Monday, May 5, 2014

Tree tomato, or tamarillo, smoothie and juice



Tomate de Arbol or tree tomato is a popular Ecuadorian fruit.

It is tangy with a little sweetness, is a great source of Vitamin A, B6 and C and also contains Vitamin E and Thiamine.

In Ecuador it is used in juice, smoothies, desserts, and hot salsa.

In the United States it can be found in frozen in the Latin aisle at the supermarket.

According to Wikipedia Solanum betaceum is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae (the nightshade family).

It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit, tt is also known as the tree tomato, or tamamoro.

Tree tomato is thought to have originated from the Andean region of Peru, Ecuador, and  Colombia, it is one also of the most popular fruits of the region.

The nightshade family of plants includes tomato, eggplant, pepper, potato and many toxic plants.

Tree tomato plan is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 5 meters and the fruit is juicy, sweet and citric in taste..

Its peak production is reached after four years and the life expectancy is about 12 years.

The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches, the flowers and fruits hang from the lateral branches.

Tree tomato fruits are egg shaped and about 4-10 centimeters long, their color can be from anything from yellow and orange, to read and to a dark, almost purple, color.

The tree tomato prefers subtropical climate and it is intolerant to frost and drought stress.

It can grow well in areas where citrus are cultivated, and the tree grows best in light, deep, fertile soils.

Tree tomatoes are one of the very low calorie fruit, 100 grams of fresh fruits contains actually just 31 calories.

They also have good amounts or health benefiting plant nutrients such as dietary fiber (3,3 mg or 9% or RDA), minerals, anti-oxidants, and vitamins.

Acidic flavor of tree tomato comes from citric acid, but they contain also malic acid.

They are also very rich in antioxidants, that are especially concentrated in their skin and scientific studies suggest that tree tomatoes may help lower blood sugar levels in type-II diabetes.
Red tree tomatoes after blanching them in hot water.
Tree tomato is also a good source of B-complex vitamins and potassium, they also contain a small rate of minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and iron.

The fruit is suitable for raw consumption if the skin is taken of, the skin is very tough and inedible.

If you are going to use this fruit in juice, as it is mostly used in Ecuador, first blanch it in boiling water to make the skin easier to remove and take away some of the acidity.

Just be careful with the juice because it leaves indelible stains on clothing.
Peeled tree tomatoes
 Batido de tomate de árbol or tree tomato smoothie

Ingredients
(4 servings)
  • 4 Tree tomatoes or Tomates de Arbol
  • 2 Cups milk
  • ¼ cup crushed ice
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, or other sweeterner of your choice
Directions
  1. Blanch the fruit in hot water and wait until it’s room temperature again
  2. Place all the ingredients except the ice in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain the juice through a sieve.
  4. Pour the juice back in the blender, add the crushed ice and blend until smooth.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

 Tree tomato juice

Ingredients
(4 servings)
  • 4 Tree tomatoes or Tomates de Arbol
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar or you can use other sweetener of your choice
Directions
  1. Blanch the fruit in hot water and wait until it’s room temperature again
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain the juice through a sieve.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

43 comments:

  1. I love trying new fruits and veggies. Thank you for introducing us to the "Tree Tomato"!

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  2. What kind of flavor does a tree tomato have? I have never seen or heard about them? Interesting all the different edible things that can grow but have never heard of!

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    1. It is very tangy, and has very little sweetness in it, Becka. But in juice or a smoothie they really delicious. There are people who eat them but there are people who eat lemons also.

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  3. I can't imagine such a light juice would stain - it must be a little oily. Very cool to see a new food.

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  4. That is the type of fruit I see at the grocer and think.. what does someone do w this? Now I know ;-) I will keep a def look out for this!

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  5. I have never even heard of a tree tomato before, but it sounds like a fruit that I would LOVE!

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  6. I've never heard of tree tomato before. It looks tasty. I'll have to look for them.

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  7. what a great way to enjoy something new. I'll be on the lookout in the farmers market

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  8. Never heard of this before! What a neat way to eat it!

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  9. That is really cool. I've never heard of a tree tomato before. The smoothie looks delicious and not at all what I thought it would look like. When I think of a tomato, I instantly think red. haha.

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    1. It was hard for me at first too, Jenni. Tomato is such a strong mental image and association with the red also.

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  10. I probably have seen this but did not know what it was. Thanks.

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  11. Wow!! That looks delicious. Try something new for sure!!

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  12. Looks really yummy. I love trying new fruits and veggies that are uncommon here.

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  13. This is wild. I have never seen something like this before. So cool

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  14. Yum! I love making smoothies and juices, and I'm willing to try anything if it's good for me. I'll be searching for it next time I'm at the store.

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    1. I hope you find them, Susanna. They are really yummy!

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  15. I have never seen that fruit before. I would love to try this if I could find the fruit at my local store.

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  16. Cool! I always like to try new foods. There aren't too many things out there I haven't tried once. :)

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  17. Wow, so interesting! This looks tasty!

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  18. Are you supposed to add sweetener to the drink? It looks like an interesting fruit to try!

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  19. I have never heard of this fruit before, but I am always game for trying new ones! This one sounds very interesting!

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  20. This actually looks very delicious and refreshing! I love finding new smoothie recipes and this is probably super healthy.

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  21. Wow! I have never seen this before! Looks yummy, thanks for introducing me to a new fruit!

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  22. I've never heard of those before. Are they like beefsteak tomatoes at all or sweet or something else?

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    1. In my opinion, it's not at all like tomato. They are tangy but there is sweetness also. And they have a very particular taste.

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  23. I've never heard of that before. The juice is so green, the color is fun!

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  24. Tree tomatoes?! I'm going to have to keep an eye out at my farmer's market!

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  25. Wow I have never heard of this before. I am going to try this

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  26. I usually LOVE tomatoes, but I've never tried these before. What a very cool recipe.

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  27. These are interesting fruits. I've never heard of them but you have me wanting to try them and drink that juice!

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  28. Wow, sweet tomato juice? They look pretty!

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  29. Looks yummy! SO many great and healthy fruits in South America!

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  30. This sounds so yummy - and full of nutrition, too! I love finding new fruits and veggies to try.

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  31. Now I want to try this. I've never heard of it before, but the antioxidants make it really appealing!

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  32. I have never hear of this before. I am a big smoothie person though.

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  33. Have not try it before nor see that kind of tomato. But, the juice looks good!

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  34. I love your blog. I'm always learning something. This fruit reminds me of mango. Sounds yummy.

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  35. I've never heard of tree tomatoes but looks yummy! Thank you for sharing.

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  36. Hi Joanna,
    I always look forward to your wonderfully-interesting, new foods and recipes. This week's tamarillo smoothie and juice recipes are such delightful new drinks for me! I am so glad you shared these with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Blog Hop! I appreciate it!

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  37. i've been wanting to grow tree tomatoes for a while now! apparently they do well here in AZ :)

    do you have a facebook page? I want to "like" it, but can't find it :/
    ...i prefer following people's blogs through facebook instead of email, because that way i can see posts in my newsfeed and decide if they look interesting enough to click on and read the whole post...the email thing is too much work to click through (if you want to follow alot of blogs) and fills up my inbox way too fast...

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    1. Thank you for your comment! Sorry I have not answered you before. Yes, I have a Facebook page. You can like it here in the blog, it can be found in the bar on the right side. It's among the all the other stuff there :)

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