The origin of the tomato
Tomatoes have their origin in the area of Peru and Ecuador in the mountainous areas near the equator. From there it spread to the whole world. Currently are tomatoes most grown vegetables in the world.
The nutrients in tomatoes
Nutritionally are tomatoes very valuable vegetables. Fresh fruits contain up to 94% water and are very dietary. Contains up to 5% of easily digestible sugars, they are low in fibres, proteins and fats, but are rich in vitamins. Tomatoes contain 2-8 mg% carotene, 20 to 100 mg% of vitamin C, vitamins of the group B, vitamin K, H, and E, are the source of iron, chromium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.
The health benefits of tomatoes
Tomatoes strengthen immunity, due to diuretic effects enhance the function of the kidneys and cleanse the blood, are beneficial for prostate problems. Tomatoes are suitable for people with heart disease, blood circulation and metabolism. Lycopene, supplying tomatoes with typical coloration, acts as a strong antioxidant. Regular consumption of tomatoes protects against cancer growth. Tomatoes, however, also are common food allergens, so allergy sufferers beware!
Planting and tomatoes
Growing tomatoes is not difficult. If you want to have tasty and aromatic tomatoes, it is necessary to provide them with a sunny position, compost, soil cover, abundant watering and supplemental fertilization. You can find a number of species, basic classification is according to the growth. They can be high (rod tomato - require support) and low (shrubbery tomatoes - do not need support). You can buy either seeds or pre-cultivated seedlings. However you can not buy seedling s of some interesting varieties of tomatoes in gardening markets.
Sow tomato seeds in early April in small pots for 2-3 pieces in each pot. Place pots in a warm window sill or in the greenhouse soil where you keep constant moist. As soon as the seedlings grow up a little, choose the strongest of them, pull out the weak ones. Tomatoes need plenty of light and space, to be strong and healthy. Once the plants enroot the pots, transplants them into larger containers. Move tomatoes in early May into a hotbed or into place protected by the house, to begin to harden. However protect them during cold nights with foil or glass panes.
Planting tomatoes on a patch
Plant tomatoes on the patch after 20th of May, after the danger of early frosts have passed. Place them on a sunny site, which is the best for their growth. Plant tomato plants very deep into the soil, up to the first petiole. You can even plant them slightly askew, so plants can create additional roots, which enables them to take more water and hence they are stronger and more profitable. After planting pour tomatoes profusely with sufficient amount of water. Stick thick and long sticks next to plants, to which you will tie them later. Suitable neighbours of tomatoes are all kinds of brassica vegetables, celery, leeks, spinach, nasturtium, parsley and lettuce.
Protecting tomato bushes
Tomatoes produce fruits from July to September. If you want to have thick plants which will be able to hold healthy crops, you have to take care about them. Apart from warm temperatures tomatoes needs sufficient amount of water and nutrients. In cold and rainy days, it is advisable to cover tomatoes with protective plastic wrap on lightweight construction. They will be protected from the cold and rain. Excessive moisture can contribute to the development of fungal infections with which tomatoes suffer quiet commonly. The transparent roof also intensifies the impact of sunlight on the bushes and tomatoes will ripen even later in the fall.
Regular mulching tomato patch keeps moisture in the soil and give it the nutrients. This will serve very well cut grass or weed, nettle and comfrey haulms, backslidden and chipped twigs and leaves from tomato bushes. These can also be used as an excellent fertilizer for tomatoes, but you have to macerate first them. The preparation is very simple. Take two handfuls of tomato plant material put into 2 litres of water and it let stand for 14 days. Then diluted the solution 1:10 with water and then spray with it tomatoes. You can also use it for watering. Don't spray plants after the first fruits appear use it just for watering. The same results will serve nettles. You will see results on tomatoes in a few days. The leaves will get darker green colour.
