Tomatoes are deep red pulpy fruits that grow on the Lycopersicon esculentum plant. It belongs to the Solanaceae family, according to botanical classification. Tomatoes are botanically classified as edible fruits, but in culinary terms, they are mostly classified as vegetables. This fruit originated in South America and has since expanded worldwide. At the moment, we are aware of at least 7500 distinct tomato types. This fruit is popular for its acidic flavor and is used to make jam, sauce, pickles, juice, curries, and other meals.
Tomato Nutritional Advantages
Tomatoes have a low calorie and fat content while also high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Obese folks and those with excessive cholesterol levels are advised to consume this fruit.
It is high in phytonutrients like lycopene and beta-carotene. Lycopene is found in tomato cell walls and functions as an antioxidant, protecting cells and structures from oxygen-free radicals. According to Dr. Edward Giovannucci of the Harvard School of Public Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this vitamin lycopene protects us against several types of cancer, including prostate cancer.
Lycopene protects against heart disease.
Lycopene has been linked to a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Cooking methods such as heating or frying in a little oil do not reduce the nutritional content of tomatoes. Lycopene is fat-soluble; therefore, heating in a little oil helps release this vitamin from the cell walls of tomatoes.
Tomatoes aid in maintaining the sodium/potassium balance since they have a lower sodium content while also being higher in potassium. This, in turn, controls blood pressure and permits appropriate cell activity.
Tomatoes are higher in two essential vitamins, A and C. As a result, they are beneficial to the eyes and the skin’s mucous barrier. They aid in the development of resistance to infectious pathogens.
It aids in the treatment of oral blisters and ulcers.
These are just a few of the many health advantages connected with tomato consumption. Many nutritional facts are presently under investigation. It is beneficial to include this vegetable in our regular diet. Because boiling does not degrade the nutritional content of this fruit, it may be kept in various ways to enjoy the flavor of tomatoes all year. Some ways of preservation are listed below.
Tomatoes may be preserved in various methods to keep their flavor, taste, and nutritional content. The preservation procedures allow us to enjoy the tangy flavor of tomatoes even when the price skyrockets. Several home-based ways for extending the shelf life of tomatoes are listed below.
The strategies listed below are dependent on the kind of tomato used. Red tomatoes with a high vitamin content must be harvested from the garden at dawn. Because the temperatures were low the previous night, the fruits are still chilly at this time. It is important to reject any tomatoes that have black spots. Before preparing the tomatoes, they should be well cleansed with water and kept away from lengthy sunlight exposure since this will ruin the tomatoes.
How to Make Peeled Tomato Preserves
These peeled tomatoes may be used to make sauce all year. The tomatoes are carefully dipped into hot boiling water for 30 seconds to prepare. Soon after, the tomatoes are taken from the boiling kettle using a strainer and immediately immersed in cold water for a few minutes. This aids in the loosening of tomato skin. The skin of the tomato is then thoroughly peeled. The peeled tomatoes are stored in clean, dry jars. Tapping the jar’s bottom, tomatoes are permitted to nestle tightly against one other. Lemon juice is removed and put into the jars without the pips. One coffee spoonful of lemon juice should be added for every half-liter of the jar. The jar is partially filled with heated tomato pulp. The jars are then carefully screwed shut and sterilized in hot boiling water for 45 minutes. After allowing these jars to cool, they are cleaned and dried. These jars should be kept in a cool, dry area and used within a year.
Tomato Pulp Preparation
Good tomatoes are picked and sliced in half to inspect for rotting tomatoes. An extractor is utilized to separate the pulp from the seeds and peel of the tomatoes. Instead of using an extractor, the tomatoes may be chopped into tiny pieces and smashed. A sieve may also be used to separate the seeds from the skin. To optimize the yield, repeat these processes numerous times. The extracted pulp is pre-heated at a low temperature. This pulp and a teaspoon of lemon juice are then placed in the jars. These jars need to be sterilized for 45 minutes.
Dried Tomato Preparation
The tomatoes are split in half lengthwise. The seeds must be gently removed using your hands or a spoon. These pips or seeds may be sun-dried and utilized to produce the following tomato crop. The tomatoes are then sliced into tiny, consistent pieces of around one centimeter in thickness. These sun-dried tomato slices This method keeps the tomatoes fresh for three months.
More processing is required to preserve the tomatoes for more than three months. Water is heated with a tablespoon of salt and preservatives such as citric acid powder. Using salt and preservatives avoids the blackening of the tomatoes during the drying process.
Blanching is the technique of blanching tiny pieces of tomatoes and their slices. To blanch tomatoes, place them in a clean towel or basket and immerse them in the boiling water for three minutes. Blanching is a food preservation process that involves boiling vegetables before drying them to destroy the enzymes that degrade the food. After blanching, tomato pieces are drained and sun-dried for at least two and a half days using dryers. The dried tomatoes are then collected and chilled for half an hour in a shaded location to prevent moisture leakage during packaging. These tomatoes are then placed in polythene bags and stored in cardboard boxes with straw. This protects the tomatoes from moisture and keeps them fresh for a year.
Tomatoes may also be preserved in different ways, such as puree, sauce, jam, or pickle.
This deep red fruit stimulates your taste senses and has some amazing nutritional and therapeutic characteristics. It is a godsend for individuals looking to lose weight since it can be eaten as a salad at any time. This fruit can fight various ailments while maintaining its nutritious value when cooked. Shouldn’t we include this fruit in our regular diet since it has many benefits?