Can you eat green tomatoes raw?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat green tomatoes raw?” with an in-depth analysis of green tomatoes, the nutritional composition of green tomatoes, the health benefits and risks of eating green tomatoes, as well as some recipes of green tomatoes. 

Can you eat green tomatoes raw?

Yes, you can eat green tomatoes raw. Raw green tomatoes are juicy, sweet, and packed with antioxidants, which helps fight against diseases. They can be consumed as a healthy part of a diet.

What are green tomatoes?

Green tomatoes are fully ripened heirloom varieties that often have upright stripes or other modifications in the colouring. They feel soft when touched, and have a taste much like a red tomato, perhaps somewhat sweet or spicy based on the variety. 

Green tomatoes provide a good amount of vitamins A, vitamin C and potassium. They also provide magnesium, iron, calcium, dietary fibre, among other minerals. 

The nutritional composition of raw green tomatoes

Green tomatoes contain the following nutrients 

  • Carbohydrates
  • Water
  • Fibre
  • Potassium
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin B9
  • vitamin K

In addition, green tomatoes also have beneficial plant compounds including:

  • chlorogenic acid
  • Naringenin
  • beta carotene

A hundred gram serving of raw green tomatoes provides:

  • Calories: 18 
  • Water: 95 per cent
  • Carbohydrates: less than 5 grams
  • Vitamin C:  28 per cent of the RDI 

Green tomatoes also consist of a good amount of fibre, but mostly insoluble fibres including cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose.  

Green tomatoes also have a decent amount of potassium, which together with vitamin C plays a role in preventing heart diseases. While vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting functions. 

In addition, they consist of folate that is required for normal tissue growth and cell function, particularly in pregnant females.

The health benefits of raw green tomatoes 

Raw green tomatoes have various health advantages, for instance, it helps in boosting immunity, decreasing free radicals, encouraging healthy skin, promoting the healing process, and preventing heart diseases. 

Reduce the damage caused by free radicals 

Green tomatoes are rich in vitamin A and flavonoids, which act in combination to overcome the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are formed when we are exposed to radiation from automated devices or ultraviolet rays of the sun. 

Consuming limited quantities of green tomatoes help control and reduce the number of free radicals in the body. 

Promote immunity 

Vitamin A, B6, and vitamin C in green tomatoes help to promote immunity and strengthen the antibodies that fight against harmful substances in the body. 

Promote healing

The flavonoids present in green tomatoes have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics that help to promote the healing process. 

Maintain skin health 

Green tomatoes also comprise potassium, which acts in combination with vitamin A and C to manage the skin’s flexibility. These nutrients are important for improving skin colour. 

Lower the risk of heart disease

The dietary fibre present in green tomatoes helps in lowering the risk of heart diseases. Some of it is soluble, which lowers cholesterol levels and thus the risk of heart problems.

The risks of eating raw green tomatoes

The family to which green tomatoes belong is known for their poisonous plants including henbane, mandrake, deadly nightshade, datura etc. 

All of these plants contain numerous toxic alkaloids, among which solanine, atropine and nicotine are well recognised. 

Tomatoes, which also consist of a significant amount of solanine and some atropine, contain the richest amount of less toxic alkaloids known as tomatine. 

Above all, the plant needs to guard its naive green fruits from predation so they can grow safely and produce intact seeds. Therefore, it makes sense green fruits should be poisonous.

However, the concentration of toxic alkaloids is considerably low in mature tomatoes. So, they can be consumed without any worry, but the key is to consume in moderate amounts. 

The basic recipe of fried green tomatoes 

Ingredients 

  • One large egg gently whisked 
  • Half cup buttermilk 
  • Half cup self-rising cornmeal mix 
  • Half teaspoon salt 
  • Half teaspoon pepper 
  • Half cup all-purpose flour
  • Three medium-sized green tomatoes cut into half-inch-thick slices 
  • Vegetable oil 

Directions 

  • Beat egg and buttermilk together 
  • Blend cornmeal mix, salt, pepper, and quarter cup flour in a shallow container. 
  • Dredge tomato slices in remaining quarter cup flour; dip in egg batter, and cornmeal mixture. 
  • Pour oil to a half-inch depth in a large frying pan; heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit over medium-high flame. 
  • Add tomatoes, in bunches, into hot oil, and let it cook for two minutes on each side or until golden brown. 
  • Empty on paper napkins. 
  • Add salt to taste.

Conclusion 

In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat green tomatoes raw?” with an in-depth analysis of green tomatoes, the nutritional composition of green tomatoes, the health benefits and risks of eating green tomatoes, as well as some recipes of green tomatoes. 

References

https://lenoir.ces.ncsu.edu/2014/07/what-is-a-green-tomato-unripe-red-or-its-very-own-variety/
https://www.mashed.com/484083/what-are-green-tomatoes-and-can-you-eat-them-raw/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.