Can I Eat Green Tomatoes?


Well-Known Member
  • #1
We had a frost last night in my neck of the woods, so I went out and picked all my tomatoes before that happened. That was yesterday. Good thing too because the frost pretty much killed anything that can be killed. All of my tomato leaves are totally wilting right now. The squash are goners too. I had to pick them as well.

Since I got a late start with the tomatoes this year, my harvest wasn't so great. I only got a few handfuls of nice ripe red ones. All the others were green and since I had to pick them early, some may ripen, but I'm sure the others won't. They're simply no where near being ripe. So my question is, can I eat the green tomatoes? Are there recipes for this type of thing? I heard something about making relish, but I'm not sure what to do. Here are a few photos of what I managed to grow this season.




Well-Known Member
  • #2
I'm glad you differentiated between your unripe green tomatoes and regular green tomatoes because they are very different things. Regular heirloom tomatoes probably shouldn't need any explanation. If you grew them, you most likely already know what you're doing. But as for the unripe kind, you can certainly eat them too. If you do a quick Google search, you'll find recipes all over the place that will help you out.

I would suggest that you wait a few days to see if some of your green tomatoes ripen up and turn red. It appears that you already have them sitting in the sun, which is good. That's what I do too. Some say to place the green tomatoes in a paper bag to ripen them, but I can't speak to that. I've never tried that method. I bet you get some to ripen though, so give it some time.

As for the ones that are simply too unripe, remember that just like their fully ripe green counterpart, both types of green tomatoes are slightly more tart and acidic than the red ones. Fully ripe green tomatoes are full of vitamins and minerals, but the unripe version isn't as nutrient packed. You can still eat them though and people who live in the south swear by them. They make great fried green tomatoes!

Although unripe green tomatoes are much more acidic than the red ones, they mellow out as they're cooked, so don't worry about that. Some folks actually like picking their tomatoes before they ripen on the vine because they prefer them green. Most of us are forced to because of frost. But whatever the reason, they shouldn't be tossed away. They're completely edible.