Tomatillos

Written by admin on April 1, 2009
Tomatillos

Tomatillos are small fruits (used as a vegetable) enclosed in a husk. The fruit resembles a small unripe tomato and is usually green or yellow. The yellow color indicates ripeness, but tomatillos are most often used when they are still green. Green tomatillos are firmer and easier to slice. The husk that holds the fruit is paper-like and is light brown. The flesh is slightly acidic with a hint of lemon. Tomatillos belong to the same family as tomatoes.

The Aztecs first grew tomatillos as far back as 800 B.C. and they have been popular in Mexico and other Latin American countries for many years. In the US, they are mainly grown in Texas.

Tomatillos
Serving size 1/2 cup raw (66g)

Amounts Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories 20
Calories from Fat 5
Total Fat 0.5g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 0%
Iron 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Selection

The condition of the husk is often a good indicator when selecting tomatillos. If the husk is dry or shriveled then the fruit is probably not in good condition. Select tomatillos that have an intact, tight-fitting, light brown husk. If you peel back a small part of the husk, the fruit should be firm and free of blemishes.

Canned tomatillos are available at specialty markets and are often used when making sauces. Tomatillos are available year round in supermarkets and specialty markets. Domestically grown tomatillos are available from May through November.

Storage

Fresh tomatillos with the husk still intact may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. They are best stored in a paper bag. Tomatillos last a week longer in the refrigerator if the husks are removed and the fruit is placed in sealed plastic bags. Tomatillos may also be frozen after removing the husks.

Preparation

Photo of tomatillos

The husks must be removed before preparing, but tomatillos in the husk are often used as decoration. Wash the fruit with soap and water to remove the film left by the husk. Tomatillos may be used raw in salsas or salads or cooked for sauces. Cooking enhances the flavor and softens its skin, but the result is a soupy consistency since the fruit collapses after a few minutes.

Recipes

Corn & Tomatillo Soup
Makes 8 servings

Each serving equals 1 cup of fruit or vegetables

Ingredients

1½ cup tomatillos
1½ cup onion, chopped
2 garlic gloves, diced
1 tsp margarine
3¾ cup whole kernel corn
1 cup frozen peas
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
4 oz diced green chilies
¼ cup spinach, chopped
1 tsp sugar

Sautè tomatillos, onion and garlic in with margarine for five minutes. Remove to food processor and add peas and cilantro. Puree to chunky. Pour in pan and add chicken stock, diced green chilies, chopped spinach, corn, and sugar. Heat and serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 128, Protein 5g, Fat 2g, Calories From Fat 14%, Cholesterol 2mg, Carbohydrates 25g, Fiber 4g, Sodium 113mg.

source:www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

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