One of the joys of having your own garden is harvesting and storing the fruits of your hard labor. More often than not, many people would usually opt for homegrown fruits and vegetables instead of purchasing them from the supermarket or farmer’s market. Growing your own food is cheaper and more nutritious because you know how they are planted.
Tomatillos are one of the most favorite homegrown fruits in gardens and vegetable plots. They are known for their tarty, tangy, and slightly herbal taste. Tomatillos grow all year round and are often found in tropical countries. If you wish to culture tomatillos in your garden, there are certain things that you need to consider, especially when storing them.
In this article, we are going to teach you the three ways on how to store tomatillos after they are hand-picked from your garden.
What Are Tomatillos?
At first glance, you might think that this green fruit is a tomato. But in reality, this fruit is a tomatillo, one of the many cousins of tomatoes. The only difference that these two have is the paper husk that covers the tomatillos underneath the sticky residue on the surface.
Tomatillos are also known as Mexican Green tomatoes or jam berries. They come in brighter shades of green, yellow, and purple. They often expand inside the husk. Unlike its cousins, tomatillos are often used in salsa and various Mexican cuisines. Tomatillos also have a very rich flavor once the skin softens when they are cooked. This green tarty fruit contains essential vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin K which strengthen your immune system.
To preserve the natural vitamins and longevity of the fruit, it is countertop that you know how to store tomatillos and when and how to harvest them properly.
How To Store Tomatillos?
Remove the ripe tomatillo from its branch. Make sure that the tomatillo is ready for harvest. You will know that the fruit is ripe when it has already expanded out from its paper husk. So, when you are harvesting them, make sure that you check the husk.
Once the tomatillos are ready for storage, you have to determine how long they should be stored. There are specific ways on how to store tomatillos in your home. If you are going to use the fruits within three to six days, you can just place them on your kitchen countertop. Make sure that your countertop is cool, dry, and clean.
If you want to know how to store tomatillos for two to three weeks without removing the husk, you can use a paper bag. First, you get a paper bag. Then place all the tomatillos that you want to store. Once the tomatillos are inside the bag, refrigerate them. In this process, the paper bag is used to absorb the moisture inside.
You can also store tomatillos without their husk. It has the same process on how to store tomatillos with the husk. However, instead of using the paper bag, you are going to use a plastic bag or a freezer bag. Removing the husk can be very challenging. You need to soften the husk by placing the tomatillos in a bowl of warm water. Then, once the husk is moving away from the fruit, you can remove it by peeling the husk with your hand. Once the husk is removed, make sure that you dry the tomatillos before placing them inside the plastic bag, and then refrigerate.
For longer storage, you need to freeze the tomatillos from zero or below it. The first thing that you should do is to remove the husk by hand. You can use the method that we mentioned in step 4. You can follow the procedure on how to store tomatillos with the husk removed. But you have to change the temperature to zero or lower.
Aside from that, you can place the tomatillos in an airtight container. You can also boil, roast, or pureed them before freezing. These processes help your tomatillos last up to 9 to 12 months after storage.
When To Harvest Tomatillos?
Once it matures, a tomatillo will grow about the size of a cherry tomato. Smaller tomatillos are often sweeter as compared to the larger ones. Tomatillos can be harvested after 75 to 100 days from the day they are sowed and 65 to 85 days after they are transplanted.
Once the plant starts bearing fruits, it is best that you harvest one at a time. There should be 7 to 14 days intervals. In that way, your plant can continue to produce fruits during the growing season. One tomatillo plant can produce at least 60 to 200 fruits per season. Each plant weighs up to 2 to 2 ½ pounds.
When the tomatillos are left overripe, they tend to have a dull color instead of bright shades of green and yellow. It is vital that you know how to store tomatillos before they are overripe and can no longer be eaten.
How To Harvest Tomatillos?
Aside from the proper way of how to store tomatillos, it is very important that you know how to collect them.
When removing them from the branch, you can give the stem a light twist or remove them with the use of a garden pruner. Once the fruit is taken down, peel back a small part of the husk to check if the fruit is free from blemish.
Tomatillos are one of the best fruits that can be mixed with just about any dish. Although it is less juicy than most tomato species, tomatillos have a more pronounced and rich flavor. It is very important that you know when they might be consumed so that you can store them the right way. Tomatillos can get rotten when not stored properly.