Many people think that onions and tomatoes are just meant to be used as an optional addition when cooking different dishes and despite them being a staple in every home their health benefits are undervalued.
The next time you are buying them from your local vendor or they are put on your lunch plate as a garnish know this
Tomatoes come in different varieties and depending on the variety they can be used not just to make sauces or soups but they can be eaten raw in salads, sandwiches and like a fruit. Or they can be used to make juice or added to a smoothie and drank.
Tomatoes are such an easy food to elevate and bring out their flavour and they will pair well with onion, garlic, a good oil, fresh herbs, avocado, peppers, beans and many green leafy vegetables.
As tomatoes react particularly well to the cooking process (their nutrients increase after cooking) it makes them an ideal food for the health conscious. Therefore, making them an obvious choice for people that want to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, skin damage and certain cancers (prostate to name one).
To keep tomatoes for long
- Make sure they are green tomatoes
- Do not wash the tomatoes
- Place a newspaper in a box or basket then put the tomatoes in (you can layer them; newspapers, tomatoes etc.)
- keep them in a cool, dark area away from direct sunlight
- Check them for mould and signs of rotting at least once a week.
If you get a lot of really ripe tomatoes, you can freeze them whole if you prefer. And use them in soups and stews. Or, alternatively cook the tomatoes adding herbs and spices before cooking and then store the sauce in a container in the fridge. Use the sauce within a week. If not, freeze the sauce and use as per need.
Onions besides adding layers of flavor, color, and texture to a wide variety of dishes have a high Vitamin C content, are a very good source of fiber, contain calcium, iron, and are a good source of protein. Also, they have a low sodium content and contain no fat which makes it worth your while to learn how to use onions in different ways besides just adding them to other foods when cooking. So challenge yourself and look up and try as many different ways as possible to enjoy them.
Onions can sometimes become expensive at certain times of the year. In these periods or any other when buying them, make sure the onions are firm and dry, have no gray or black mould and that they are not sprouting.
Other things to remember to make them last longer are:
- Not storing them with potatoes or any other items that can become moist.
- Keeping them out of direct sunlight and away from any other heat sources.
- Storing them in a place that has air circulating freely
- Taking them out of the plastic bag they came in
- Chop or cut them and then put them in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
You can also store onions in the freezer. Either raw or if you have the time, caramelize and portion into small batches to shorten your prepping and cooking time on a busy day.