This versatile vegetable* is in season from June until September, and we are showcasing it all month long as our featured superfood! Whether raw in salads, sliced on sandwiches, or simmered in sauces, tomatoes complement most cuisines and can be prepared through a variety of methods: roasting, grilling, stewing, drying, or reducing (such as with soups, chutneys, and jams).
Tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of potassium. They contain carotenoids alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. Because lycopene is fat-soluble, it is best to eat tomatoes with a fat source, such as olive oil or avocado, to increase absorption. Cooking tomatoes before eating them also helps the body absorb lycopene.
To keep your tomatoes as fresh as possible, be sure to store them at room temperature or between 55 degrees and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Place them in a single layer to avoid bruising. To store ripe tomatoes for more than a few days, especially in a hot climate, place them in the warmest part of the refrigerator.
View the menu for your local cafe to see how we’re cooking up tomatoes this month, then tell us what you think by visiting the Let’s Chat page!
Can't get enough of Living Well with Leah? Check out her previous blogs anytime by visiting her archive.
Source: Food & Nutrition Magazine, July-August 2017
*Botanically, tomatoes are fruit, even though they often are referred to as vegetables thanks to an 1893 government classification that declared them as a vegetable for trade purposes. The tomato’s nutrient content is more similar to a vegetable than a fruit, as it contains significantly fewer calories and less sugars than other fruits.