Training and chipping tomatoes
The regular care of tomatoes also include their training to the poles and chipping surplus shoots, sprouting from the axils of leaves. Increasing Rod tomatoes are grown on one exceptionally on two shoots growing up, the other side shoots must be chipped as soon as possible. Remove the last flowering shoots at the end of summer, tomatoes wouldn't ripen and it would unnecessarily take the power from the plant. Shrubby varieties of tomatoes don't have to be chipped.
Diseases and pests on tomatoes
In addition to general disease most commonly infects tomatoes late blight, for this reason is not suitable planting tomatoes near potatoes. Fungal disease, called septoria or leaf spot, manifests itself by yellow spots on lower leaves, later on the whole affected leaves drop off. Among dreaded diseases also belongs viral tomato mosaic, when dark and light areas are alternating on the leaves and the spots also appears on fruits. Such as disease prevention is good to select resistant varieties, planting on different sites. It is necessary to dipose immediately infected plants, burn them or bury then deep into the soil.
TOMATOES IN THE KITHCEN
- Green tomatoes ripen faster if you wrap together with plants into a paper bag an apple.
- Too soft fruits and over ripened tomatoes immerse for 10 minutes in water with a few ice cubes. Then you will by able to cut them without any problems.
- To easier removal of tomato skins carefully cut the peel, pour on boiling water and then cold one. Then we can peel the skin either with a knife or we can rub it the cotton dishcloth.
- It is much better to use fruits with a faint taste for sauces and puree
TOMATOES - RECIPES
Tomato tips and tricks
Ingredients: 8 tomatoes (per one serving we need 2 tomatoes)
Filling: 1 boiled potatoes, 1cooked carrots, 2 tbsp of fresh grated celery, lemon juice, 1 small apple, 1 pickled gherkin, 2 tablespoons of grated cheese, salt, pepper, 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise mixed with 2 tablespoons of yogurt or sour cream, 1 tablespoon of chopped chives, grated cheese for garnish
Preparation: Cut the top of the tomatoes, scrape out the inside with sharp spoon and fill inside a vegetable salad. We will do that by mixing together the grated celery drizzled with lemon and with small cubes of potatoes, carrots, apples, cucumbers, grated cheese and insides of the tomato. Season it with salt and pepper and mix with mayonnaise, softened yogurt or sour cream. Sprinkle surface of stuffed tomato with finely chopped chives and grated cheese. We yet sprinkle it with mayonnaise.
Tomatoes with cream cheese
Ingredients: 4 tomatoes, 1 creamy cheese, 1 onion, salt, pepper, 1 red pepper, 1 tablespoon ketchup 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped chives, lemon, a little milk to thin
Preparation: chop finely onion and green pepper, add ketchup, parsley and chives and mix it together with creamy cheese and dilute it with the milk. Season it with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Cut the tops, scoop out the tomatoes and fill them up with this mixture.
Stuffed tomatoes with ham
Ingredients: 4 large tomatoes, 50 g of ham, 50 g of cheese, 2 onions, 1 egg, salt, pepper
Preparation: cut the tops of tomatoes, scrape out the insides with a spoon. Dice the ham, cheese, cut the onion into thin slices. Mix it together, add the egg, season it with salt and pepper. Fill up tomatoes with this mixture and place it in a baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese is melted on the surface. Serve warm.
Ingredients: 4 large tomatoes, teaspoon of fresh or dried basil, 8 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, 8 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preparation: Pour the breadcrumbs in a bowl, mix it with oil and basil. Wash and halves the tomatoes. Apply a mixture on cutted tomatoes and place in a baking dish. Season it with salt, sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese and bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
Roasted tomatoes with zucchini
Ingredients: 1 kg of tomatoes, 1 small zucchini, 1 eggplant, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil
Preparation: Peel the eggplants and zucchini, cut into slices and salt it. Let it stand for about half an hour. Wash tomatoes and cut into slices. Lay vegetables alternately on a greased baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, to which add the crushed garlic and basil. Bake or grill in the oven for about half an hour until the vegetables begins to brown. Then apply the mixture on toast and eat. The mixture is excellent even when its chilled
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of oil, 3 tablespoons of flour, ½ teaspoon of thyme ½, teaspoon of basil, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of pepper, 3 tablespoons of root vegetables (frozen), ¾ l broth, 500 g tomatoes or a cup of ketchup or tomato puree, 1 tablespoon of sugar, salt, 1 tablespoon of butter
Preparation: Fry on butter finely chopped onion, add the flour and fry yellow roux. Add spices, diced root vegetables, chopped tomatoes (or at the end of the boiling process add tomato puree or ketchup), mix well and pour in the broth. Stir constantly, bring to a boil and simmer for half an hour on low heat. Strain the sauce through a sieve, season with sugar and salt, let it boil and soften it with butter.
