18 Feb 2011

Tomatoes


Tomatoes are now the the World’s most popular fruit. They are a wonderful addition to a rawfood diet as they enhance the flavour of many savoury dishes. Tomatoes are the fruit of the Solanum lycopersicum plant and were first cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas. Explorers brought them to Europe around the mid 1500's. Tomatoes are the same nightshade family as potatoes, eggplants, chili peppers, tobacco and the poisonous herb belladonna. Only the fruit can be eaten as the leaves are toxic.

Nutritionally tomatoes contain an excellent amount of vitamins A, C and K, with very good amounts of vitamin B1 (thiamin), dietary fibre, molybdenum, potassium, manganese and chromium. They also contain good amounts of vitamins B3 (niacin), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and E, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and tryptopan. A cup of chopped tomato has approximately 1 1/2 grams of protein and is less than 40 calories. Note that the highest concentration of vitamin C is in the jelly like coating around the seeds.  
   
Due to their high vitamin and mineral content, tomatoes are therefore excellent for our health. They reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cataracts. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, which is what gives tomatoes their red colour and is a very powerful antioxidant. Lycopene neutralizes free radicals, therefore protecting cells and other structures in the body from damage, and also helps prevent heart disease andstudies show it helps protect against prostate, breast and other cancers. Lycopene is fat soluble so is it is best to eat tomatoes with oil rich foods like nut butters, avos, or vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil. The vitamin K content in tomatoes aids bone heath.

When purchasing tomatoes be sure to purchase the organic, vine ripened variety. Normal commercial tomatoes are picked green and ripened with ethylene gas and are far less nutritious. Cold temperatures lessen the flavor in tomatoes so storing at room temperature is best. Excess tomatoes can always be dehydrated.

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Raw V8 Juice
From the Pretty Smart Raw Food Ideas blog  

1 sm beet, washed well
3 lg tomatoes
1 bunch spinach (or 1 bag baby spinach)
1/4 head cabbage
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 stalks celery
1/4 onion
1/2 clove garlic, or to taste
1 – 3 kale leaves (a little goes a long way)
chili pepper to taste

Process all ingredients through a juicer or in a high speed blender. Tabasco sauce to taste can be substituted for the chili pepper.

Rich Red Raw Tomato Sauce
Posted by Brigitte Mars at Care2  
You can use this sauce on pasta or pizza.

2 large tomatoes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 2 hours
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil (optional)
1 tsp anise or fennel seed
1 tblsp of agave or other sweetner
1 tsps Celtic salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Makes 3 cups. Try on Summer Squash Pasta

Raw Ketchup
Health Freedom Resources  From Raw: The Uncook Book by Juliano  

1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsps ginger
1/4 cup onion, chopped
8 fresh basil leaves
6 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp Nama Shoyu or 1 tsp Celtic sea salt

Throw all ingredients into a blender (use a blending jar if you have one) and puree. Lasts 2 weeks when refrigerated.

Traditional Spanish Gazpacho
By Cecilia Kinzie of Rawglow 

Soup
10 medium ripe tomatoes
1/2cucumber (about 3 inch piece)
1/2 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
2-3 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)

Add all soup ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Let soup sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before garnishing and serving. Gazpacho is also better the next day.

Suggested Garnishes
flaked Dulse or pieces of torn Dulse
2 tbsps chopped green onion or chives
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup diced cucumbers
diced avocado
1-2 tbsps ground flax or sesame seeds to be used as bread crumbs (optional)
A drizzle of olive oil.

Spaghetti al Marinara
BY Esme Stevens of The Best of Raw Food

Spaghetti
3 yellow summer squash or zucchini

Marinara Sauce
6 large tomatoes
5 sun dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch fresh basil
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 dates, pitted
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

For The Pasta
There are several ways to make pasta from a squash. A julienne peeler, an ordinary potato peeler (peel thin slices of the squash, then with a fork or knife, create thin strands of "pasta") or use a spiralizer. Cut the zucchini in about four pieces and by putting them in the mandolin, you can create beautiful thin angel hair pasta. Put the pasta strands in a bowl and sprinkle with a mixture of olive oil and some salt. Set aside.

For The Marinara Sauce
Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until creamy. Add purified water if you feel the consistency is too thick.

For serving
Take off the excess oil of the pasta. Put the pasta on a plate and top with the sauce. You may add additional toppings such as slice olives, chopped tomatoes, onions or basil leafs. Serves 4

See website for other ways to serve this dish, plus lots of other great rawfood recipes.

Salsa Cruda (Raw Tomato Salsa)
This salsa is exceptionally versatile and can be served with tortilla chips, seared tofu, and alongside rice and beans.

6 tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped very fine
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped very fine
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 2 limes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix well. Season to taste. (Alternatively, chop onion and jalapeno in a food processor. Add quartered tomatoes, olive oil and lime juice and pulse until the salsa reaches desired consistency. Stir in cilantro and seasoning.)

3 comments:

cube said...

They all sound yummy, but especially the salsa cruda.

Your V8 recipe reminds me of the time many years ago when I decided to make a healthy juice for my family, especially my little sisters who wouldn't eat their veggies.

It was CCO juice... basically just carrots, celery and orange juice, strained and served cold.

My mother made my sisters drink it and they hated it. They're both adults now and they still haven't forgiven me for that brainstorm.

Anji said...

So simple, a tomato. I love them. They're good for tempting small children too as they're red

Dirty Butter said...

I didn't know that the vitamin C was in the jelly around the seeds. And I tend to leave the seeds on the plate if that's what's left. Hmmmm
Do we get any protein from the seeds themselves?