Since July is peak season for tomatoes, I want to take a closer look at this magical fruit?! There is still some confusion circling around about tomatoes. Is it a fruit or a vegetable? Technically, it’s a fruit, but certainly used in households as a vegetable. Regardless of their nature, tomatoes provide great nutritional benefits to people.
I fell in love with tomatoes when I was pregnant. I think I got spared from the uncontrollable cravings that most pregnant women have. However, the only food I craved was tomatoes. Not a bad thing to crave! They are certainly good for you.
Eating tomatoes is very beneficial during and after pregnancy, since tomatoes are a source of vitamin C, one of the many essential nutrients you need during pregnancy to keep yourself and your baby healthy.
The vitamin also assists in the absorption of iron, which is great for pregnant women since they generally have higher iron needs.
The Many Benefits of Tomatoes and Tomato Basil Soup
- Though raw tomatoes are great for you, cooking them releases even more of the benefits. Tomatoes don’t lose any of their nutritional value in the high heat processing , making canned tomatoes and tomato sauce both just as beneficial as fresh tomatoes. I think it’s the only fruit that is better for you when it’s cooked. And being in love with Italian food and its magnificent sauces, this discovery is even more appealing.
- Try to buy organic tomatoes as they provide a higher dose of lycopene ( a powerful antioxidant) than non-organic.
- Despite the fact that tomatoes are a popular ingredient in the Italian cuisine, they actually originated in Mexico and it was first introduced to Europe through Columbus.
SO here you go, I hope this information will make you eat more tomatoes and incorporate them in your daily cooking. Make sure you visit your local Farmers’ markets for this seasonal, full of nutritional benefits, fruit!
This is my favorite – Tomato Basil Soup
- 12 cups canned organic peeled plum tomatoes
- 3 lbs carrots, chopped
- 3 lbs onions, chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 gallons water
- 1 lb chicken base
- 3 quarts heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons sea salt
- 4 tablespoons black pepper
- In a large stock pot, sautee the olive oil, carrots, and onions at medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the basil, salt, pepper, and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
- In a large bowl, whisk the chicken base into the water until dissolved.
- Add the water mixture to the stock pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 45 minutes.
- Puree the soup using a hand blender while adding the heavy cream until it reaches a thin consistency.