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What to Do With Those Green Tomatoes?!

Got some green tomatoes hanging around the kitchen?  Here are a couple of recipes that will put them to good use!

Well, I finally gave up hope and brought in the last of my green tomatoes.  I have them sitting on my window sill in the hopes that they will ripen up.  But what if they don't turn red?  What do you do with them then? 

It turns out there are a lot of health benefits from tomatoes even if they are still green.  They contain a good amount of vitamins C and A.  These powerful antioxidants can help protect your immune system and prevent premature aging. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, so it is beneficial to eat green tomatoes with an iron source, such as meat, poultry, fish, spinach or an iron supplement.  They also contain Vitamin B complex vitamins that are critical for helping our bodies use protein, fat and carbohydrates to create energy.  In addition, green tomatoes supply a small amount of needed minerals, fiber and protein.  All of this nutrition for about 42 calories in a medium-size tomato!

Knowing these green gems pack a such healthy punch, I decided to find out how I could put them to good use.  Here are three recipes I found that are healthy for you as well as tasty!

The first recipe I went to was the southern classic Fried Green Tomatoes. I particularly like this paleo recipe adapted from Health Bent.  The traditional bread crumbs are replaced with almond flour which gives it a nice cornmeal-like crunch.  In addition, the tomatoes are baked not fried- a healthier cooking alternative.

Recipe One: Paleo Oven Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

4 green tomatoes, sliced thinly, about 1/4 inch

1 1/4 c almond flour ( coconut flour may also be used, but it has finer consistency and lacks the crunch of the almond flour)

1 t onion powder

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 t cayenne pepper

2 eggs

1/3 c water

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Put your oven on broil and place the rack on the second shelf from the top. You want to cook the tomatoes through while simultaneously browning the coating without burning. Too close and you will certainly burn the tomatoes. Lightly coat or spray 2  baking sheets with olive oil.

In one bowl, mix eggs and water, in a second bowl add the flour and seasonings. Place the tomato slices in the egg then in the almond flour. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle the tops with a bit of olive oil.

Broil for about 6 minutes on one side, then flip and brown the other side, about another 6 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of salt right when they come out of the oven. Serve hot.

 

Recipe Two:  Hot ‘N Spicy Green Tomato Soup

I received this wonderful recipe from my sister-in-law (it's good to have family!) and thought I would share it as well.

Ingredients:

1/4 c finely diced pancetta

1 T olive oil

1 med onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 bay leaf

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

2 green anaheim peppers, seeded and diced

1 green pasilla chile, seeded and diced

1 3/4 lb green tomatoes, cored and quartered

3 c chicken stock

1 1/2 T lemon juice

2 t hot sauce, or to taste

salt and pepper

Cilantro Oil (see recipe below)

Directions
  • Heat oil in large pan over medium heat.  
  • Add pancetta and cook until golden and crispy.  Remove from pan with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.  
  • Turn up jeat and saute onions in same pan until soft, 3-4 min. Season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic, bay leaf, and peppers; cook 5 min.  
  • Add tomatoes and stock, adjust seasonings.  Bring to boil and simmer 10-15 min until tomatoes are soft.
  • Remove bay leaf. Puree with hand held blender or in food processor.
  • Stir in lemon juice and hot sauce. Adjust seasonings.  
  • Serve garnished with pancetta and cilantro oil.

Cilantro Oil

1 c packed fresh cilantro, tough stems removed
1/2 c oil
1/4 t salt

Bring medium pot of water to boil.  Blanch cilantro for 10 seconds.  Remove and shock in ice bath. Pat dry well on paper towels. Chop roughly and put in blender. With motor running, add oil and salt and process until smooth. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week. Serve at room temp.

 

Recipe 3:  Green Tomato Rice

Here is a new twist on a green tomato recipe from About.com Southern Food.  This recipe uses rice and bacon to make a wonderful side dish.  If you use brown rice you get the added benefits of B vitamins and fiber.  In addition,  the garlic, thyme and jalapeño have their own heart healthy benefits.  Make sure to use uncured bacon to avoid unwanted chemicals and additives.

 

Photo credit:  willsfca via flickr

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