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Originally written by Kimberly Cripps , former SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist, with contributions by Megan Erickson, former SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, and Hope Kleine, former SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.

Pick it!

  • Ripe tomatoes are red, round/oval 1 inch - 6 inches.
  • Choose smooth tomatoes, slightly soft, bruise free.
  • Store at room temperature, 2-3 days, away from sunlight.
  • Ripen tomatoes in a closed paper bag for 1-5 days, punch several holes in bag.
  • Flavor worsens in fridge.
  • Refrigerate only extra-ripe tomatoes to keep from further ripening.

Try it!

  • Eat raw; add to salads and sandwiches.
  • Cook by baking, stewing, grilling, stir-frying.
  • Serve in soups, salsas, tomato sauce (in pasta dishes, spaghetti and pizza), and ketchup.
  • Cut with a serrated or sharp knife.
  • Keep in juice by cutting from stem to blossom end.

Like it! Fresh Garden Salsa


  • 2 large ripe, red slicing tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1 small, white onion, chopped
  • 1 green onion, top included, chopped
  • 1-3 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Using a serrated knife, chop tomatoes. If using plum tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons water.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro.
  3. Squeeze lime juice over the mixture and sprinkle on the salt.
  4. Allow to rest 30 minutes before serving to allow salt to draw juice from the tomatoes.
  5. Stir again just before serving.

Yield: 2 cups

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories 30; Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 640 mg; Carbohydrates 7g; Fiber 2g; Sugar 4g; Protein 1g

Program Materials

Colorful fact sheets, recipe cards and educational videos provide educators and families with fun, engaging tools to enhance any dietary curriculum in a variety of settings.

Quick resources are available in the fact sheets below. Download the zipped folder to use the lesson plan, sampling instructions, recipes and display materials in your educational program.