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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Hey guys, I was wondering why everybody recommends removing skins from tomatoes. The skin is quite often one of the most nutritious part of the fruit or veggie. I saw one person say he puts the skin and all in the sauce in the recipe forum. I look forward to making my own sauce next year, but was just curious.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:14 pm 
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I don't like the mouthfeel of tomato skins. But really, tomato skins often survive the composting process and are still there, in the compost pile, in spring. They're really really "indigestible". That would be my reason. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:35 pm 
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I'd assume if they were mixed in w/ the rest of the sauce you can't tell if it has skins or am i wrong? alot of the "indigestible" part of fruit is as so because it's packed w/ insoluble fiber. I haven't actually done any research on the nutritional value of tomato skin, but I generally eat the whole thing when my grandparents have them fresh from their garden and was just assuming since most fruits and veggies have most of their nutrients from the skin it'd be better nutritionally to sauce the whole thing. Like i said I've never done it so was just wondering. I'll have to settle for store bought for a little while longer i guess :(


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:00 pm 
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most fruits and veggies have most of their nutrients from the skin

I'm not being scientific, but I'm not entirely sure that this is true --

It seems to stand to reason that the most nutritious part of the fruits are around the embryo (seeds) and flesh closest to the seeds. However, fruits like apples and pears have the most color (phytonutrients?) in the skin. On the other hand, no matter how nutritious they are, I'm dubious of peach skin and grape skin unless they're organically grown, because both these fruits need a LOT of spraying to keep pest insects and disease under control.

With root vegetables, because it's a nutrient storage mechanism, there is a large amount of mostly starch. With potatoes, they grow from the "eyes" or germinating buds and I would think there would be a lot of nutrients around them (just under the skin), and with carrots, the core contains mostly fibrous roots and more nutrients are closer to the outer surface/skin.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:12 pm 
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I was specifically thinking apples, but I believe most fruits and veggies that have colorful skin have the most phytonutrients(and fiber i believe as well) in the skin. not sure about root veggies. I tend to stay away from taters if possible, but LOVE parsnips and carrots. I didn't know peaches and grapes require alot of spraying. I'm still not a gardener YET as I just started about 4 rows yesterday for some winter crops, so I'm trying to learn preperation of certain fruits/veggies early.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:14 pm 
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Sometimes I like to put whole tomatoes in a blender and cook them down, skins, seeds, and all, for spaghetti sauces. They'll usually have meat in the sauce anyway, and to be honest, the seeds and skins are very nearly pulverized by a good blender. It adds a bit of fiber to the sauce, though probably not much. Furthermore, the seeds and gel are the real flavor-producers in tomatoes, the tomato flesh (usually) much less so.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:31 pm 
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I primarily "peel" tomatoes before preparing or eating, except for cherry tomatoes. Even if I pick a larger tomato off the vine to eat in the garden, I will use my teeth to pell it before eating. That being said, it might depend on the type of tomato as to whether the peel is easy on the pallette or not.

As far as peaches go, some of the best eating is the peel with a little meat on it. When I am peeling peaches for serving, I get my fill by eating much of the peel as I cut it off. Of course, the taste of the peel of a tomato or peach will be determined by how tasty the inside fruit is.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:04 am 
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If I ran the tomatoes through a good blender before cooking them down, I wouldn't worry about the skins. If I cook them down without blending them first, I use a slotted spoon and strain them out. If left whole in the sauce, they are similar to eating little pieces of Saran Wrap. My normal method is to drop them into boiling water for a few seconds and then into cold water. The skins basically fall off. Before I drop them in the hot water, I normally use a coring tool or paring knife and remove the hard stem part. It really bugs me when eating a salad or hamburger in a restaurant and find they have left that stem part in the tomato. I've even seen fresh tomatoes used on cooking shows with the stem end left in the tomato.

