How to Keep Tomatoes Fresher Longer

You’ve likely dealt with this situation a few times. You buy tomatoes, bring them home, and in a couple days they are already showing their age. You either need to eat or use them that day, or you’ll have to toss them in the trash. The reason for faster aging of tomatoes has to do with the ones you’ve picked and how you’re storing them. Understanding how to keep the tomatoes fresher for longer will help.

Pick Fresher Tomatoes

When searching for tomatoes that will last, look for those that do not have any blemishes or dents in them. These usually have entry points where moisture and bacteria can get inside and start to ripen and rot the tomato. Take your time as you’re picking tomatoes. You can find some great ones in the bunch just by picking a few up to inspect them.

Store them Top Side Down

Always store your tomatoes on a counter or paper lined flat surface. The tomatoes should be faced top-side, or stem-side, down. The stem has cracks and holes that can allow for moisture and bacteria to invade. Just like the bruises and dents, the tomato’s life can be shorter because of it. To keep that from happening, all you have to do is block that entry by storing them top side down.

You can usually get about two more days by following these tips on how to pick and store your tomatoes. This leaves you plenty of time to put them into a salad, in a recipe, or eat them just as they are because they are good that way too.

Strict Quality Control

Our Tasti-Lee tomatoes are subject to strict quality control procedures. The only tomatoes that are placed in the punnets are those that pass inspection, meaning those that are ripe (but not overripe) and don’t have any bruises, dents or other forms of damage on them. Then the punnets are transported to their stores.

Stay up-to-date on tomato and Tasti-Lee news by following our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TastiLeeTomatoes

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Are Red Tomatoes Healthier Than Yellow?

When you’re browsing the produce aisle at your local grocery store, you’ve probably seen two types of tomatoes: red and yellow. There are occasionally other colors as well, but for our purposes, we’ll just stick with red and yellow. Most people simply think red tomatoes taste different from yellow ones, and they don’t think about it again. What these people often don’t think about is that they differ in nutritional value too.

The Differences Between Red and Yellow Tomatoes

The following facts about red and yellow tomatoes will help you see which type is healthier.

  • Red and yellow tomatoes have about the same amount of calories with red having 38 and yellow 32 (if you consider a medium-large size tomato).
  • Red has 10% fiber, while yellow only has 6%.
  • Yellow tomatoes have twice the amount of iron at 6%, with red only having 3%.
  • Yellow tomatoes have 8% phosphorus. Red ones only have 5%.
  • There’s more potassium in yellow ones, but not too much more.
  • There’s much more sodium in yellow tomatoes. Red ones only have 11 mg, and yellow ones have 49 mg.
  • Yellow tomatoes have more zinc though, twice as much as the red kind.
  • You’ll get more vitamin C and A from the red tomatoes, but more vitamin B and folate from yellow ones.
  • Red tomatoes have the cancer fighting lycopene. Unfortunately, yellow tomatoes do not.

Which is Healthier?

When trying to determine if red tomatoes are healthier than yellow ones, there’s really no right answer. Red tomatoes have some nutrients that yellow ones don’t, and yellow ones have some that red ones do not. What that means is eat your tomatoes no matter what color they are because you’ll end up benefiting either way!

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The Many Preparations of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are highly versatile. You can use them every day if you get creative. Try these ways to use your tomatoes, so you can get the nutrition you need to protect yourself from illness and disease, and ward of the effects of aging.

  • Tomato Juice – Tomato juice is perfect for any time of the day. When cold, it’s perfect on a hot summer day. Add a salty snack like peanuts or pretzels with your tomato juice for a great afternoon snack.
  • Tomato Soup – There’s nothing better when you’re under the weather. Heat up some tomato soup for the nutrients you need to make you feel better. Pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich for a classic American lunch.
  • Tomato Salad – Basil, mozzarella cheese, and fresh tomato slices with balsamic vinegar and olive oil gives you a satisfying snack or lunch. It’s perfect for a summer day when you need something cool to eat.
  • Tomato Pie – A pie made out of tomatoes is delicious. It’s like a pizza, but different because you don’t have all the cheese and sauce in it. With a tomato pie, you focus on the vegetables. It’s perfect for dinner as a nutritious main dish.
  • Tomato Sandwich – Tomato sandwiches are popular during the summer months when tomatoes are in season. Simply slice up some tomatoes, place in between two slices of bread and add some condiments like mayo. You can also add lettuce or basil.
  • Tomato Sauce – Tomato sauce is perfect for pasta and pizza. Make some with ripe tomatoes from your garden or the store, and you’ll taste difference from the jarred variety.

