Vine ripened, local tomatoes are hitting the farmers markets and grocery stores – are you ready? Embrace fresh, luscious tomatoes and all the health benefits therein. Keep reading to learn more about these fun fruits and find a few new recipes to incorporate into your week.
You name it, a tomato probably has it: antioxidants, vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin E and phytonutrients. All in one delicious package! Whether you’re looking to augment your health or simply want to stay on track, tomatoes are an excellent option.
Colorful Cardiovascular Support
Whether red, orange, purple, or any other color, tomatoes offer awesome support for your circulatory system and heart. Firstly, the high concentration of antioxidants and vitamins found in tomatoes help to reduce atherosclerosis (blocking and hardening of blood vessels). Secondly, the phytonutrients in tomatoes can help decrease total cholesterol and blood fat levels.
Any food high in antioxidants will be associated with lowering cancer risk, and tomatoes are no exception. Tomatoes contain a nutrient called alpha-tomatine, which has been proven to alter the metabolism of cancer cells in the prostate, as well as triggering cell death. Similar studies of other types of cancer, including lung cancer, have had positive results. Other studies included breast and pancreatic cancers, which also saw a reduction.
Local, organic in-season tomatoes are the best choice, since they won’t be covered in harmful pesticides or create as many hydrocarbons on their journey to your local grocery store or farmers market. Although fresh tomatoes are certainly your best bet, you can certainly use canned when necessary. Look for organic tomatoes in BPA-free cans or even better, glass jars.
5 Must-Try Tomato Recipes
Here are a few great recipes that allow tomatoes to shine. Enjoy!
When tomatoes are in-season and at their best, this salad cannot be beat! Omit the cheese or use a plant-based version.
Drizzled over sautéed veggies or tossed with your favorite gluten-free pasta, this recipe is amazing and easy.
This one is a real crowd pleaser for gatherings or a family dinner.
For when you have lots of tomatoes and want to try something different, this refreshing soup aims to please.
5. Hearty Tomato Soup
A favorite from The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook. Make extra so that you can freeze it in individual servings to enjoy tomato goodness any time of the year.
Makes 4 servings
8 large tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
¼ cup chopped basil leaves, set aside some for garnish
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
dash cayenne pepper
- Add all soup ingredients to a blender and blend in batches until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a large pot and cook at medium-low heat, stirring often, for 25-30 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises to the top during cooking. Sauce will darken as it cooks. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- To serve, top with a heaping tablespoon of plant-based cashew cheese, basil or sliced avocado.
Whether you have tomatoes growing in your yard, or just want to introduce more healthy fruits and veggies to your daily routine, we hope you’ve found a recipe or two here to inspire you!