What To Do With Green Tomatoes

Just because your tomatoes are not going to ripen in time doesn’t mean you should lose all hope in them.

What To Do With Green Tomatoes

Unripened green tomatoes can still ripen off the vine as well as be a kicking ingredient for the right dish. 

Sometimes the weather has other ideas for your backyard veggie garden.

Whether it is an impending frost, a treacherous storm, blight, or a slow start to the growing season, whatever it may be, we really are at the mercy of the sky when it comes to growing food.

Luckily, there are ways to get a head start and beat the weather to it.

This article is going to present you with the facts, stats, and inside intel on what to do with your green tomato stash before the weather gets to them. 

What To Do With Your Green Tomatoes?

Let’s face it, red and ripened tomatoes are what we all secretly want and crave. However, picking your tomatoes before they ripen is better than seeing them rot or frost.

Consider the growing hacks below your new go-to guide on what to do with your green tomatoes. 

Pick And Sort Your Green Tomatoes

Depending on where you reside, the end of the growing season could come earlier than you might have thought or hoped for.

When the temperatures start to drop in your local area and the fall is fast approaching, you will want to make sure every tomato is cut from the vine beforehand. 

Tomatoes that are left on the vine while a frost descends on your garden are likely to be taken over by blight and rendered untenable.

Cut off the whole truss of your tomatoes, while remaining to handle them with care to ensure they don’t bruise unnecessarily.

Once you have cut off all your tomatoes, green, red, or otherwise, it is time to sort through them.

Any tomatoes that have already succumbed to end-of-season diseases should be discarded immediately.

Tomatoes that have not fared so well in the great haul of your garden fruits and vegetables should also be put to one side with the intention of eating them as soon as possible. 

Now that you have your best-looking tomatoes in front of you, you will want to sort them into two piles. Group all of the tomatoes together that have a slight hint of color to them.

Even if it is the faintest shade of orange on the blossoming end of the tomato, chuck it in the color pile.

These tomatoes still have a chance to ripen inside your home under the right set of ripening conditions. 

The remaining tomatoes should all be a complete shade of green.

If you have some full-size dark green tomatoes in this group, you could always see how they go ripening with the other tomatoes as they have a chance to ripen, albeit it is small.

The small and pale green tomatoes that have no chance of ripening can be turned into something delicious in their own right. 

How Do You Ripen Green Tomatoes At Home?

How Do You Ripen Green Tomatoes At Home?

Do you know how we said your slightly-colored green tomatoes stand a chance of ripening off the vine, at home, indoors, so long as the right set of ripening conditions have been met?

Well, here they are. Place the green tomatoes in a paper bag or something like a cardboard box (with a lid) alongside a ripe banana.

Ripe bananas along with most ripened fruit five off ethylene gases which help to hasten the ripening of other fruits nearby. Bananas are particularly good emitters of such gases.

Another hot tip is to make sure they are stored in a warm environment.

We aren’t talking about your sauna, just a warm and dry environment that is out of direct sunshine but warm enough to ripen.

If you have a particularly hefty stack of green tomatoes that you don’t want to ripen all at once, you can actually stagger their ripening process.

Place the ones that you don’t want to ripen as quickly in a cool, dark, and dry room for slow-ripe storing. 

What To Cook With Your Green Tomatoes?

There are a million and one recipes online that will tell you what to do with your green tomato stash.

Though there is nothing wrong with whipping up a green tomato-ey storm, we think keeping it simple is always the best policy when it comes down to unripened tomatoes. 

One Southern soul food tradition that has been cooked up for decades is none other than fried green tomatoes.

Slices of green tomatoes that are caked in a cayenne-pepper-infused cornmeal mix are as downright delicious as you think they are.

All you got to do to be dining in southern style tonight is flour, egg, and cornmeal thick-cut slices of green tomatoes and fry.

Green tomatoes are perfectly suited to this dish because of their firm texture. They are crunchy, they are juicy, and when doused in your favorite hot sauce, they are spicy!

Another go-to for home growers who have a rather large stash of green tomatoes at their disposal is to reduce them down into a green tomato chutney.

Great for slathering over bread, smothering across crackers, dolloped on top of cheeses, and mixed through curries – is there anything that green tomato chutney can’t do?

We aren’t saying it is a necessity, but if you did want to get some spices in the mix to give your chutney that important kick, nobody with any sense is going to argue about it. 

Conclusion

The bottom line on green tomatoes is that they definitely deserve to be saved at all costs. Don’t let your green tomatoes go rotten on top of the compost pile, give them a new life instead.

Whether you want to fry them Southern style, make them into a chutney, or create something totally unique that tastes like a little bit of you, the world, kitchen, and green tomato are your oysters. 

Clara Howie
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