Tomatoes are divinely delicious and great for our health!  They help us burn fat, reduce the risk of heart and cancer and can cause our skin and hair to naturally glow.

It is therefore good to know how to buy, prepare and cook them properly. I’ve also included three tasty recipes. Let’s take advantage of the summer crop and get more of them into our diet today!

Click here to learn more of the Health Benefits of Tomatoes.

Buying tomatoes

We want to get the most nutrition from the tomatoes we eat so let’s make sure they are the best tomatoes.

Organic tomatoes contain higher levels of antioxidants than conventional tomatoes according to a 2012 study.

There are many varieties of tomatoes

There are many varieties of tomatoes.

Which ones do we buy?

Red, orange or yellow tomatoes? The lycopene in yellow and orange tomatoes is absorbed more fully than the lycopene from red tomatoes. Buy more of the orange and yellow and have some of the red tomatoes too. It will make for a beautiful salad.

Why it is best not to peel tomatoes

Tomato peels help the carotenoids in tomatoes get absorbed by the intestines according to a study. Also, tomato skin contains most of the flavonols. To get the most health benefits of tomatoes, do not peel them.

How to prepare

  • Always wash tomatoes under cool running water and pat dry.
  • Avoid recipes that ask for the seeds to be removed as there are so many nutrients in the seeds that you don’t want to lose.
  • Contrary to what we may think about cooking and nutrients, cooked tomatoes are better for you. The valuable nutrient lycopene is best absorbed when the tomatoes are cooked. That said, the enzymes and Vitamin C will be destroyed, so it is good to eat some raw ones too.

Cooking tomatoes

  • Do not use aluminum cookware; the tomatoes have a high acid content and will interact with the metal in the cookware. We do not want to be eating aluminum for health reasons and it will give them an unpleasant taste.
  • It is best to use of the whole tomato. There is higher lycopene content in whole tomato products. The skins of tomatoes will make the lycopene and beta-carotene content higher.

 OK, let’s prepare some tasty tomato recipes!

Tomato Recipes (Gluten free and Vegan)

tomatoe chutney recipeTomato Apple Chutney

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 medium cooking apples, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/8 cup honey
1/4 tsp stevia (light liquid)
4 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients together in a pot.
  2. Boil gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour into jars and let cool.
  4. Serve cold as a condiment with curry.
This homemade salad dressing is healthy and tasty!

This homemade salad dressing is healthy and tasty!

Tomato Salad Dressing

This is a very light dressing recipe…excellent for those wanting a low-fat dressing.
Ingredients:
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tomato
1 tbsp. fresh basil (or ½ tsp. dried)
1 tbsp. fresh chives (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
Few drops of stevia (or a little honey)
Vegetable salt to taste
Directions:

1. Put in all ingredients in a blender except chives and blend till smooth.
2. Add salt and stevia to taste.
3. Sprinkle chives and serve.

Cold tomato soup: it's refreshing, nutritious, and tastes divine.

Cold tomato soup: it’s refreshing, nutritious, and tastes divine.

Cold Tomato Cucumber Soup (Vegan)

Ingredients:

1 large tomato cubed
1 cucumber, peeled, and cubed
Handful of almonds, soaked for 8 hours and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Vege salt or Spike Seasoning*

Directions:

1. In a blender or food processor blend all ingredients, until smooth.
2. Add vege salt or Spike Seasoning to taste.

freezing tomatoes

Freezing tomatoes is easy… if you know how.

More Useful Tips/Recipes

Freezing Raw Whole Tomatoes (with their skins) This is much easier than canning tomatoes.

Freezing Cooked Tomatoes (with their skins)

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