Superfood Tip: Now is the time for fresh, ripe tomatoes
Gardens and grocers are brimming with ripe, delicious tomatoes. Eat them chopped, sliced, or skewered.
Tomatoes are low in fat and sodium. They are also cholesterol-free, while high in vitamin A and C. They are also a good source of potassium, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Choose tomatoes with bright shiny skin and firm flesh.
Tomatoes are best if kept unrefrigerated and eaten within a week of ripening. They are delicious served fresh in salads, on sandwiches, or eaten “as is.” They can be stuffed, stewed, fried, baked, and used in sauces, casseroles, and soups.
Following are three tips on how to store, prepare, and peel tomatoes from the Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program.
• Storage: Keep tomatoes at room temperature, away from dust and sunlight. Refrigerate only when overripe and if you cannot use them immediately. Green tomatoes can be ripened by holding at room temperature, away from sunlight. To ripen more quickly, put them into a paper bag.
• Preparation: Wash tomatoes in cold water, then cut out stem ends (do not cut out the stem of cherry tomatoes). Tomatoes can be peeled, if desired. The most common way of slicing tomatoes is crosswise, however slicing vertically, from the stem end to the blossom end, also makes nice slices, with less loss of seeds and juice.
• Peeling: Cut shallow crosses in the blossom ends. Lower tomatoes into boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds. Remove from hot water, and cool in cold water. The skin should peel off easily from the cut area using a knife.
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