Friday, June 19, 2009

About Becoming Less Dependent On Tomatoes...

I know that technically speaking, we should be buying tomatoes only during the Summer which is when the traditionally grow. But tomatoes is one of those veggies that I buy pretty much all year long.

Yet, even during tomato season - which is now- and at the farmers market (where produce is usually more affordable) the price for 1 pound of good, flavorful, organic tomatoes is about $4! While I can get a bag of 3-4 zucchinis (another favorite veggie of mine) for $1.

I started a couple cherry tomatoes plants (from seed) in containers which are growing a little slow lately but I expect to harvest my heirloom tomatoes by the end of the Summer. Meanwhile, I'd like to start buying & using a minimal amount (since I can use up to 2 pounds a week, these are becoming a luxury item).

I've seen people on other blogs use pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree as a substitute for tomato sauce. I tried it ounce, it wasn't bad. Here too, technically speaking, I should be waiting for the Fall but canned pumpkin/squash puree can be found quite easily and I also find butternut squashes in grocery stores (a pumpkin or squash stored properly can last up to 1 year after the harvest).

I also read that all squashes (pumpkins included) can be eaten raw. I have only tried raw cucumber and raw zucchini so far. I suppose that a thinly sliced squash would be a nice addition to a salad. The other option would be to diced the squash, steam it and let it cool before serving.

Of course other uses for pumpkins/squashes include soups, puddings, cakes, desserts, quiches, breads, pancakes...etc. So I believe that they are a valid substitute for tomatoes (not to forget that tomatoes are nightshades and that I usually don't digest nightshades too well).

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