How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

by Chrystal Johnson on October 11, 2013

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how-to-ripen-green-tomatoesIt seems Winter is arriving early in the mountains. We had a feeling it would since the trees started to turn early and the weather started cooling down earlier then we remember in recent years.

So, it wasn’t too surprising when we got the forecast of overnight freezing temperatures a couple weeks ago. However, we still had well over a hundred green tomatoes on our plants that we knew wouldn’t make it through the frost.

I knew we’d have to pick them, but really wanted to ripen them since they are so incredibly flavorful (they make the tomatoes at the grocery store taste like cardboard).

That’s when I discovered a simple way to ripen green tomatoes off the vine. I know most people put their tomatoes on a windowsill in the sun to ripen them. Unfortunately that causes the skin to become tough.

A much simpler and more effective way to ripen green tomatoes is to simply place them in a brown paper bag and close the bag up. You can check them after a few days and see if any have ripened.

What I love about this method is that they still ripen at different times, so you have tomatoes to use over time. Kaylee has discovered the ripening tomatoes in the paper bag and regularly helps herself to all of the red tomatoes before they can be used for meals, but at least I know she’s eating a healthy snack!

If you still have green tomatoes on the vine and you have a cold weather forecast like us, give this method of ripening green tomatoes a try.

About Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal, publisher of Happy Mothering, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who's willing to listen.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alicia @ Green Lifestyle Changes
Twitter: grnlifestyle
October 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

Back when I was getting great harvests from my tomatoes I used to ripen them this way. I think they spoiled less often in the bag than when they were on my counter. They also took up less valuable space! Then I also learned about fried green tomatoes! Yum!
Alicia @ Green Lifestyle Changes recently posted..Eating Your Front Yard

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2 Brittany @ The Pistachio Project
Twitter: PistachioProjec
October 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm

This is so helpful to know! I lost all my tomatoes to an evil rat this year but if I had green tomatoes I definitely would have used this method!
Brittany @ The Pistachio Project recently posted..Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

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3 Brittney Minor
Twitter: brittleby
October 12, 2013 at 10:22 am

Thanks for the tip! I will have to try this.
Brittney Minor recently posted..Simply Natural Saturdays ~ Link Up 10/12

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4 Becky October 14, 2013 at 3:30 am

Great idea! I have to remember this for next year. Thanks for sharing!
Becky recently posted..Eco-Friendly Fall Porch Decorating Ideas

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5 Jackie October 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I have so many tomatoes on the vines…and new ones still coming. Because there are so many, I’m not ready to remove the plants. As soon as I hear the first frost is coming, I am going to give this a try. I agree…the tomatoes are so much better than store bought! Thanks for sharing the tip!

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