of time if you have any doubts about whether or not your particular variety will ripen properly. Also, don’t try this if you’re worried about frost damage—you’ll want to wait until late spring or early summer before putting your tomatoes outside in the sun. The other important thing is that once you’ve put your green tomatoes into their paper bag jail cell, they will need constant sunlight (or at least bright light) and warmth in order to ripen properly; otherwise, they won’t do anything but sit there looking sad and lonely while their friends grow red all around them.
Keep in a jar
- Put the tomatoes in a jar.
- Put the jar in a dark place. This can be anywhere from a closet to an enclosed shelf in your kitchen, but it should be kept away from direct sunlight and any bright lights (such as lamps), which may cause the tomatoes to continue ripening too quickly.
- Keep them warm. If you don’t have room for your tomatoes on an enclosed shelf, then consider putting them on top of something that has some warmth underneath it—like your refrigerator or stovetop. Just make sure they aren’t sitting directly on top of either of these appliances, since they could overheat and spoil before they’ve had time to properly ripen.
- Cool them down if necessary by placing an ice pack between layers of clothing inside your freezer until ready for use during summer months when temperatures get too high outside; then move back outside again once nighttime temperatures drop off enough again so as not to risk spoiling before use.
Hanging plant indoor
Hanging a plant indoors is a great way to give them the right amount of light, as well as save space. These baskets are available at most garden centers and hardware stores, but you can also create your own using pots that hang on chains or brackets. If you decide to make your own container, be sure it has holes in the bottom for drainage and isn’t too deep so that it’s difficult for the plant roots to reach the water when hanging upside down.
When choosing tomatoes for this method, look for determinate varieties such as Patriot (75 days), Beefmaster (80 days) or Big Boy (80 days). These types of tomatoes produce all their fruit at one time after flowering once; therefore they have smaller fruits with dense flesh than indeterminate varieties do which continue producing fruit throughout their lives.
Keep in a cardboard box
Leaving green tomatoes in a cardboard box is the easiest process to ripen them. Simply place them in a sturdy cardboard box and leave it in a warm, dark place for a few days. Check on them every so often to see if they’re ripe yet; if not, return them to their cardboard box until they are ready. If you’ve left your tomatoes too long in the sun (or otherwise exposed to extreme heat), cover their stems with some plastic wrap before returning them to their box so that the stem doesn’t begin rotting before all of the flesh has turned red.
Once ripe, store them at room temperature or refrigerate immediately and use them within three days (they should stay good longer than that but may lose some flavor).
The most common method for ripening green tomatoes is to simply plant them in a sunny windowsill, where they’ll get plenty of sunlight. You should be careful not to keep them in direct sunlight, though—too much exposure can damage the plants and cause them to die.
Green tomatoes should be kept at room temperature, and they shouldn’t be exposed to drafts or winds. If you live in a particularly warm climate (like Florida), you might need an air conditioner or fan so that your plants don’t dry out too quickly.
The key to ripening green tomatoes is to provide them with the right environment. Green tomatoes will ripen faster if they’re kept in a warm, dry place with plenty of air circulation. You can also speed up the process by putting them in a brown paper bag or cardboard box; this allows them to breathe without drying out too quickly.
Take care not to over-spray the tomato with water, as this can make the fruit rot instead of ripening! Finally, don’t keep your tomatoes on top of other products that may emit ethylene gas. If you’re worried about keeping your ripe tomatoes from spoiling before you use them, try storing them in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to one week at room temperature (if it goes longer than that then throw it away).