Tomato sauce with cream
Ingredients: 500 g of tomatoes or 1 can of tomato puree, 50 g of butter, 50 g flour, 1 onion, broth, pepper, allspice, bay leaf, thyme, sugar, vinegar, salt, ¼ l cream
Preparation: fry in butter finely chopped onion, add the flour and fry dark roux. Dilute it with cold broth, add spices and simmer. Put cleaned and chopped tomatoes in the sauce (or puree) and boil it. Sieve, it add sugar, vinegar and salt. Then pour the cream, heat it through, but do not cook it.
Tomato sauce for pasta
Ingredients: 1 kg of tomatoes, 3 onions, 3 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon of sugar, thyme, basil, 3 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper
Preparation: Scald the tomatoes, peel them, halves them and remove the seeds. Chop finely the flesh. Fry finely chopped onion on the oil, add the tomatoes and salt it. Simmer it with the lid on for 10 minutes, then it cook uncovered. Finally, add sugar, garlic, spices and simmer for a while.
Canned tomatoes in their own juice
Preparation: Properly wash tomatoes, cut into quarters and place them so firmly into jars that the loose juice will oust the air. Fill the jars 10-15 cm under the edge and close. Sterilize it for 30 minutes on low heat. This semi finished product is suitable for sauces and juices.
Ingredients: 1.5 kg of green tomatoes, 250 g apples, 300 g onions, 150 g of prunes, 180 g of sugar, 150 g of mustard seed, 1 spoon of grounded black pepper, 1 teaspoon of grounded allspice, 1 dl of vinegar
Preparation: wash the tomatoes, peeled apples and onions, cut them and grind them in meat grinder. Sprinkle with sugar and spices and let stand in a cool place until the next day. The next day cook it over low heat, stir occasionally, until thickened. Before finalizing pour vinegar and simmer for a while. Fill it hot into jars and seal it.
Preparation: Wash and cut tomatoes, add salt, spices and simmer until it's watery. Sieve it and cook juice by constant stirring until thickened. Add the sugar, vinegar, simmer briefly and fill it still hot into warmed jars that are wrapped around with a damp cloth to prevent cracking. Sterilize it for 25 minutes at 85 ° C. Then cool the glasses.
Tomato juice and puree
Ingredients: 1.5 kg of ripe tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of sugar, a pinch of pepper
Preparation: Wash the tomatoes, cut in half and cook. If necessary, add a little bit of water. Sieve watery tomatoes through a sieve, return to the pan. Throw away peel and seeds. Salt nad season the juice with salt, sugar and pepper. Let it boil, pour into jars and sterilized for 10 minutes at 90 ° C. the same way you can prepare puree with the only different that you cook the juice until it is thick.
Wash the tomatoes and pour them with water and boil hem. Mix them, sieve them through a sieve where will stay skin and pips. Mix the puree. For 1 litre of puree add 800 ml of water, 45 g of sugar and 15 g of salt. Stir until everything is melted and then bottle it and sterilize.
Ingredients: 6 dl fresh tomato juice, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of chopped onion, ground white pepper, salt, leaves of sweet balm or mints for garnish
Preparation: Mix the tomato juice with sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, onion and season it with pepper and salt. Put a drink in refrigerator and let rest for 2 hours. Then sieve it into glasses and garnish with leaves of sweet balm or mint.