Tomatoes… Fruit or vegetable? That’s a debate I won’t get into. But more importantly, a study done at Harvard Medical School over a period of five years found that individuals who ate either tomatoes or strawberries every week had the lowest risk of dying of cancer. Tomatoes are naturally rich in Vitamins A (one medium contains 15% DV) and C (one medium contains 40% DV) and contains a pigment called lycopene. The latter may be twice as effective the cancer-fighting properties than beta-carotene. Lycopene may also help the elderly to remain active longer.
At the Market
-Look for tomatoes that are fragrant and smooth.
-Depending on the type, the color of a ripe tomato can range from pink to robust red to yellow.
-Opt for canned tomatoes in the winter, since fresh are at their worst during this time of year and tomatoes retain their nutritive value even through processing.
In the Kitchen
-Keep tomatoes at room temperature for the best flavor.
-To ripen, place tomatoes in a paper bag with a piece of ripe fruit. Avoid sunlight because it will cause them to lose flavor.
-To freeze, blanch fresh tomatoes in boiling water for 2 minutes, place into ice cold water and then drain. Chop if you would like, then place into freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to a year.
-To release more lycopene and to allow your body to absorb it better, cook fresh tomatoes in a bit of oil.
My Tomato Sauce Recipe
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp Stevia
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. When heated through and thoroughly stirred, serve with pasta, pizza, etc.
What is your favorite way to use tomatoes?