Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Superfoods: Tomatoes

Superfoods are foods with high nutrient content that help reduce risks of diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and more.  There were 14 original superfoods, but many more have been identified. 
Tomatoes are one of the original superfoods boasting disease fighting lycopene.  Lycopene is said to help fight all sorts of cancers including lung, breast and prostate.  Additional benefits from the tomato could reduce risks of heart attacks and strokes.  All good things! 

Tomato sauce and paste actually have more lycopene than fresh tomatoes.  It is recommended to have a serving every one to two days.  Tomatoes are versatile and tasty so this is an easy addition to most diets.  
Tomatoes are also one of the easiest vegetables to grow, and they produce so much bounty that they should be included in any backyard garden.  With tomato plants in the backyard, you can have fresh tomatoes in your salad all summer along with plenty of extra tomatoes to freeze, share or make into sauce.  I just finished using up my frozen tomatoes this weekend in a big batch of chili.  Earlier this winter I made several BIG batches of tomato sauce with our home grown tomatoes. 
The weather in Chicago has been warmer than usual, so we decided to plant our tomatoes this past weekend, which is a little earlier than usual.  My husband took the lead on tomato planting this year.  He started by turning the soil.  Then he added some top soil and evened everything out. 
After he got all the plants into the ground, I helped by putting the tomato cages on.  I learned last year that it is much easier to get the tomato cages on when the plants are small.  Hopefully we get lots of tasty tomatoes this year! 

Do you prefer fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce?

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