Purchase some Tasti-Lee tomatoes today and start incorporating tomatoes into your diet. You’ll feel better and enjoy your new foods with delicious tomatoes.

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The Best Ways to Make a Tomato Sandwich

tasti-lee-red-tomatoes-in a box-with-basil-and-panini-sandwich-039Tomato sandwiches are some people’s favorite summertime lunch. There’s nothing better than juicy, fresh, ripe tomato slices in between two slices of bread. There are countless ways to make a tomato sandwich, so try some of these the next time you need a delicious lunch.

Tomato Sandwich with Mayo and Basil

  • Chop basil, and then mix it in with mayo. You may want to add more flavor by adding lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt.
  • Spread the mayo on two slices of bread. Slice a tomato and place it on one of the slices. Place the other side on top, and you’re ready to eat.

Marinated Tomato Sandwich

  • Mix olive oil and vinegar in a bowl and place sliced tomatoes inside of it. You only need to marinate them for 10 minutes.
  • While they are marinating, mix mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, and parsley together. Spread it on one slice of bread.
  • Put the marinated tomatoes on the other slice of bread and top it with the one with the mayo.
  • Additional tip: Try putting it under the broil to toast the bread and tomatoes. It makes the tomato flavor come out so much more.

Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  • Slice tomatoes and place them on one slice of bread. Take another slice of bread and top with your favorite cheese. Put the two slices of bread together and butter each side.
  • Put the sandwich in a non-stick pan and toast each side of it over medium heat. The cheese should melt as the bread is toasting.
  • Remove your sandwich from the pan and enjoy!

Before you give these sandwiches a try, don’t forget to stock up on Tasti-Lee tomatoes, delicious and nutritious! Visit our website at http://tastilee.com/ for more Tasti-Lee info.

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Fruit Flies, Don’t Bother Me … or My Tomatoes

Fruit flies love tomatoes. They can pop up overnight just because you have some ripe tomatoes sitting on the counter. Before you toss your tomatoes into the fridge, which will cause them to lose their flavor, try out these ways to get rid of those pesky little bugs.

Get Rid of the Culprit

It’s the tomatoes that invited the fruit flies over for a party, so you’ll have to kick them out of your kitchen. Eat them, give them away to neighbors, or freeze them. The reason the fruit flies arrived, is because the tomatoes are ready to be used, so you might as well use them.

Clean Up

Fruit flies will not vacate your premises if they can cling onto something else. Get rid of dishrags, mops, and sponges. They all attract flies. If they are new, just throw them in the washer or dishwasher. Clean, dry cleaning supplies are no fun for fruit flies.
Scrub down the countertops in your kitchen. Any residue from the tomatoes and other foods will keep the fruit flies happy. Don’t forget your garbage disposal. Disinfect it with all-purpose cleaner or vinegar to keep that from becoming the fruit flies’ hiding place.

Humanely Trap the Flies

If the flies don’t leave your kitchen after you’ve cleaned it, you may need to trap them. Luckily, this process is quite simple. All you need to do is place a piece of ripe fruit at the bottom of a jar. Put a lid on the jar and poke small holes on the top. The fruit flies will crawl into the jar and won’t be able to find their way out. You can then take the jar outside and let them find another home.

Voilà! Now you’re kitchen is fruit-fly-free!

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How to Store Cut Tomatoes

Tomatoes are great for sandwiches, especially if they’re Tasti-Lee tomatoes. Unfortunately, all you need is a slice or two to make it delicious. That leaves behind almost a whole tomato that you may not want to use at that meal. But storing it for next time can be tricky. Here are the best ways to store cut tomatoes.

Cut Side Down

You should always store a cut tomato cut side down because it keeps the fruit from drying out and avoids spoiling. This can create somewhat of a mess because some of the juices will run down, so make sure you have something underneath it. Many people use a paper plate, wrap it with saran wrap, or put it into a plastic bag.

Leave It Out or Put It in the Fridge?

The best way to store uncut tomatoes is on the counter, cut side down. When tomatoes are cut, many people toss them into the fridge. The only problem with this is that it can lose some, or all of its flavor. Storing the tomato on the counter is the best way to preserve the taste, but it can lead to bacteria forming. It is always a good idea to use the tomato within a few hours if you do keep it out of the fridge to avoid any health risk from the bacteria. If you keep your house air-conditioned, a cut tomato on the counter may last longer, but keep in mind that a cut tomato will go bad twice as fast as a whole tomato on a counter.

