Oh tomatoes from the garden, is there anything better?
Except, when it has been a really good year for tomatoes and you don’t know what to do with them because you don’t have time to can!! That’s me…..right now…….AAHHH!!!
Our garden has done awesome this year, despite it’s lack of attention from us. We have gotten an abundance of green beans, zucchini, rhubarb, cucumbers, onions, and of course……tomatoes. We have cherry tomatoes and big boy tomatoes. (I think that’s the variety.) The girls eat cherry tomatoes without washing straight from the garden. They pop them into their mouths well like……cherries. Usually we make and can salsa, pizza sauce and pasta sauce when we have a lot of tomatoes, but this week and next week are so crazy in our world, I am not sure we will have time. Canning salsa takes hours and right now that is just not in the plan. So what to do with all of these tomatoes???!!!!
I can’t make stuff with big chunks of tomatoes, because while my family likes ketchup, salsa, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and so on, they don’t like big chunks of tomatoes. So when I can’t can them, I give them away or eat them myself. Here are a couple of ideas I like to eat tomatoes raw.
If you read A Successful Week in the Kitchen, you know I am not the world’s best cook. So if I make a suggestion, trust me you can do it. My friend Monica does this salad all the time. A caprese salad is just mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil. You drizzle some olive oil and add some salt and pepper. I have seen pretty layers or everything just thrown together. You can use big tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, it all tastes good. Here is a link to a Caprese Salad done by Rachel Ray from the Food Network, but I don’t think a recipe is even required. I don’t use one and don’t need one, you totally got this.
I love to learn about cooking…….. but get nervous about the execution……. I do remember my mom making something like this when I was younger, so I sort of just took that memory and made it a couple of times. I took a bunch of cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. I poured some red wine vinegar and olive oil on them. I added garlic, sugar and salt and pepper. I let them sit for a while and then ate them. They were so tasty!! I was impressed with myself. Food Network and mom’s cooking memories………they pay off…….. Again, I am sure if you google marinated tomatoes you will find recipes, but the motto for today is if I can do it, so can you!!!
My kids had the opportunity to do a summer rec program called Kids in the Kitchen. It was awesome!!! They learned how to make so many great and healthy recipes!! I was completely blown away. One of the recipes they made was delicious fresh salsa, kind of like a pico de gallo. They chopped, by themselves, tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno. They added garlic, cilantro and squeezed in a lime. That’s it!! They really liked it and I could have eaten the whole bowl. You can adjust the ratios for all of the ingredients depending on how you like it and could add in some other things as well. Corn, avocado, and black beans are the ones I can think of right now, I am sure there are others. Any way I can get them to eat these tomatoes right?? If they can do it, you can do it!!
Benefits of Tomatoes
I knew tomatoes were good for you being a fruit (or vegetable) and all. Somewhere I probably heard all of this stuff, but totally forgot amid the chaos of my life. So I did a little bit of research to help my healthy eating rationale. Turns out tomatoes have lycopene. It’s this great thing that helps your body function properly. Lycopene can help reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. It can also help reduce your cholesterol levels. (I should probably figure out what mine actually are….)
Tomatoes also can help improve your vision (not so sure about this one, my vision is terrible), lower hypertension, manage diabetes, prevent gallstones, prevent urinary tract infections (yay!!) and help with sunburn (double yay!!!) The other great thing about tomatoes is they are 95% water, with the other 5% being carbs and fiber. One medium sized tomato only has about 20 calories, so you can snack on them as much as you want!!
What do you do with the abundance of tomatoes in your garden when you don’t have time to can? I know I can use a ton of them to can salsa and pizza sauce, but I don’t have time in my world right now. But I have tomatoes I need to use. What else can I do with them?? You can leave your comments here or on our Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese. I love and need to hear your ideas!!! Thanks for the help!!
Talk to you soon,