In early October, the weather report gave us bad news: It was going to freeze. We had a dozen tomato plants in our garden still going strong, and the idea of losing all those tomatoes was heartbreaking. I decided our hard work should not go to waste, so I went out and picked all the tomatoes. And picked and picked and picked.
Forty-five pounds of green tomatoes later found me looking for recipes. I had heard about green tomato bread and, after doing some research, I realized the recipe was very similar to zucchini bread. With this idea in mind, I came up with my own healthy recipe using unripened, green tomatoes. The end result was so fantastic that I made a quadruple batch, just so I could share the goodness with my friends.
Healthy Green Tomato Bread
Yield: two 9-by-5-inch loaves or six mini loaves
2 cups finely chopped tomatoes complete with skins and seeds (I put mine in the food processor and drained the excess juice)
1 ¼ cups white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup applesauce
½ cup oil
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for regular-sized loaves or 325 degrees for mini loaves. Grease and flour loaf pans. Flouring the pans is essential or the loaves will stick.
2. Mix tomatoes, sugar, applesauce, oil, eggs, vanilla and salt together in large bowl until blended. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder in separate bowl; gradually stir into larger bowl until both mixtures are blended. You won't need beaters for this, just a sturdy wooden spoon. Spoon batter into loaf pans two-thirds full.
3. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean. Bake 60-65 minutes for regular-sized loaves or 30-35 minutes for mini pans. After coming out of oven, let cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely before consuming.
Note: I live 4,500 feet above sea level. If you live near the balmy beach, consider decreasing the cooking time.
Elizabeth Reid has bachelor degrees in economics and history. She has worked in retail, medical billing, catering, education and business fields. Her favorite occupation is that of wife and mother. She can be reached at [email protected].