Health Benefits and Best Recipes For Green Tomatoes
Green Tomatoes Are Healthy To Eat
A lot of people that eat green tomato pies enjoy them and then feel doubly guilty for eating sweets; they think that green tomatoes are unhealthy, since they are not ripe.
Before the Raw Food Movement snatched up fruits and vegetables of all kinds, old wives' tales proliferated in America about certain foods -
Tomatoes were considered poisonous in the Colonies and right into the New Nation in some regions (especially Ohio, but we have grand tomato festivals today).
It was the 1970s before some folks could be convinced that certain mushrooms are edible and not deadly. Plantains and rhubarb were felt to be poison until cooked, but the leaves of rhubarb truly should never be eaten, cooked or raw.
The only poisonous tomato I ever knew was one volunteer plant that crossed with a jimsen weed pant in an alley. Jimsen weed is poisonous, but mostly in children and infants. It turns out that the hybrid tomato-jimsen weed product can be deadly to children. A child ate those tomatoes and, luckily, ended up in the emergency room when parents noted the illness soon after ingestion of the tomatoes.
Green tomatoes are neither unhealthy nor poisonous. In fact, they are nutritious, with vitamins and minerals that are the cancer fighters found in blackberries and blueberries.
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One Cup of Raw Green Tomatoes
|Serving size: 1 Cup|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Carbohydrates 9 g||3%|
|Sugar 7 g|
|Fiber 2 g||8%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 23 mg||1%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
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Additional Nutrition Information for Green Tomatoes
- Calcium - 23 mg
- Carotene, beta - 623 mcg
- Carotene, alpha - 140 mcg
- Choline - 15.5 mg
- Folate - 16 mcg
- Iron - 1mg
- Magnesium - 18 mg
- Niacin - 1 mg
- Phosphorus - 50 mg
- Potassium - 367 mg
- Selenium - 0.7 mcg
- Vitamin A, - IU 1156 IU
- Vitamin E - 0.7 mg
- Vitamin B-6 - 0.15 mg
- Vitamin C - 42 mg
- Vitamin E - 68 mcg
- Vitamin K - 18.2 mcg
Some tomatoes like this heirloom variety were bred to remain green. They are in high demand in some fine dining restaurant kitchens and are not genetically modified.
Green Tomato Pies
I have tried many green tomato pie recipes, including some "old timey" ones from the 1940s and 1950s. Some of those recipes result in a mock apple pie that is made with crumbled Ritz crackers or Bisquick, green tomatoes, and the remaining usual apple pie ingredients like sugar, spcies, and butter. Many people still enjoy these pies, but they do not contain my favorite flavor or texture.
Fried green tomatoes themselves have become an icon of southern cooking culture, but are also well known among the Pennsylvania Dutch, Amish, and Mennonite communities in the northern states of America, including the few Canadian Amish communities. Books, songs, and movies hae been made about this dish and enjoyed almost as much as is eating the tomatoes.
A pear pie can be mild and refreshing when made with fresh pear slices and the remaining usualy apple pie ingredients, but a green tomato does not substitute as well.It needs its own recipe.
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Try this recipe for pear and Asiago cheese pie.
Green Tomato Recipes
Savory Green Tomato Pie
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 1/4 Cups chopped Vidalia, Spanish, or other sweet onion
- 1 Cup Crust Mix: In a medium bowl, combine 1 Cup all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp table salt and 1 TBSP olive oil (add last) and mix well. Since this is a savory pie, you might like to add a little cayenne pepper, to taste.
- 3 TBSP cold butter
- 3 TBSP boiling water
- 2 Cups Parmesan or Asiago cheese, grated or shredded
- 3 -4 Large green tomatoes like Aunt Ruby's, beefsteak, best boy or similar varieties, thinly sliced
- 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
- 2 TBSP Oregano
- 1/4 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3/4 Cup mayonnaise, regular or lite/low fat
- Spray a 9" glass pie plate with cooking spray or coat it with a little olive oil and pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
- In a skillet over high heat, place 1 TBSP olive oil and brown the chopped onions.
- In the Crust Mix bowl, cut in the butter evenly with a pastry cuter or two table knives. Add the boiling water, stir quickly, and make a ball of dough. Press it into the pie plate and up the sides.
- Distribute 1/2 Cup of the Parmesan around the bottom of the crust.
- Fit in half of the tomato slices, and you may need to overlap them.
- Distribute over the tomatoes 1 TBSP flour, half the onions, half the chopped basil, half the organo, half the salt, and half the pepper.
- Make another layer, starting with cheese, then tomatoes, etc.
- In a small bowl, place mayonnaise and 1 Cup Parmesan, mix well, and spread over top of the filling to within 1 inch of the edges.
- Bake 40 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender.
Green Tomato Relish/Salsa
This recipe will make 3 or more pint-sized jars (2 cups each) of relish.
Time required - about 30 minutes.
- 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 1/2 Cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 or 3 Cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 Cup chopped sweet onion, like Vidalia
- 1/2 Cup sliced green onions - all the white and first half of each green tail.
- 4 Cups chopped green tomatoes - chopped either coarse or smaller, however you like.
- 2 Cups chopped red or yellow bell pepper
- 3/4 Cup jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
- Put all ingredients into a large pot over high heat and bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Wash and sterilze pint canning jars in the dishwasher and when ready to use, set them on a clean kitchen towel.
- Pour the relish into clean, hot pint-size canning jars, cover with lids and rings, tighten halfway and let the jars seal themselves. You will hear a popping noise. Any that do not pop, place into the refrigerator for sooner use. Some cooks process the jars in a hot water bath for 30 minutes, but so far, mine have always popped and sealed without the extra step.