Tomatillo: Benefits, Uses, Recipes, Side Effects, How to Eat & All

If you’re looking for a delicious, nutritious way to add some flavor to your meals, look no further than tomatillo. This little green fruit has a ton of health benefits.

It is used for many purposes such as in food, medicine, and even skincare.

Tomatillo has many nutritional benefits including being high in antioxidants. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects.

Tomatillo can be eaten fresh or cooked. It can also be dried and used in powder form.

Here are all the details on tomatillo including its benefits, recipe, uses, side effects, nutrition, and how to eat it!

A tomatillo on a tomatillo tree.
Tomatillo

What is a Tomatillo?

Tomatillo, otherwise known as the “Mexican Husk Tomato,” is a staple in Mexican cuisine.

It is related to both tomatoes and cape gooseberries and has a tart, tangy flavor. Tomatillos have an inedible paper-like husk that must be removed before consumption.

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Nutritional details of Tomatillo:

1 cup (154g) of raw tomatillo has 33 calories, 0g of fat, 6g of carbohydrates, and 2g of protein. It also contains 9% of the daily recommended value for dietary fiber and 21% for vitamin C.

Tomatillos are a good source of potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese as well.

All the health benefits of Tomatillo:

May potentially help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Tomatillo contains a high amount of dietary fiber, which can help improve cholesterol levels. It also has an antioxidant called quercetin, which may reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of heart disease.

Contains high levels of antioxidants, which can have anti-inflammatory effects and possibly lower the risk of certain diseases such as cancer.

The high levels of antioxidants in tomatillo, such as quercetin and vitamin C, can help fight against oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. This may potentially lower the risk of certain diseases like cancer.

May aid in digestion due to its fiber content.

The high fiber content in tomatillos can aid in digestion and prevent constipation. Fiber also helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer, which may aid in weight management.

Can potentially have a positive impact on blood sugar control and diabetes management.

The fiber in tomatillo can also help regulate blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for those with diabetes.

It also contains a good amount of magnesium, which is important for proper insulin function and blood sugar control.

May potentially have anti-bacterial effects and improve oral health.

Tomatillo has high levels of vitamin C, which may help improve oral health by fighting off bacteria in the mouth. It also contains polyphenols, or plant compounds, that have been shown to have antimicrobial properties.

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Uses of Tomatillo:

  1. Used in traditional Mexican dishes such as salsa verde, enchiladas, and tamales
  2. Can be used as a substitute for tomatoes in any dish
  3. Can be eaten raw or cooked
  4. Can be made into a sauce or paste
  5. Can be dried and used as a powder seasoning
  6. Also used in skincare products for its antioxidant properties.

How to use Tomatillo in traditional Mexican dishes?

  • Salsa Verde: Blend raw tomatillos with jalapenos, onion, and cilantro for a tasty dip or topping
  • Enchiladas: Cook tomatillos in a saucepan until soft, then puree before using as the base for enchilada sauce
  • Tamales: Remove husks and boil tomatillos until soft, then mash and mix with other ingredients before wrapping in corn husks and steaming.

Keep reading for tomatillo’s details recipes!

Use of Tomatillo as a substitute for tomatoes in any dish

  1. In salads or sandwiches, slice up raw tomatillo as a delicious and tangy addition
  2. Use tomatillos in place of tomatoes in any soup or stew recipe
  3. Puree cooked tomatillos for use in sauces, such as pesto or marinara
  4. Roast diced tomatillo with other vegetables for a tasty side dish or topping for tacos or grain bowls.

How to incorporate Tomatillo into other dishes?

  • Use tomatillo as a base for homemade salad dressings and marinades
  • Blend cooked tomatillos with avocado and spices for a flavorful and nutritious dip or spread
  • Mix diced tomatillo with fruit, onion, and jalapeno for a fresh salsa topping
  • Make roasted tomatillo soup with onion, garlic, and spices. Top with cilantro and diced avocado.

