Posted by Susan | Posted in Healthy Eating | Posted on 05-04-2011
Despite the recent chilly, rainy weather, it’s a given in Charleston that better days are ahead – warm, sunny, spring and summer days with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables hanging on the vine or at the farmer’s market. To get everyone in the mood, April 6th has been designated Fresh Tomato Day. Tomatoes epitomize summer and are easy to grow in your own garden – many heirloom varieties are available such as Cherokee Purple and Mr. Stripey. In no time at all, the people of the Lowcountry will be dining outside on their patio enjoying their first BLT sandwich!
The best place to store tomatoes is at room temperature (above 55 degrees F) – never in the refrigerator as the cold temperature destroys the tomato flavor and makes them mealy. A ripe tomato has bright, shiny skin and yields to the touch. Place them stem side up as the top part is the softest and tends to bruise easily. Store them out of direct sunlight and be sure to use within 4-5 days of picking or purchasing.
Tomatoes are extremely healthy as they are great sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and lycopene. Lycopene is responsible for this fruit’s rich red color and tomatoes have the highest concentration of any other fruit or vegetable. Research indicates tomatoes may help stave off many illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, and cancers such as those of the prostate, colon, stomach, mouth and esophagus.
Please help you support your local economy by visiting nearby farmer’s markets Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program are also a great locavore option.