Tomatoes are enjoyed in a number of different dishes throughout the year.
They are the base for many sauces, soups, or enjoyed raw on a sandwich or a part of a salad.
One of the less desirable parts of a tomato, however, is the seeds.
They can impact the texture of your dish and need to be removed before completing the dish.
There are several ways to seed a tomato and have it prepared for the dish you are making.
How To Seed A Tomato
You can seed the tomato while it is raw, or after it has been blanched. Cut the tomato in wedges to access the seeds or cut it in half to scoop out the seeds so that you are left with soft flesh for your dish.
Removing the Gel Substance of Tomato Seeds
One of the biggest reasons for seeding a tomato is to extract the gel substance that the seeds are in.
It is meant to protect the seeds, but it can water down a dish and impact the overall texture of a dish such as a soup or creamy sauce.
This is because the substance is full of water and thins out when cooked.
Wedges or Halves for Tomatoes?
When you seed your tomato, how you cut it really depends on the type of tomato that you have and need to seed.
The seeds in tomatoes are not always in the same place, so you want to make sure you cut your tomato so that you access the seeds and remove them as much as possible while keeping the flesh of the tomato.
Cut Tomatoes in Halves
If you are planning to half your tomatoes, you will want to cut down the middle of the tomato, starting along the center (not at the stem), literally dividing your tomato into a top half and bottom half.
This exposes the interior of your tomato and gives access to all the seeds.
You can squeeze out your tomatoes at this point, and then rinse the inside to ensure all the seeds have been removed.
Remember when you are squeezing the tomatoes not to squeeze too hard.
Tomatoes do have delicate flesh, and they will bruise before you use them for your dish.
Cut Tomatoes into Wedges
Instead of halves, you can cut your tomatoes into wedges, which is ideal for the larger tomato varieties.
Heirloom, beefsteak, and other tomatoes that can grow beyond a pound in weight should be cut into wedges so that you can squeeze out the seeds easier.
Start with the stem when you are cutting your tomatoes and cut into about 6 to 8 wedges around the tomato.
If you do not want to squeeze the tomato, you can use your knife to remove the seeds by running them underneath the seed gel.
They will easily release, and you will not have bruised your tomato.
If you are planning to dice these tomatoes, you will have all of the flesh of the tomato and can begin the dicing process once the seeds are removed.
Bitter Taste of Tomato Seeds
While tomatoes are often used because of their sweet taste, the seeds themselves can be very bitter when eaten.
If used in a sauce that is meant to be on the sweeter side, the entire flavor can be manipulated to have a bitter aftertaste because of the tomato seeds cooked into the sauce.
Tomato seeds generate this bitter taste from their nutritional make-up.
If they are cooked down in a dish, the flavor will become sweeter but the consistency will be affected.
Frequently Asked Questions About Seeding Tomatoes
What types of tomatoes should I use for halving?
Smaller tomato varieties are often used for halving. They include Roma, Sam Marzano, and Cherry tomatoes that keep their seeds in the middle and can be seeded easily with half cuts. These tomatoes are often not used for dicing like larger tomatoes that need to be cut into wedges. They are also popular types used for cooking dishes such as soups and pasta sauces.
Is there any nutritional benefit to the tomato seeds?
Tomato seeds are packed full of nutrients that are great for your overall health. Because of their high water content, they are able to provide benefits such as lowering high blood pressure, balance cholesterol, and boost your immune system. Some of the larger tomatoes are actually consumed raw with seeds and all in tomato sandwiches or in a salad as a side.
Can I Save My Tomato Seeds?
You can save and dry tomato seeds out. Tomato seeds, once dried out, can be used to replant tomatoes and give you a healthy harvest so that you can make more of your dishes in the future. You can also use these seeds to add to any nutritional smoothies where you want that nutritional benefit.
It is very important that you seed your tomatoes before you bruise or damage the fruit. When you are cooking, tomato seeds have the ability to impact the overall consistency of the dish.
When you remove them, you can toss or salvage them for future use in your garden.