Happy Monday everyone! Guess what I picked up for our Wednesday Recipe today?
Tomatoes galore! Don’t those look so good? I am excited to start cooking with them but before I do that, let’s talk a little bit about this vegetable (or is it a fruit?).
The debate has been going on for years. Is the tomato a fruit or is it a vegetable? If you look at a tomato from a gardening (or botanical) perspective, tomatoes have seeds and therefore are fruits. When it comes to the culinary world, however, tomatoes are better represented as a vegetable. This confusion even brought the tomato to the Supreme Court in 1983, where it was ruled as a vegetable.
So in short… A tomato is officially a vegetable.
This vegetable has become so popular, that around 93% of gardens in the United States have at least 1 tomato plant and for a good reason! They are delicious, are useful in many different recipes, and they are EXTREMELY healthy
Did you know? Tomatoes are unique because they become more and more healthier the more they are processed (cooked, canned, blended, etc.) Your body absorbs more of the nutrients from a can of tomato sauce than from a fresh tomato (but the fresh tomato is still very healthy).
- Contain a nutrient called ‘lycopene’: Lycopene is extremely healthy for our body because it prevents your cells from being damaged, it helps you live longer, it keeps your brain healthy, and it supports your immune system!
- High in Vitamin C: In fact, 1 cup of tomatoes have about 1/3 of the amount you need for the entire day! Vitamin C keeps your immune system and your respiratory system strong!
- Good source of Vitamin A: Vitamin A is an important nutrient for your eyes.
- Healthy source of Vitamin K: 1 cup of tomatoes has about 25% of the recommended intake for Vitamin K. Vitamin K is well known for the role it plays in your blood. When you get a scratch or cut, Vitamin K helps your body slow the bleeding and ‘clot’ so that you don’t bleed out all the way with a simple paper cut.
Tomatoes are so versatile and are used in many different countries. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas to get your creative juices going:
- Canned or homemade tomato sauce for pasta
- Salad topping
- Marinades for chicken
- Homemade salsa
- Stuff with diced veggies, ground turkey, and cheese, and bake in the oven
- Grill them
- Top sandwiches
- Bruschetta: French bread + olive oil + tomatoes+ basil+ mozzarella (dipped in balsamic vinegar)
- Add to casseroles
- Roasted with olive oil and a little salt and pepper (surprisingly sweet treat)
- Add to a homemade savory jam
- Blend into soup
- Topping for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and any other Mexican dish
- Mix with breakfast scrambled eggs
Varieties to Try
There happens to be over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes, but here are a few you might find at the local grocery store:
- Beef steak