Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tomato Allergy - Removing Tomato Skins and Pips

As any coeliac will know, it's not just gluten that we have to stay away from, we develop allergies and intolerances to other foods too. As I mention in my very first post on Free From G, I'm severely allergic to pepper of the spice variety. Black, white, cayenne probably every pepper that's out there. This is a hard one because lots of gluten free foods like sausages for example have pepper in them as a seasoning.

But this isn't about pepper, it's about being allergic to tomato skins and pips, it may be one or the other but I stay away from both now just to be sure. In my Gluten Free Chilli Con Carne recipe I use Charnue beef tomatoes (delicious!) but there's a lot of prep involved getting them safe for me to eat. One major advantage of using beef tomatoes is that they're big, so aren't as fiddly to prepare.

If you are allergic to either tomato skins or pips, or if you would just prefer not to include them in recipes, here's the easiest way to remove them:

  1. Boil a kettle
  2. Get 2 large containers big enough to fit the tomatoes
  3. Place the tomatoes in 1 of the containers
  4. Cover with boiling water
  5. Make a slight hole in the tomato skin with a sharp knife
  6. The skins should start splitting away from each other
  7. Once the skins are suitably split, remove tomatoes from the boling water with a slotted spoon and place in the second container
  8. Empty the boiling water from the container and dry
  9. If you don't want to handle the hot tomatoes cover them with cold water (I'm reckless, I skip this stage!)
  10. Remove from water and place back into the first now dry container
  11. The skin should easily peel away from the tomato flesh
  12. Cut tomatoes in half and remove the core
  13. Using your fingers, dig into each cavity and remove the pips
It is time consuming, but if like me you are allergic to the skin and pips, it has to be done. A small price to pay for delicious fresh tomatoes that won't make me ill.

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