10 ideas to incorporate tomatoes into your daily diet.
What we Like is Lycopene !
Quite a few red and orange fruit and vegetables (papaya, carrots etc.) owe their color to what we call carotenoid pigments. Specifically in tomatoes this carotenoid pigment (bright red) is called Lycopene and this is what makes tomatoes special for your health.
According to epidemiological studies, it seems like they are great for cancer prevention specifically prostate cancers and they also have cholesterol-lowering properties and are anti-inflammatory.
According to studies you should be eating more than 2 tomatoes a day or more than half a cup of tomato juice a day for them to be beneficial. Mediterraneans for example will eat them nearly every day in salads, as a side dish or in a tomato sauce.
2) Spiced up : slice tomatoes, add some salt, cumin and a little olive oil. Eat as it is, fresh.
3) Grilled : Cut the tomatoes in 2 halves, add some garlic, basil and a little olive oil. Put them on aluminium paper and grill on the Bbq.
4) Pureed : Along with some peppers, onions and a little garlic, put some tomatoes in the oven and grill them well until the skin peels off and until the pepper skin are a little black (peel that off too when cooked). Then roughly mix all the ingredients in a food processor (careful this is not juice!). Add olive oil, a little salt, choped parsly and a good amount of cumin. Chill in the fridge and use as a spread on bread for example.
5) Juicy : Make sure you choose ripe tomatoes, take off the skin (you can heat them first for the skin to come off easily) and mix with whatever other ingredients that you think will taste great. Example : 2 ripe tomatoes + 4 basil leaves + 5 sprigs parsley + 1 tablespoon of water + a little salt + 1/2 a lemon juice + a little bit of celery.
6) Soup time: Fry in olive oil : 1 shallot, 1 onion, 4 potatoes cut into cubes, add 1 zucchini cut into pieces and a can of peeled tomatoes, salt, and paprika pepper . Then add a low salt vegetable broth until you cover all the vegetables. Cook half an hour.
Then blend and add a little fresh cream
7)Fresh on bread : cut 8 roma tomatoes into small pieces and mix with 1/3 of a cup of fresh basil, 1/4 cup of low fat shredded parmesan cheese, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, pepper. Refrigerate for 2 hours then serve on toasted baguette bread. Yes ! It’s a Bruschetta.
8) My not so secret anymore tomato Sauce : Fry in olive oil (Not high temperature) half a big chopped onion and 2-3 garlic cloves. Once the onions are a bit soft add 2-3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, cook for another 4-5 minutes. Then add half a cup of tomato paste (?) from a can, add a cup or two of water (depending on how thick you want your sauce to be). Add fresh basil and parsley, cook for 40 minutes. Then 5 minutes towards the end add 2-3 tablespoons of low fat sour cream.
10) Rainbow salad : buy different types of tomatoes : red, yellow, dark, orange etc and prepare a great colorful salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Did you know that :
– Tomatoes (along with watermelon) are the richest in lycopene.
– Cooking tomatoes increases the bioavailability of lycopene
– The presence of fat also increases its bioavailability.
– Tomatoes were originally from south america and not Italy as we may think ! They were introduced to Europe only in the 16th century.
– The skin of the tomato contains more antioxidants then the other parts.
Sofia Abdelkafi R.D