Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tomatillo Time

So for Mother's Day I was pleasantly surprised with this gift: two packages of Tomatillo seeds. I was actually very excited - it was the perfect gift for me. I became so excited with all the wonderful things I was going to make with my own home grown tomatillos, including canning green enchilada sauce.

Tomatillos also know as Husk Tomatoes love the hot weather. They originate from Mexico and are a favorite in Mexican Cuisine. Tomatillos belong to the solanaceae or nightshade family of fruits and vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, etc. They have similar growing characteristics to that of a tomato. One difference is that this fruit grows inside a paper like husk.


When I returned home from our extended visit to Utah I arrived to find most of my garden dead :( as I had expected. But I was delighted to see that my tomatillos where flourishing :). They were filled with wonderful yellow blossoms and there were tons of little solitary bees feasting on their pollen. This morning, I was so excited to finally discover that my plants are producing fruit. Hurray! I had read previous to planting them that you need to have more than one plant in order for them to be pollinated. I have three and I have no idea if they are the yellow or the purple, but hopefully one of each.

I adore these tomatillo plants, they are actually really beautiful little plants. They are much more delicate and more ornamental looking than a regular tomato. So I'll bet you are wondering how a tomatillo stacks up against it's cousin the tomato - nutritionally I mean. Well, here is what I learned: Tomatillos are actually a bit more nutritionally dense than a regular tomato. They contain more minerals than a tomato of the same weight. They are of course low in fat and cholesterol free and contain very few calories. They are a great source of fiber, vitamin A & C and folate. They also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which we know are good for our heart. One thing that a tomatillo does lack that tomatoes do contain is lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. But tomatillos contain different antioxidants know as withanolides, which also contain anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties. This is an example of why God has given us the counsel to eat every fruit in its season, as they all contribute different amazing things that He has created for our benefit and good.(Doctrine and Covenants 89:11) This is part of His "Word of Wisdom" to us.

Of course, in the near future I will be posting about all of the exciting new things I will be making with my tomatillos so check back with us or sign in on the sidebar to receive an e-mail each time we post something new.

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