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Healthier Fried Green Tomatoes
Sometimes, recipes just need a little revival - and what better time than 2020 to hit the reset button on practically everything? A few years ago, I decided to make a healthier version of fried green tomatoes since Cliff was doing such a great job with his weight loss journey. We wanted to get healthier and see what dishes we could adopt as more of a lifestyle shift. Since experimenting with new ingredients lately, I decided to see if I could make these even more accessible, so I'm excited to reveal these new, gluten-free baked "fried" green tomatoes!
When making the gluten-free version with rice flour - or any flour that consists of a fine grain - I suggest using a food processor to thinly shred the cheese. This will help it combine better with the flour and stick to the tomatoes. The cheese acts as a binding agent to give the baked green tomatoes a more uniform consistency.
Surprising Health Benefits of Green Tomatoes
Traditional red tomatoes are known for containing lycopene. Though this doesn't exist in green tomatoes, these unripe fruits do pack their own special punch. Here are just a few of their unique benefits:
- Vitamin A and C; antioxidants that combat the ill effects of free radicals
- Tomatine (a substance found in green tomatoes) has been found to inhibit the growth of breast, colon, liver, and stomach cancer cells.
- Green tomatoes are low-calorie foods; in fact, one cup only has 41 calories.
- Additional vitamins include potassium, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber.
Make these the best oven baked green tomatoes...
I love this recipe because I have a weakness for cheese, first and foremost. The Parmesan plays well with the tartness of the tomatoes and adds a level of flavor that is satisfying. Brown rice flour is what makes this gluten-free, but it is very fine and a bit hard to mold into an even coating on the tomato slices. The cheese helps the brown rice coating stick to the tomato slices. Of course, herbs and spices are a personal preference, so you can get as creative as you want! Don't forget that the green tomato slices are firm enough to withstand their time in the oven, so you get a side that is cheesy, a little crunchy, and substantive. I love that!
Baked "Fried" Green Tomatoes
- 2 green tomatoes
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese shredded finely
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried onion
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch freshly-ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Grate or process the Parmesan cheese until the consistency is just slightly more coarse than flour.
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, cheese, salt, pepper, and spices) in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Beat one egg in a shallow bowl.
- Cut tomatoes into thin slices, about ¼ - ⅓ inch thick.
- Take each slice and submerge both sides into beaten egg until coated. Then, dredge each slice through the dry mixture until evenly coated. You may need to coax the mixture to stick in places.
- Place slices on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on the top oven rack for about 25 minutes. You should see a nice brown color on the surface of the coating and a little bubbling coming from the center of the tomatoes.
- Allow to cool and serve plain, or with a dip of your choosing!
How familiar are you with green tomatoes - fried or otherwise? If this is your first time, try it with some roasted red pepper aioli and sprinkle of feta cheese. You'll love it! Until next time, friends, cheers to your #hearthhealthhappiness!
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