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Enjoying Tasti-Lee Tomatoes

Tasti-Lee tomatoes are vine-ripened, which means they are ripe when they are sent to the grocery store, unlike many other tomatoes, which are usually picked unripe for easier shipping, making them close to flavorless. The only downside to a Tasti-Lee tomato is that it may not last as long because it is already ripe when you buy it so just keep this in mind when you decide to slice one up for a sandwich!

Keep up with the latest Tasti-Lee and tomato news on our Facebook Page! http://www.facebook.com/TastiLeeTomatoes

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Why You Should Not Refrigerate Tomatoes

Many people believe they should store their tomatoes in the fridge to preserve them. This is the worst thing you can do to tomatoes.

When you purchase tomatoes from the grocery store, they are usually not completely ripe, unless you’re buying Tasti-Lee tomatoes, which are vine-ripened. This makes shipping easier, and allows people to take them home to finish ripening for a tasteful tomato. Placing a tomato in the fridge stops the ripening process. The cold temperature changes the chemical structure leaving it tasteless and mealy.

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What Refrigerators Do to Tomatoes

Sugar, acids and volatiles come together to give you the sweet, succulent taste of a tomato. The volatiles are the most important compounds because it gives the tomato its unique taste. There are hundreds of these compounds in one tomato. Volatiles are destroyed when they are exposed to cold temperatures. Without volatiles, there is no tomato taste.

The Best Way to Store Tomatoes

The best way to store tomatoes is at room temperature, preferably 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Placing the tomato on a counter will allow it to ripen and the longer it does, the more flavorful it will become. But while you want to leave it out, you don’t want your tomatoes to sit in direct sunlight. This can dry them out and/or make them spoil.

The temperature of the room predicts the speed of ripening. Colder than 68 degrees will cause a slow ripening, and a warmer temperature will ripen tomatoes faster.

What to Do with Refrigerated Tomato

Don’t throw away the tomatoes you currently have in your refrigerator. You may be able to save the flavor in them. Researchers have found that tomatoes can regain some of their flavor when left at room temperature for at least 24 hours. While it may not be as flavorful as one that was stored at room temperature the whole time, it will taste better than using them straight from the fridge.

You can also use refrigerated tomatoes in sauces. Just be aware you’ll have to add other ingredients to boost the flavor of the sauce. Many people use onions, garlic, and basil.

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How to Ripen Tomatoes Quickly

Most supermarket tomatoes are picked right before optimal ripeness because it ensures that they arrive at grocery stores in the best possible condition. Tasti-Lee tomatoes are never picked unripe, which means you get the best possible flavor, but you may be in a rush and can’t buy Tasti-Lee in time for that “have to make it tonight” recipe. When you need to buy tomatoes that need to be ripened at home, follow these suggestions.

Jar with Lid

– A jar with a metal-hinged latch is the best type to use. Open the jar to place a couple of tomatoes and a banana inside of it. Put the lid on and secure it with the metal latch. Place the jar in a semi-humid place out of sunlight. But don’t leave it too long or that banana will spoil your tomatoes! Start with one day and then test the tomato according to our steps for picking the perfect tomato to see if it’s ready.

Cardboard

– A cardboard box is a great ripening tool for a large amount of tomatoes. Line the bottom and sides with newspaper, and then place the tomatoes on the bottom of the box. Do not place too many tomatoes inside of the box because it will take longer for them to ripen.

Paper Bag

– If you have one or two tomatoes to ripen, try using a paper bag. Simply place the tomatoes inside of it along with a banana. Fold over the top of the bag and then place it in a semi-humid place.

Plastic Bag

– A plastic bag works well too. Use scissors to punch a few holes in it and then place the tomatoes inside of it. You can add a banana using this method as well. Place the bag in a semi-humid place out of direct sunlight.

Be sure to keep an eye on your ripening tomatoes. It can take a day or a few days. If the banana starts to rot, replace it with another one. As tomatoes start to ripen, remove them and keep the ones that aren’t ripe enough inside the container you’ve chosen. Hopefully, the next time you need tomatoes for a recipe, you can get Tasti-Lee! Don’t forget, you can buy them online too from our grower, Tomato Thyme: http://www.tastileethyme.com/.

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