Ashley’s Post: A Tomato a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

tomatoTomatoes are sweet, juicy, contain an abundant source of antioxidants and may help fight and prevent many serious diseases and ailments including heart disease and certain cancers. Those are only a few of the many reasons why Americans eat more tomatoes than any other form of fruit and vegetable.

There are more than 700 different varieties of tomatoes being cultivated throughout the world today, ranging in size and color. Regardless of the different varieties, the nutritional content and health benefits that come along with tomatoes do not change significantly.

1 medium tomato (about 123 grams) contains only 22 calories and 1.5 grams of dietary fiber, which makes tomatoes a great option for weight-loss or weight-management. Tomatoes are rich in essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and copper. These nutrients provides many health benefits including supporting heart, bone, skin, and digestive health. Also important to note is the awesome amount of lycopene that tomatoes contain (along with other antioxidants as well!)

Tomatoes are incredibly versatile and can be used for anything from sauces to main dishes, either raw or cooked. Below are two delicious recipes to help incorporate (more) tomatoes into your life!

 

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes     Cook Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 20 minutes     Yields 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet (cut side up). Top with parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, until tomatoes are tender.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Gazpacho

Prep Time: 45 minutes     Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes     Yields 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • ¼ cup diced red onions
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced

Directions

  1. Core the tomatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the onions, cilantro, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeno, and salt, and blend until ingredients make a chunky puree consistency.
  3. Transfer to bowl. Stir in pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to all the flavors to blend.
  4. Enjoy!
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