Use of Tomatillo to make it into a sauce or paste

  1. Cook tomatillos in a saucepan until soft, then puree with spices and seasonings for a delicious salsa verde or enchilada sauce
  2. Roast tomatillos in the oven until charred, then blend with spices and garlic for a tasty roasted tomatillo paste. Use it as a marinade or dip.
  3. Dehydrate tomatillos in a food dehydrator or low-temperature oven, then grind them into a powder to use as a seasoning. Add to soups and stews for extra flavor.
  4. Mix cooked and pureed tomatillo with herbs and spices for a flavorful sauce to serve over meats or vegetables. Top with crumbled cotija cheese.

How Tomatillo can be dried and used as a powder seasoning?

  1. Spread thinly sliced tomatillo on a baking sheet and dehydrate in a low-temperature oven or food dehydrator until completely dry.
  2. Grind dried tomatillos into a fine powder using a spice grinder or high-powered blender.
  3. Use as a seasoning for meats, vegetables, soups, stews, and more. Can also be mixed with other dried herbs and spices for a unique blend.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Use of Tomatillo in skincare products

  • Use tomatillo extract or powder in DIY face masks and scrubs for its antioxidant properties
  • Mix tomatillo powder with aloe vera gel and essential oils for a hydrating and anti-inflammatory face serum
  • Blend cooked tomatillos with mashed avocado and honey for a soothing face mask
  • Use tomatillo extract in homemade lotions or body oils for glowing, nourished skin.

Potential side effects:

  • May cause stomach discomfort or irritation in some individuals
  • Those with allergies to tomatoes, cape gooseberries, peppers, or eggplant should avoid tomatillo
  • Consuming large amounts may lead to excessive gas or diarrhea

How to eat Tomatillo:

  • To prepare, remove the husk and wash the fruit
  • Can be eaten raw or cooked in dishes
  • Can be used as a substitute for tomatoes in any recipe
  • Can be made into sauces or used as a seasoning
  • Can also be dried and used as a powder
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • Can also be frozen for longer storage.
  • Enjoy in salsa, enchiladas, tamales, or as a topping on tacos.
  • Can also be added to soups, stews, salads, and more!

Tomatillo Recipes:

Salsa Verde

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound tomatillos,
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced),
  • 1 small white onion (diced),
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced),
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped),
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse.

Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes until slightly softened and lightly charred.

In a blender or food processor, combine roasted tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. Pulse until desired consistency is reached (can leave it chunky or blend until smooth).

Serve with chips or as a topping for tacos or other dishes.

Tomatillo Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound tomatillos (husked, rinsed, and diced),
  • 2 avocados (diced),
  • 1/4 cup red onion (diced),
  • juice of 1 lime,
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped),
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions:

In a large bowl, combine diced tomatillos, avocados, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Toss to mix well. Serve as a side salad or topping for tacos or burrito bowls.

Tomatillo Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound tomatillos (husked, rinsed, and diced),
  • 1 small white onion (diced),
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced),
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced),
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized pieces),
  • 6 cups chicken broth,
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed),
  • 1 cup corn kernels,
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped),
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
  2. Add diced onion and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add tomatillos, chicken broth, black beans, corn, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and tomatillos are tender.
  7. Serve hot topped with extra cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Related FAQs:

How do you husk a tomatillo?

To remove the husk from a tomatillo, simply peel off the paper-like outer layer. Rinse before using in recipes.

Can I substitute tomatoes for tomatillos in recipes?

Yes, they can generally be used interchangeably in recipes, though keep in mind that tomatillos have a slightly tangier flavor. Adjust seasonings accordingly.

Can tomatillo be frozen?

Yes, they can be frozen for longer storage. Remove the husks before freezing and place in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw before using in recipes.

Conclusion

Although tomatillos are not as well-known as other types of tomatoes, they offer a host of benefits and can be used in a variety of recipes.

They have a unique flavor that can add something special to your meals, and they also come with some impressive health perks.

So, next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a few tomatillos and give them a try in some of your favorite recipes. Who knows? You might just find a new favorite food! Thanks for reading.

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