Ted

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:19 am 
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That bugs me too, Ted. I really enjoy eating raw tomatoes of any variety with skins on. Raw tomato skins have no problem in my book. Cooked skins on the other hand, I really dislike. Like Ted said, it's like eating Saran wrap. For me it's all about the texture. Skins, even when small, when cooked are nearly impossible to chew up. It's not something I find very appetizing in my soups and sauces, so I skin em using the boiling water method.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:08 am 
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I was instructed that the reason it's recommended to remove the tomato skins when preparing a pasta sauce is because the skins will add a bitter taste to the sauce.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:47 pm 
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Interesting! Does that mean the skin should always be removed first (boiling water method) -- which is rather tedious when dealing with a lot of tomatoes -- or is it OK to remove the skin by straining afterward, which is what I do most of the time?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Bitterness from both seeds and skin is the usual arguement. I have never been able to taste a difference, but others swear they can, so maybe it is individual sensitivity, or variety.

I think deseeding by squishing out seeds before cooking will really impact flavor because the seed gel usually holds most of the flavor, especially tangy acidity.

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/ ... ekey=55804

There are antioxidants mostly in the skin (flavonols), but unlike potatoes, which are starch storage organs with little nutrient value inside, and apples where only the flesh is eaten, tomatoes have fiber and nutrients throughout.

Just because the skin has some different nutrients than the interior doesn't mean that the rest of the fuit is worthless. The seeds are the most nutritious part, but you would have to grind them up in order to digest them because of the protective seed coat. That also begs the question about how available the nutrients in the skin are. I suspect that they use some nasty solvents not found in the human digestive tract when doing the extracting/testing.

Another option is to save the skins, dry them, grind them into a powder in your coffee mill and eat a pinch before eating the spaghetti.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:26 pm 
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applestar,

I rarely know what "should" be done. I've just found a way that suits me. It really doesn't take long to remove the skins in the hot water bath. I couldn't do it if it took long and was tedious. The same slotted spoon that I have used to extract the skins after cooking the tomatoes down works equally well to remove the blanched tomatoes from the hot water and dip them in cold, works well and quickly. I've tried all of the methods before and simply prefer the hot water bath method. Like you, I have even used the strainer method to remove the seeds and skin after cooking, but I found the seeds and skin clogged the strainer quickly making it difficult to force the tomato pulp through the strainer. I prefer to leave the seeds in. I've watched chefs use teaspoons to remove the seeds and gel from tomatoes before preparing the tomatoes for cooking or serving. It bugs me for them to remove the gel which contains most of the flavor.

Ted

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:08 pm 
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Thanks, Ted.

I should clarify that I actually use the food mill with the medium hole disk. I find that works well in small batches (about 4 cups "strained" to 2~3 cups at a time). I like the medium hole disk because it lets some of the seeds through but not all, unlike the small hole disk (which clogs, as you said) but doesn't let small bits of skin through like the large hole disk. I like the resulting texture. My mill came with these 3 size hole disks -- I think that's usually the case.

When I worked in the University cafeteria for work study, they had this handy gadget for removing the stem end of tomatoes -- it was a metal spoon about the size of 1/2 teaspoon with serrated edges. I think I'd like to find that gadget. To remove the stem end with a knife, it's easier -- and safer -- to cut the tomato in half, at which point, the boiling water method isn't the ideal way.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:16 pm 
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I've been leaving the skins on for my pasta sauce this year and it is tons easier as everything gets pureed anyway. We haven't noticed any unpleaswant texture from the sauce and I like the thought of extra fiber. I always leave the seeds in to get the taste from the gel and the visual appeal--visable seeds spell homemade goodness to us. But for salsa, I do prefer to peel and hand dice the tomatoes for a chunky salsa texture. Yum! I'm canning up another quart of sauce as I write this. . .^^Oh, and I got my tomato corer at the Dollar Tree. but I still just use a paring knife. You can get more control if you put your finger on the flat of the blade as you cut--holding the knife more sideways rather than vertical.


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