Tomatoes contain beta carotene, B complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sulfphur, quercitin, histamine, and lycopene. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant and is being researched as a preventive agent for cancers of the lungs, prostate, pancreas, stomach, and cervix. It also protects against stroke, heart disease, and cataracts. Processing tomatoes with some oil enhances the absorption of lycopene, which is fat soluble.
Avoid tomatoes that are bruised or mushy. Ripe tomatoes should have a smooth, firm skin but yield slightly to the pressure of a finger. Vine-ripened tomatoes are best; sometimes non-organic commercial tomatoes are picked green and ripened with ethylene gas. Usually grocery stores will advertise vine-ripened tomatoes as such. Serve tomatoes in slices at room temperature, or add to salads, soup, sauces, or vegetable juices. Native versions were small, like cherry tomatoes, and most likely yellow rather than red. Herbs that complement the flavor of tomato include basil, dill, oregano, black pepper and rosemary,
Some people find that tomatoes cause irritable bowel, heartburn, migraines, and/or skin irritation. Tomatoes also contain the alkaloid solanine and oxalic acid, which can inhibit calcium absorption; those with arthritis should eat tomatoes only in moderation.
Tomatoes are associated with the planet Venus, the element of Water and the energies of prosperity, health, love and protection. As tomatoes were considered a food of fortune, one still sees this symbolism in red tomato pincushions.
You can use this sauce on pasta or pizza.
2 large tomatoes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 2 hours
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil (optional)
1 teaspoon anise or fennel seed
1 tablespoon of honey or agave
1 teaspoons Celtic salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Makes 3 cups.
Try this on: Summer Squash Pasta
What do you enjoy about tomatoes?