Tomatoes are easy to find in the market or grocery stores. Dieticians and professional chefs recommend them because, aside from making a dish delicious, they are good for your health.
Tomatoes are so powerful when it comes to fighting diseases because lycopene is its prime antioxidant. Aside from lycopene, tomatoes contain other vitamins and minerals that are essential for your health.
If you are not fond of tomatoes, allow this article to help you know more about this plant and how beneficial it is to your whole system. Dig deep and start living a healthier life with tomatoes!
A Brief History of Tomato's Popularity
Food historians and botanists believe that tomatoes originated in the Americas because the Aztecs were the first recorded civilization to cultivate tomatoes around 700 AD. Tomatoes were then introduced to Europeans in the 1500s when they started bringing back spices from their colonies.
At first, they thought tomatoes were poisonous. Back then, wealthy people ate with flatware made of pewter, a malleable metal alloy with a high amount of lead. However, tomatoes contain acid that, when mixed with lead, results in lead poisoning and death. Common people, on the other hand, used wooden plates and utensils, so they didn't have an aversion to tomatoes.
In the 1800s, tomatoes achieved global recognition. One food that wouldn’t be complete without tomatoes is pizza. It was invented in the late 1880s by a baker named Raffaele Esposito in Naples, Italy, to honor the visit of King Umberto and Queen Margherita.
The baker prepared pizza with basil leaves, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese, representing the Italian flag. He called it Pizza Margherita, which remains the standard recipe for pizza. Pizza became popular from then on, and tomatoes became a common ingredient for Europeans.
In the United States, tomatoes became a staple vegetable in the kitchen before the Civil War and made a lasting impact on American eating habits. Today, Americans are responsible for the consumption of over 12 million tons of tomatoes annually.
Is Tomato a Fruit or a Vegetable?
You must have heard debates about whether tomatoes are fruits or vegetables. Actually, tomatoes have been classified as both in specific periods in history.
Do you know the difference between fruit and vegetable? Fruits are the edible part of a plant that you can eat raw, while vegetables usually refer to the fresh edible portions of certain herbaceous plants.
Tomatoes were classified as fruits in the 1800s to avoid taxation. But in 1893, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that tomatoes are vegetables and must be taxed in accordance with the law.
The Different Types of Tomatoes
You can find tomato varieties in all parts of the world, and you should know the perfect type for the dish you plan to prepare.
If you want a cute and tender tomato variety, cherry tomato is perfect because it is small and has thin skin. It is also sweet, juicy, and crispy when you take a bite.
You can incorporate cherry tomatoes in salads, sauces, and skewers.
Do you want an easy-to-slice tomato? Then, you should get a cocktail tomato. It has a soft wall, few seeds, and an herbaceous aroma. It is also sweet and juicy and has the traditional tomato flavor.
You can roast cocktail tomatoes or use them for stuffing, pasta, and sauces.
Crunchy, versatile, and meaty, the grape tomato has the distinct oval shape of a grape. It is also juicy, has a sweet to tangy flavor, and contains the perfect sugar-to-acid balance for a better taste.
You can enjoy grape tomatoes in your salad and sandwiches.
Red Beefsteak Tomato
The traditional tomato is large, firm, meaty, and vibrant. Red beefsteak tomato is flavorful and juicy, perfect for salsa, sauces, dips, burgers, and grilling.
Green Beefsteak Tomato
This tomato is round, firm, and quite large. It also has a bright green color. Try to take a bite, and you will enjoy its versatile, crisp, and tangy flavor. It is also perfect for juicing, grilling, and pickling.
Tomato on a Vine
If you want to see fully ripe tomatoes, you have to leave them on the vine and enjoy the plant's nutrients. When it's time to pick them up, you can feel how firm they are. They usually have thick walls, and you can definitely enjoy their garden-fresh taste.
Tomato plants are great in sauces, soups, baked foods, and jams.
What makes Roma tomato unique is its dense and grainy flesh. It has few seeds and a garden-fresh tomato taste.
Roma tomatoes are best for sandwiches, salads, and sauces.
Passed down for generations, heirloom tomatoes have been one of the longest companions of cooks and chefs. These tomatoes are firm and meaty and have a deep rich color. Once you taste it, you'll find that heirloom tomatoes can be sweet to tangy.
Aside from adding them to salads and sandwiches, you can make a jam out of heirloom tomatoes.
Nutrients You Can Get from Sweet Million Cherry Tomatoes
Sweet Million cherry tomatoes are small but packed with nutrients that are vital to your health. The last thing you want is to be sick, so you have to do something to fortify your immune system. Aside from taking vitamins, you should eat more nutritious foods and add recipes that require tomatoes to your meal plan.
Here are the health benefits of eating tomatoes regularly.
- Alpha- and beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein are the four major carotenoids present in tomatoes. Lycopene has the highest antioxidant activity among them.
- Tomatoes can prevent certain forms of cancer like prostate and pancreatic cancers.
- Vitamins A, E, and C are high-powered antioxidants that you can get when you eat tomatoes.
- Tomatoes are also rich in potassium, a mineral which we don't get enough of.
- Tomato consumption increases the concentration of lycopene in breast milk. Lycopene is good for mothers who are actively breastfeeding.
Original Recipe: Chickpea Curry and Tomato Soup
Many recipes out there require tomatoes. However, this chickpea curry and tomato soup recipe by Karviva partner Vegan With Curves is something you need to try. You can also share it with your loved ones.
- 8 medium tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ medium onions
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup Karviva’s Whole Plant Tonic
- 2 teaspoon dried basil
Vegan Chickpea Curry
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 1 16-ounce can of chickpeas (drained) or 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Ms. Dash Seasoning (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 1½ cup coconut milk
- 1½ tablespoon turmeric
- 1 cup spinach (packed)
- ½ cup tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon squeezed lime juice (optional)
- Begin by slicing your tomatoes. Put them in a baking pan after slicing.
- Drizzle olive oil on top of tomatoes. Then, sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper over tomatoes and roast for 15 minutes at 375°F.
- After 15 minutes, add sliced onions to the tray and roast everything for an additional 15 minutes at 375°F.
- Once everything is well-roasted, add your tomatoes and onions over to a medium-sized pot.
- Add vegetable broth, Karviva Rejuvenate Whole Plant Juice, and dried basil to your pot.
- Turn heat on low to simmer your soup for about 10 minutes until most of the liquid is gone.
- Once the tomato soup has simmered for 10 minutes, use an immersion blender to blend it all together until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Then, transfer it back to your pot.
- Turn off heat, set your pot aside, and begin to prepare your vegan chickpea curry.
Vegan Chickpea Curry
- In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions. Stir frequently until the onion is soft and turning brown.
- Next, add the chickpeas, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, Ms. Dash Seasoning (optional), salt, and pepper; stir and cook for 60 seconds to fully coat and toast the chickpeas.
- Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, and turmeric powder. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Simmer the vegan chickpea curry for about 10 to 15 minutes until the liquid in the skillet has reduced and thickened.
- Once the chickpea curry has thickened, add the tomatoes, spinach, cilantro, and squeezed lime. Continue to cook and occasionally stir for about 2 to 3 minutes until the spinach has wilted down.
- Serve hot with your tomato soup!
The world has a massive supply of tomatoes, and you should take advantage of it by incorporating them into your daily meals. Sweet Million cherry tomatoes, for example, are rich in nutrients that are essential for your health.
Aside from tomatoes, add Karviva’s whole-plant juices and tonics to your everyday diet and start a healthier lifestyle! Buy our awesome products by visiting Karviva stores near you. You may also visit Amazon for hassle-free shopping.