Although most people often debate whether tomatoes are a fruit or vegetable, they are a fruit since they grow on vines. These fruits grow from May till October but may vary depending on the climate and season around you. If you are growing tomatoes in your backyard but do not know why the insides are green, read on.
Why is my tomato green inside?
Tomatoes start to ripen from the seeds. So, you will often observe a green tomato with red insides. However, an unripe tomato may appear red on the outside but will have green seeds, indicating that it has not ripened yet. Seeds that have not matured yet will contain chlorophyll and appear green.
Tomatoes ripen from the inside, so the seeds mature first before the outside surface of the tomato turns reddish. Immature seeds will look green because of chlorophyll, helping them to photosynthesize. Mature seeds turn beige or off-white depending on the species of the tomato.
Let us first see why a red tomato may have green insides.
The most obvious reason a red tomato is green on the inside is that it is unripe. Red tomatoes tend to ripen from the inside out. So, the seeds ripen first, and then the outside surface turns reddish.
However, in some rare cases, you may find a tomato, red outside but green on the inside. It may indicate that the tomato has not ripened yet.
The surrounding environment can significantly affect the production and maturation of tomatoes. If you have experienced long periods of dry spells, heavy rain, or excessive heat, you may understand why your tomatoes have not matured properly.
During rough weather conditions, the nutrients the plant takes from the soil do not transfer well within the plant. As a result, the tomatoes tend to be tough and have white insides and pale green fruit walls.
These are the reasons why the insides of a red tomato maybe green.
Cherry tomatoes may also have green insides because of the following reasons:
Cherry tomatoes ripen from the inside out like red tomatoes. However, not all tomatoes ripen fully, which results in red skin but greenish insides. Moreover, some species of cherry tomatoes become darker red when ripe. So, red cherry tomatoes are not guaranteed to be grown.
They may need to become riper. Those tomatoes usually turn a bright crimson red like cherries when fully mature.
Will not turn red:
Although you may expect cherry tomatoes to become red or crimson when fully ripe, some do not turn red completely. The fruit will ripen and taste like normal but will not become red fully. You will still see some spots where it is green. Additionally, the inside of the tomato may remain green even when ripe. Therefore, it is normal for some cherry tomatoes to have immature seeds, and you can still have them.
These are why you may observe a cherry tomato have green insides.
Grape tomatoes are smaller than cherry tomatoes in size. Here is why you may see a grape tomato with greenish insides.
Pest damage, nutrient deficiency, etc.:
Tomato plants are prone to pest infestations. Therefore, you will frequently notice ants, aphids, etc., on your tomato vines. Pests can severely damage a plant and cause the fruits to grow malnourished. As a result, your tomato plant will bear pale green tomatoes with immature seeds. Moreover, rough weather conditions can stress the tomato plant, and you may have immature tomatoes. Also, tomatoes not ripening can be an indication of plant disease.
Besides pest infestations or damage due to natural causes, grape tomatoes remain green by default when ripe. So, you can pluck them and have them and expect them to taste sweet and tangy.
Is it bad if the inside of a tomato is green?
If you are growing tomatoes in your backyard or garden, and you observe that the tomatoes are green on the insides, you may wonder if they are for eating. You may be surprised by the answer.
Some species of tomatoes remain green even after ripening, so they taste sweet like regular tomatoes. You can; either let the fruit ripe for a little longer on the countertop or use them as green tomatoes. A few people prefer frying green tomatoes for consumption, and others dehydrate them to eat later.
Moreover, underripe cherry tomatoes taste almost as flavorful as ripe ones, but you may also perceive some as sour. However, if the tomatoes have become green because of pest infestations, it is better to discard them. In most scenarios, you can eat green tomatoes without any worries.
Should the inside of a tomato be green?
Among amateur gardeners, the question of whether the inside of tomato should be green or not can circulate. The insides of a tomato can be green because of pest infestations or natural causes. Let us see if the inside should be greenish or not.
Some tomato species remain green despite ripening. These tomatoes will taste sweet or sour like normal red tomatoes but will look green on both outsides and insides. If you are growing such species of tomatoes, the insides of the tomatoes should be green.
On the other hand, if you have tomato plants that produce red tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, it should be concerning if you see green tomatoes or red tomatoes with greenish insides. If the seeds appear brown or greenish, it probably has not ripened enough or matured properly.
Moreover, it can also happen if the fruit has not received enough nutrients from the plants because of unfavorable weather conditions or pest infestations.
What to do with tomatoes which is green inside?
The best way to deal with tomatoes that are green inside is to deal with them as green tomatoes. So, you can use them in recipes that require the usage of green tomatoes. We have compiled a list of what you can do using tomatoes with green insides.
Fried green tomatoes:
Most people prefer frying green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes are a Southern delicacy. Also, people consider this to be the healthiest and tastiest way of consuming green tomatoes. Additionally, you can make a remoulade sauce for dipping. To add an extra kick to the tomatoes, you can add some cayenne pepper to the batter.
Green tomato salsa:
Salsas at Mexican restaurants consist of green tomatoes. The addition of green tomatoes slightly changes the flavor compared to salsa with red tomatoes. However, it still pairs perfectly with tacos and chips and anything else you can put salsa on.
Grilled green tomatoes:
Grilled green tomatoes are also healthy and delicious like fried green tomatoes. You can marinate the pieces in a savory sweet marinade consisting of brown sugar. Then, you can just grill them like grilling vegetables or meat.
Green tomato salad:
If you no longer want to have regular salads, you can spice things up by making yourself green tomato salad. Adding chili flakes to lime produces the perfect tang to spice ratio and you can add some cilantro to make it even better. For people, who are not fond of cilantro, you can leave it out and it will still taste delicious.
These are common recipes you can try at home using tomatoes that have remained green on the inside. Moreover, green tomatoes are healthy and they will not cause any health issues unless you consume a bad tomato.
When should you not eat a tomato?
Several techniques are available to understand if a tomato has gone bad. Here are some methods to check the status of a tomato.
For tomatoes that you expect to be red, if they are green or appear discolored, do not consume them. Such tomatoes are probably bad and may have resulted from pest infestations or malnutrition. On the other hand, if green tomatoes look pale or have white spots, avoid eating or cooking them. They will not be healthy for you.
On the surface of the tomato, look for any cracks, sunken areas, or mold spots. Moreover, if there are other indications of damage, the tomato is likely to be bad and you must not eat it. Damages to the tomato will likely break or split it. So, germs or other harmful microorganisms can enter and thrive on the insides. Therefore, avoid such tomatoes with visible dents.
Using these methods, you can check if the tomato you are purchasing or plucking from your garden is good for consumption. Do not eat bad tomatoes as they will cause food-borne illnesses.
Although there are several reasons behind the insides of a tomato remaining green for a long time, it does not necessarily mean it has spoiled. Some species of cherry tomatoes remain green even after maturing fully. You can use green tomatoes in different recipes but do not consume the bad ones.