Tomato

Health Benefits:

  • They are high in water content making them lower in calories.
  • The outer layer of any tomato offers up the most anthocyanins therefore cherry tomatoes pack more antioxidants than an equal serving of Roma tomatoes due to their greater skin-to-flesh ratio.
  • Green tomatoes have been found to contain tomatidine which helps build muscle

Colors & Flavors:

  • Red
    • Most common
    • Contains lycopene
    • Acidic flavor perfect for adding zip to salads
  • Yellow
    • High in niacin & beta-carotene
    • Sweet & pairs well with strong cheese like Gorgonzola
  • Green
    • Unripe, firmer skin
    • Ideal for stuffing
  • Purple
    • Rarer find
    • Rich in anthocyanins & carotenoids
    • Sprinkle with salt to bring out natural sweetness

Heirloom Varieties:

    • Green zebra
      • Fruity with playful bursts of lemon-lime
      • Delicious way to balance rich proteins like pork chops
    • Brandy-wine
      • Full flavored, classic tomato taste
      • Wonderful raw in salads & sandwiches or simply roasted
    • Cherokee purple
      • Smoky with a slight sweetness, likened to a Zinfandel wine
      • Great in salsas or cold soups like gazpacho
    • Yellow pear
      • Tart & sweet with a citruslike acidity
      • Delicious dipped in hummus or halved & served in salads
    • Persimmon
      • Mild & sweet, nice acid-to-sugar balance
      • Great diced & mixed with fruit for a simple salad

Nutrition Information (1 large red):

      • Calories: 33
      • Lycopene
      • Vitamin A
      • Vitamin C
      • When possible, choose freshly picked tomatoes which will contain more nutrients. Supermarket tomatoes are often picked 2 weeks before they go to the store.

Nutrition Information (1 large green):

Choose:

  • Pick firm, heavy, fragrant tomatoes
  • Avoid any with soft spots, mold, or black marks
    • Scars on heirloom varieties don’t affect taste or texture
  • Farmer’s markets should have just-harvested ripe options whereas supermarkets may refrigerate immature fruit resulting in mealy texture and less flavor

Store:

      • Store tomatoes at room temperature

Cook:

      • Roasting, grilling, or sauteing tomatoes increases the levels of disease-fighting phytochemicals that your body can absorb
      • Incorporate into appetizers by using chopped tomatoes as a base for the topping on bruschetta, toasted bread brushed with olive oil and garlic.
      • Serve whole red, yellow and orange cherry tomatoes with hummus or a yogurt dip.
      • Make a caprese salad by simply arranging sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, drizzling with olive oil or balsamic vinegar.
      • Try baking green tomatoes with a light coating of egg whites & whole-wheat bread crumbs
      • Add to salads, pasta, and pasta salads

References:

    • Young, Grace. “Ripe and Ready.” Weight Watchers. July/August 2015. 57.
    • Savacool, Julia. “Ripe Right Now.” Weight Watchers. July/August 2014. 15.
    • Hobbs, Suzanne. (2014, June 17). “On the Table: 5 Healthy Ways to Enjoy Tomatoes.” Retrieved from http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/06/17/3941578/5-healthy-ways-to-enjoy-tomatoes.html
    • Ansel, Karen. “25 Easy (Delicious!) Ways to Eat Healthy.” Self. June 2014. 102.
    • “Tomato Juiced.” Prevention. August 2014. 37.
    • “Decoding the rainbow.” Prevention. August 2014. 120-121.
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