Eat Local! Tomatoes
August 25, 2015
Holy smoke! Our bodies are working overtime protecting us from potential oxidative damage by the recent smoke exposure. Until we get a good rain, the issue is likely to persist and we need antioxidants to help protect us more than ever! So it must be a relief to hear that tomatoes have come to the rescue.
Tomatoes are doted upon as a rich source of antioxidants, mainly vitamin C and mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. Just 1 cup of fresh tomatoes supplies a third of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Lycopene has been loosely associated with reduced risk of certain cancers such as prostate and breast. It’s also surprisingly high in biotin, molybdenum and vitamin K – essential nutrients for skin, heart, bone and brain health.
If eating raw, fresh tomatoes is not your cup of tea, you’re in luck; when tomatoes are preserved and concentrated (think salsa, tomato sauce and tomato paste), their health-promoting nutrients are preserved and concentrated as well. But remember, doing it yourself reduces your chance of exposure to BPAs, parabens and metals leeched from in canned goods. Because of tomatoes acidic nature, they can react with metals such as aluminum and copper. It is not recommended that these metals and tomatoes do not come in contact with each other.
This soup is fabulous served chilled or warm or topped with a lean protein such as fish.
4 large tomatoes, quartered (approx 3 cups)
1 medium onion, chopped (approx 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano or parsley
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups canned low-sodium tomato juice
- Place first 8 ingredients in food processor and puree until well-mixed but still coarsely textured.
- Add tomato juice and pulse once or twice to blend.
- Ladle soup into bowls and serve. Garnish with avocado, scallions or a light European-style yogurt.
Recipe adapted from Well Fed Heart.
Article by Darci Barman, MSN, RDN, LD, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist practicing “foods-first”, functional nutrition at Pilgrim’s Wellness Clinic, inside Pilgrim’s Market in CDA, ID. For more information, see www.darcibarman.com