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List Of Natural Alternatives To Fresh Tomatoes

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Many Nigerians are seeking alternatives as the price of fresh tomatoes keeps soaring.

This essential ingredient is crucial in the preparation of dishes such as stew and jollof rice as tomatoes play a pivotal role in Nigerian cuisine, particularly in stews.

However, the sudden price hike has led many households to reduce their consumption of fresh tomato-based dishes.

To adapt to this change, Nigerians are becoming resourceful, seeking alternatives to incorporate into their meals.

There are four creative alternatives to fresh tomatoes to enable individuals and families continue to enjoy flavorful and nutritious meals despite the rising cost of fresh tomatoes.

See list of the alternative below:

_ Carrots

In its blended form, carrots are a good alternative to fresh tomatoes. The vegetable do not only have a sweet taste but can also give off the bright red colour of fresh tomatoes when mixed with peppers.

Carrots can give the reddish colour of fresh tomatoes in jollof rice and stews.

To enjoy carrot stew, ensure to per boil the carrots, onions and peppers on medium-low heat for a few minutes before blending. This gives a smoother consistency as well as make the stew more enjoyable.

Carrots are sold for N200 and above. The amount you purchase depends on the quantity of stew you intend to make. At the end, they make a cheap alternative to fresh tomatoes.

_ Beets/Beetroots

Beets, when blended, provide a similar red hue to tomatoes, making them a suitable replacement for stews, jollof rice, and sauce.

Beyond color, beets offer a slightly sweet and earthy flavor that can complement savory dishes.

And compared to the current high price of tomatoes, beets are often a more affordable option.

While serving as a colorful substitute, beets come packed with health benefits. They are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium, and fiber.

Beets are widely available and sold in many markets across the country, making them an accessible and nutritious option for those looking to substitute the use of fresh tomatoes.

_ Eggplant

While eggplants might not provide the reddish colour typical of fresh tomatoes, they are an excellent alternative.

Eggplants are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while being low in calories. Their thick consistency and sweet taste make them ideal for sauces.

The fruit is a large, egg-shaped berry with a glossy surface that can vary in color from dark purple to red, pink, yellowish, or white.

The spongy texture of eggplant allows it to absorb cooking liquids, resulting in a thick and satisfying sauce, similar to a tomato base.

Eggplants can be used to cook stews that pair well with rice, yam, potatoes, and plantain, among other dishes.

Their affordability and versatility make them a valuable addition to dishes, particularly during times of high tomato prices.

_ Cucumber

Cucumber is the latest alternative to tomatoes. While cucumber might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind, it offers a surprisingly refreshing alternative for stews due to rising tomato prices.

Cucumber has a milder flavour compared to tomatoes. So, consider adding spices for a more complex taste. Removing the seeds from the cucumber can help to reduce its watery content and prevent the stew from becoming too thin.

Cucumbers are rich in vitamins, minerals, and hydration, thanks to their high water content. They have a mild flavor that can blend well in various dishes, adding a refreshing taste and volume.

To make stew using cucumbers, you should blend cucumbers for a smoother consistency to add a subtle sweetness and coolness to the stew. Also, combine with tomato paste for a touch of tomato flavor.

Conclusively, adapting to these changes can help households continue enjoying their favorite dishes while managing their budgets effectively. Exploring alternatives to fresh tomatoes like cucumbers, carrot, beets or eggplant can provide valuable solutions during times of fluctuating tomatoes price.


The above alternatives are currently being used by some Nigerian households.

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