Kitchen Tip: Ripen Green Tomatoes

I still have a lot of green tomatoes on my plant in the garden.  They’ve been green for a while, but a few have ripened.  The weather has been warm for the past week, but that could change quickly. I don’t know if they will all ripen before we have a frost.

If you need to remove green tomatoes from the vine and ripen them indoors, one thing you can try is to put them in a brown paper bag with an apple.  The apple releases ethylene gas that helps the tomatoes to ripen.

The other week I put three tomatoes into a bag to ripen.  One (the odd shaped one in the picture below) was mostly green with some orange on the bottom of it.  The other two were completely green, but one (the rounder one shown below) was a lighter green. After a few days, the first two looked like this:


I put the smaller one back in the bag and a couple of days later it was nice and red.

The very green tomato was a lighter green, but still completely green, and I though it was hopeless. I left it in the bag, though.  I actually forgot about it for about five days, and I surprised when I opened the bag to find that it was completely ripened and red!

So, if you don’t like to eat green tomatoes and they have to be ripened indoors, try putting them in a paper bag with an apple.  It works!

Do you have a tip for ripening tomatoes in the fall?

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  1. says

    That’s a great idea. I love fresh tomatoes! Also, I had a friend show me once how to wrap green tomatoes in newspaper and keep them in a cool place until they ripened. He kept some like that for a month or longer, so that he had ripe tomatoes from his garden for Thanksgiving (in northern Ohio).

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