Date: 01-09-2013

It?s Tomato week at Saaraketha ? Are you ready?

Sometimes the most obvious item in your kitchen is the hardest to see ? the little tomato is one such conflicted fruit which occasionally thinks it?s a vegetable. Scientifically the tomato is a true fruit but thanks to being so popular in the kitchen most people, especially cooks classify it as a vegetable.

Either way this week at Saaraketha we?re celebrating this bright red, juicy sweet and sour fruit with shiny skins by giving you some great ideas on how to use them.

Tomatoes make great raw food for kids!

Start with introducing raw fruit and veggies to babies and toddlers - organic cherry tomatoes are a fun colorful way to get your little one to learn about food and get some vitamin C?s, and the carotene lycopene which is a great anti-oxidant.? It also makes a great activity in the garden to be surrounded by bright red tomatoes. Your kids will love it! Make sure you wash them well and check for broken or damaged skin first as tomatoes can carry dangerous salmonella bacteria. For more info on the ups and downs of eating raw tomato see http://www.livestrong.com/article/486651-health-effects-of-eating-raw-tomatoes/

What?s in it for you?

The tomato is one of the most widely cultivated vegetable crop in the world. It is an important source of vitamins and an important cash crop for medium scale commercial farmers. Tomatoes have their origins in the South American Andes. In Sri Lanka the ?Goraka Thakkali? is the tastier fleshier variety grown in most rural home gardens.

Eating lots of tomato could lower your risk of breast cancer, head and neck cancers and might be strongly protective against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson?s Alzheimer?s and Huntington?s. Organic tomatoes are safer to eat raw than pesticide laced conventional tomatoes and if you?re not inclined to eat raw here are some simple serving suggestions.

Tomatoes are rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acid, sugars and dietary fibres. Although a ripe tomato contains as much as 93 to 94 percent water they have lots of Vitamin B and C, iron and phosphorus.

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Storing

Tomatoes are best stored unwashed, at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. We don?t recommend refrigeration as this can harm the flavor of your tomatoes. If you do fridge your tomatoes make sure you keep them out for about 30 minutes before chopping. If they are not yet ripe you can keep your tomatoes in a paper bag till they ripen. Storing them with the stem down (standing on their heads) can help them keep for longer.

Cooking

Tomatoes are the most used item in some kitchens ? you can chop them into salads, use them in your curries as a substitute for lime, puree them into your juices, sauces and mixes and stuff them into your wraps or just eat them raw!

So how CAN you cook this versatile fruit that charades as a veggie ? Let?s find out! ???

SEE TOMATO RECIPES ? Quick and Easy

Detox Tomato Salad

1 large cucumber, diced + 3 large tomatoes, diced + 1 large zucchini, diced + 1 cup chopped Big onion + 1? cups chopped parsley + 3 Tbsp chopped mint + 2 Tbsp olive oil + 4 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice + 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper + sea salt, to taste. You can also add micro greens + nuts + avocado for a heavier salad.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and Enjoy!

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Kohila Curry in a hurry

Slice 2 medium size Kohila stalks (150 grams) into thin bite size pieces and immediately rinse in salt or lime water to avoid oxidizing.? Cut 1 ripe tomato into little cubes, add 1 tsp chilli powder, ? tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp raw curry powder and salt. (Do not cook this)

In a separate pan saut? 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 red onions, a few curry leaves, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 chopped green chilli on medium-high heat until the aroma hits you.

Add the saut? mix to the Kohila + tomato + spice mix and stir well to make sure the flavours are well blended. Cook over medium-high heat with 1 cup Thick Coconut Milk and ? cup Thin Milk. Simmer until the Kohila is cooked. (for about 10 minutes or less)

Tips: Make sure the Kohila is cut fine and not too thick and add less coconut milk if you want a spicier version. Tomato adds a secret zap to this recipe which will even convert those who dislike the regular Kohila curry!!

Don?t forget to add tomatoes to your Home Delivery list this week!

We want your Tomato Story

Click here to share your Tomato Story with us and get featured on our website! Take pictures ? write a line if not a story and send it to info@saaraketha.com or call us +94 777 971028 and we?ll help you figure your Tomatoes out!

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