Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes (GAPS-legal, grain-free)

As summer draws to a close, it is time to harvest green tomatoes before they freeze.  My favorite way to eat green tomatoes is battered and fried.  With a little experimenting, this year I learned how to make them grain-free and delicious!  Everyone in my family gobbled them up.  The hardest part is not eating them all straight out of the pan.

Fried Green Tomatoes
  • green tomatoes
  • one egg (you may need more eggs if you're making a large batch)
  • coconut flour
  • salt and pepper
  • butter and refined coconut oil (or use all coconut oil)
  1. Slice the green tomatoes about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.  If they're too thin, you won't get that great zingy flavor of the tomatoes; if you make them too thick, the tomatoes will not cook enough before the batter burns.
  2. Break an egg into a bowl and beat it lightly with a fork.
  3. Put some coconut flour into a pie plate bowl (a pie plate works particularly well, but you could use a bowl instead).  Coconut flour is rather expensive, so I start with only about 1/4 cup and then add more if needed.
  4. Season the tomatoes and the coconut flour with plenty of salt and a little pepper. 
  5. To make battering easy, line up your tomatoes, then the egg, and then the coconut flour. 
  6. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter and refined coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. 
  7. Dip the sliced green tomatoes first in the beaten egg, and then in the coconut flour.   Make sure they are well-covered with the egg and coconut flour.
  8. Pan-fry the battered tomatoes in the butter/coconut oil mixture in batches.  Let the tomatoes just hang out without moving them around; otherwise you'll lose most of the batter into the pan. You'll know it is time to turn them when the edges start to turn golden brown.  
  9. Line a plate or cooling rack with a paper towel or clean cloth.  As the tomatoes are done, place them on the towel to drain the excess oil.
  10. Between each batch in the pan, clean out the pan to remove all the little bits and remaining oil.  Otherwise, subsequent batches will have a burnt flavor since the coconut flour burns somewhat easily.
  11. Serve and enjoy!  These make a great side dish or starter course.  Make sure to add a little sprinkle of salt to the finished tomatoes if they need a little flavor kick.
This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet, Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager and Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist!


Soliloquy said...

I thought fruit had to be fully ripe to be GAPS-legal. Green tomatoes would still have disaccharides, wouldn't they?

Ruth @ Ruth's Real Food said...

I'll have to check out your recipes, now that I've started GAPS.
I like to invite you to share easy, real food recipes at (doesn't have to be GAPS)

Sarah Smith said...

Soliloquy - In the GAPS book, tomatoes are listed under the heading "non-starchy vegetables". So I think they are fine to eat green (even though they are technically fruits, as you pointed out).

Soliloquy said...

Hmm, yes, gastronomically they are a vegetable. I would caution anyone that still needs serious healing not to eat them green. As a fruit, they will contain starch and other disaccharides before they are ripe. As they ripen the carbohydrates change and avoiding those specific carbohydrates is so important to people with GAPS.

Jill said...

Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. Hope to see you next week! Be sure to visit on Sunday for
Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

Betsy said...

I was curious to see that you used refined coconut oil for this - what's your take on refined coconut oil? All of the real-food purists decry refined coconut oil and insist that only unrefined is the good stuff. But, the unrefined is impossible to afford on a tight budget, plus, I hate coconut so the smell and taste of the unrefined just makes me nauseous. But, I'm hesitant to use the (tasteless) refined because so many people say it's no better than using vegetable oil. Your take?

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Betsy,
Good question. Like you, I do not like to use unrefined coconut oil in many recipes because of the strong flavor. I think refined coconut oil is much superior to vegetable oils for the following reasons:
1. Coconut oil is largely saturated fat (92%). Because of this, it is a very stable oil, and not prone to rancidity. Vegetable oils, on the other hand, do go rancid very easily.
2. Refined coconut oil is good for medium-to-high heat cooking. Once again, the high saturated fat content prevents this oil from burning easily (whereas vegetable oils are not as heat-stable).
3. When I look up coconut oil in Nourishing Traditions (which is like my kitchen bible), it specifically mentions that refined coconut oil used to be used for processed foods and for frying foods, and that the change away from using coconut oil (for fear of saturated fat) was not warranted.
4. Saturated fats are so healthy for you, whereas vegetable oils (mainly omega 6 fats) are not as good for you.

So yes, unrefined coconut oil is better, and I use it whenever possible. BUT, in many recipes the flavor is no good, so I use refined coconut oil instead.

Betsy said...

Thank you for responding - I now feel like I have "permission" to use refined, which I can buy at walmart. Yay for my wallet. And tastebuds. :)

Marie James said...

Yesterday I wanted to make GAPS-friendly chiles rellenos...thought your idea of egg dip and coconut flour would do the trick! Unfortunately I found I had no whole chiles but only coarsely chopped ones in the I just dipped spoonsful of them into egg, then into coconut flour and fried them in ghee. After turning them I topped it with cheese to melt on top. Wunderbar!

Sarah Smith said...

That sounds awesome!!