*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Tomatillos are small vegetables that come from the nightshade family. The name, tomatillo, sounds very similar to tomato and they also look similar to each other too.
However, instead of being like a tomato, you can compare tomatillos to gooseberries instead .
Tomatillos are a staple food in Central and South America. The common name for this vegetable is Mexican Tomato.
As the plant grows, it will develop a brown husk that will eventually break off when it is ready to be picked. The ideal color for the tomatillo is bright green and the texture should be rather firm.
Tomatillos can last in the refrigerator, in their husks, for up to three weeks. However, if you are wanting to store them for longer than that, can you place them in the freezer?
Tomatillos can be frozen and will last in the freezer for up to six months. There are three different ways that you can store the tomatillos in the freezer as well. You can store them whole, sliced, or pureed.
Here are some steps to follow when you plan on freezing your tomatillos.
- Remove the husk: Before you freeze the tomatillos, you will need to remove their husks. Make sure to dispose of the husks and tomatillos that are not bright green. Thoroughly wash the tomatillo to make sure there is no stickiness left from the peels.
- Let them dry: After you have washed the tomatillos, allow them to dry thoroughly. A wet tomatillo could result in freezer burn.
- Flash freeze them: After the tomatillos are dry, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure the tomatillos are not touching. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours. Be sure that the baking tray is flat, otherwise, the tomatillos will roll into each other and freeze together.
- Place in an air-tight container: After the tomatillos have been in the freezer for a few hours on the baking sheet, you can remove them from the freezer. Place the frozen tomatillos into an air-tight container or a zip-lock baggie. If you choose a zip-lock, be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before placing it into the freezer. Label and date the container to make sure you know when to use the tomatillos by.
You can repeat the same process if you prefer to freeze sliced tomatoes. The only thing you would change is slicing the tomatillos first and then washing them.
If you prefer to puree the tomatillos, follow your favorite puree recipe, place it into an air-tight container, and mark the date on it so you know when to enjoy it before it goes bad.
If you want to grow tomatillos of your own you can find the most popular seeds by clicking here.
Do You Need To Thaw Tomatillos?
Leaving items in the freezer that need thawing can create a huge setback in the kitchen. You’re all excited to be home and cook until you realize one of your ingredients is still frozen solid in the freezer.
If there are tomatillos in your recipe, do they need to be thawed before you can use them?
You can use frozen tomatillos just like you would fresh. There is no need to take the extra time to thaw them before adding them to your favorite recipes. However, if you are planning on using them in a salad, you would need to thaw them first.
The best way to thaw tomatillos for salads is to allow them to sit in the fridge for a few hours until they have thawed. You can also choose to thaw tomatillos at room temperature as long as they are not out on the counter for too long.
What Can You Do If You Have Too Many Tomatillos?
If you have an overabundance of tomatillos, there are a variety of recipes you can use them for. Many people see tomatillos and immediately think of green sauce or salsa verde, they can be used for so much more than that.
In addition to creating salsa verde, here are a few more ideas that you can use with your overabundance of tomatillos.
- Roast and serve them as a side dish. You can halve the tomatillos and roast them. You can serve them as a side dish with chicken to give it an extra kick of flavor.
- Eat them raw. Tomatillos taste both sweet and sour and can taste delicious on their own. Before you eat them raw though, be sure to wash off any dirt or stickiness residue left behind from the husk.
- Serve as soup. You can use tomatillos to create some green tortilla soups or even a cold tomatillo gazpacho.
- Freeze them. Next time you have too many tomatillos, freeze them. This way you can enjoy your tomatillos months from now too.
Are There Any Health Benefits To Eating Tomatillos?
Tomatillos are a vegetable and therefore are assumed to have some pretty good health benefits. Not all vegetables are created equal.
Broccoli has a lot of fiber that can help regulate your digestive system. Carrots are high in beta-carotene and can help improve your eyesight. So what about tomatillos?
What is their vegetable superpower?
Tomatillos are full of various types of benefits.
- Fiber: Much like broccoli, tomatillos are a great source of fiber. Eating a tomatillo can help regulate your digestive system.
- Potassium: If you are not a fan of bananas, don’t worry, tomatillos have you covered. While they are not as rich in potassium as bananas, you can get 260 mg of potassium with a 100g tomatillo. This is about half as much as a banana which has 422mg.
- Vitamin C: Tomatillos have been found to help aid your immune system. They contain vitamin C which is not only a key component in staying healthy during the cold season but also helps with collagen production.
- Vitamin A/Beta-Carotene: Vitamin A and Beta Carotene have both been linked to improving vision. These vitamins are both found in tomatillos.
Though there are quite a few amazing health benefits you can get from eating tomatillos, there can be a downside. Much like every hero has their weakness, tomatillos are no different.
Since tomatillos are a member of the nightshade family, they can be a bit rough on the joints. Nightshade vegetables contain alkaloids.
Alkaloids can cause inflammation in the joints. Though the levels of alkaloids in tomatillos are relatively low, it is best to err on the side of caution if you already have issues with inflamed joints.
Tomatillos are a great source of various vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. They can last in their husks, in the fridge for up to three weeks, or in your freezer for six months.