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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Sliced tomatoes on the table bring back summertime childhood memories. My mom always
has a plate of sliced tomatoes on the table at every lunch and dinner. There is something
special about a fresh slice of tomato with your meal. It’s like a taste of summer
tantalizing your taste buds. I’ve already made a trip to the Farmers Market and got
my first taste of summer with slicing and globe tomatoes.
Tomatoes are good for you; research-based information reveals that tomatoes are packed
with vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin A in the form of health-promoting beta-carotene,
which the body converts to vitamin A. They also contain lycopene, a compound that
researchers think may help the body combat cancer.
In fact, in one cup of chopped raw tomatoes you will get 24 calories; 5.3 grams carbohydrates;
1 gram dietary fiber; 254 mg potassium; 22 mg Vitamin C; and 1,133 IU of Vitamin A.
To get the most value from your tomato purchase, choose those that are plump, firm,
and free from any hard places, decay spots and unhealed cracks. Look for a bright
red uniform color.
When you buy tomatoes from the supermarket, purchase them already ripe. Grocery store
tomatoes are usually refrigerated between the time they reach the store and the time
they are purchased.
Those purchased from a local farmers market or backyard garden are brought directly
from the field to the market in an open truck, which hastens ripening. They can safely
be purchased at various stages of ripeness.
To properly store your tomatoes, store mature, or partially ripe at room temperature
in a light, but not sunny-area. When unripe tomatoes are stored at temperatures above
80 degrees, their red color does not develop fully and the tomatoes may become mushy
There are over 4,000 varieties, ranging from the small, marble size cherry tomato
to the giant Ponderosa that can weigh three pounds. The difference in the varieties
determines their use.
I love the small cherry, globe, and grape tomatoes. I keep them in a bowl on my counter
and eat them like they are candy. In fact, I have a bowl there right now. They are
great also in salads, stir-fry or sautéed. The larger round varieties, Better Boy
and Beef Steak tomatoes are used for sandwiches and referred to as slicing tomatoes.
These tend to hold more juice and seeds. If you are making salsa, sauce, paste, canning
or on pizza, then the eggplant shaped plum tomatoes such as Roma are the best choice
due to their meatiness.
If you find yourself with an abundance of tomatoes, contact meor click How Do I ... Can Tomatoes?for information on preserving for later use, or for your copy of “Arkansas’ Fresh Tomatoes”. Contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or visit us in room 215
at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at
UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaDueHadley, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
Farmers Market Vegetable Medley is a fragrant, tasty, easy vegetable dish that pairs
well with anything from the grill. The herbs are used in place of salt. Fresh herbs
are best and can be purchased at the farmers market along with the vegetables for
this dish. It’s one of my favorite summer time side dishes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt margarine or butter. Add onion and sauté
3 to 4 minutes or until almost transparent. Add squash and zucchini. Saute until fork
tender. Add tomatoes, corn, garlic, and seasonings and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
By Carla DueCounty Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 email@example.com