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  4. June - Tomatoes and strawberries

June - Tomatoes and strawberries

Tomatoes

Tomatoes originated in South America. The “Tomatl” was originally unpopular in Europe as the fruit was not sweet enough.

General information:

  • Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family along with aubergines and peppers
  • The skin, flesh, and seeds can be eaten but the green leaves are toxic and should be avoided
  • There are over 1000 varieties of tomatoes ranging in size and colour
  • The British tomato season runs from June until October but they are available all year round
  • Tomatoes are very simple to grow. More information is available from the Royal Horticulture Society.

Nutritional information:

  • Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C and low in calories. They are also a good source of potassium and vitamin A
  • Evidence shows that eating 5 portions of fruit and veg a day can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and obesity
  • 1 medium tomato or 7 cherry tomatoes = 1 of your 5 a day.

How to prepare:

  • Go for the firmer tomatoes with no signs of wrinkly skin. The tops of the tomatoes being perky is a good indicator that the tomato is fresh
  • Beefsteak tomatoes are good for grilling and stuffing
  • Cherry tomatoes are good in salads and pasta dishes
  • Plum tomatoes are great for making sauces and stews
  • Green and yellow tomatoes are good for chutneys and salsas
  • Tomatoes can be eaten whole or they can be halved, sliced, diced as required
  • Blanched – Remove stalk and put them in a bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds. When cool, pull away the skin
  • Roast – roast whole for 10 minutes
  • Grill – Half and place under grill for 5 minutes
  • Fry – Slice and place in pan for 2 minutes on each side
  • Stuffed – Tomatoes can be stuffed with rice or cream cheese
  • Store unripe tomatoes at room temperature and ripe tomatoes in the fridge.

Strawberries

Strawberries belong to the rose family but are actually a false fruit. The real fruit part is the seeds on the outside.

General information:

  • Strawberries are well known for their sweet, fragrant flavours and synonymous with summer and Wimbledon. Strawberries and cream is certainly a very British tradition.
  • They have been enjoyed since the Roman times and were used in many different medicines.
  • Strawberries can be enjoyed on their own as a snack or used in sauces, coulis, jams and desserts.
  • Strawberries are very easy to grow. For information on growing your own see: www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/fruit/strawberries

Nutritional information:

  • Strawberries are high in vitamin C and low in calories
  • They provide many antioxidant benefits which has been linked to help prevent stroke, heart disease and some cancers
  • Including many fruits like strawberries in your diet will help you to stay healthy as they are naturally low in calories and fat. Evidence shows eating 5 portions of fruit and veg a day can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and obesity
  • 7 strawberries = 1 of your 5 a day.

How to prepare:

  • Look for the bright, plump, shiny strawberries with no mushy or discoloured parts. Check the underside of the punnet to make sure that no strawberries have been crushed.
  • Larger strawberries have a higher water content so the small to medium sizes are best for flavour.
  • It is best not to wash them before use as they absorb water very easily which effects the flavour.
  • With fresh strawberries the stalk will be easily pulled out.
  • Breakfast ideas – strawberries are a great addition to yoghurts or porridge* and are a great pancake* topping.
  • Sauces – strawberries can be made into sauces and coulis for desserts and ice creams.
  • Desserts – strawberries can be used in cheesecakes, trifles, tarts and many more sweet treats.
  • They should be eaten within 24 hours of purchase but will last for 2-3 days.

*Please check your Food and Drink Directory for suitable products.

Recipes

We have pulled together some of our delicious recipes using tomatoes and raspberries for you to try below. Alternatively search our recipe collection for more inspiration. 

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