Choose tomatoes that have rich colors. Deep reds are a great choice. Tomatoes of all colors provide outstanding nutrient benefits. Tomatoes should be well shaped and smooth skinned with no wrinkles, cracks, bruises, or soft spots. They should not have a puffy appearance since that characteristic is often associated with inferior flavor and may also result in excess waste during preparation. Ripe tomatoes will yield to slight pressure and will have a noticeably sweet fragrance.
When buying canned tomatoes, it’s better to buy those that are produced in the United States as many foreign countries do not have as strict standards for lead content in containers. This is especially important with a fruit such as tomatoes, whose high acid content can cause corrosion to, and subsequent migration into the foods of, the metals with which it is in contact.
Tomatoes are sensitive to cold, and it will impede their ripening process, store them at room temperature and out of direct exposure to sunlight. They will keep for up to a week, depending upon how ripe they are when purchased. To hasten the ripening process, place them in a paper bag with a banana or apple since the ethylene gas that these fruits emit will help speed up the tomato's maturation. If the tomatoes begin to become overripe, but you are not yet ready to eat them, place them in the refrigerator, if possible, in the butter compartment which is a warmer area, where they will keep for one or two more days. Removing them from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before using will help them to regain their maximum flavor and juiciness. Whole tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce freeze well for future use in cooked dishes.
Surprisingly, ketchup can be a good source of tomato nutrients, including lycopene.
Research Source: WH Foods
B.L.T. Salad? That sure sounds different, right? Yup, it tastes like the classic B.L.T. sandwich. Try this light lunch.
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1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
3 roma tomatoes, seeded, sliced and chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked to crisp, chopped
ranch salad dressing, or use your favorite salad dressing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bacon on a baking dish; cook about 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp. Place bacon on paper towels.
In a salad bowl, add shredded lettuce, tomatoes and bacon. Just before serving, toss salad with dressing. Serve and enjoy!