One of my favorite parts of the summer is the amazing produce that grows throughout this season. This week we are exploring the amazing summer treat – tomatoes. Cruise through any farmer’s market right now and you will be gifted with a bounty of different classifications that yield the many shapes, sizes, and heirloom varieties. Mind blowing fact – some botanists estimate there are as many as 10,000 different cultivars of tomatoes.
In the great debate of ‘is it a fruit or a vegetable?’, my professional dietitian opinion is that it is both. While botanically classified as a fruit, nutritionally a serving of tomatoes resembles the caloric content of a non-starchy vegetable rather than a typical serving of fruit.
Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. For approximately 20 Calories in a 100g (3.5oz) serving, they provide a hefty dose of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Fiber. Further, a nutrient unique to tomatoes is a carotenoid known as lycopene. This antioxidant is powerful in reducing risk of strokes, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing prostate cancer risk. Since lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient, tomatoes require a source of fat at the meal to best absorb this antioxidant.
Want a new way to use tomatoes? Try Romesco Sauce. This dip native to Spain is a zippy, complex addition to vegetables, poultry, fish, and more!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
- 1lb fresh Roma or plum tomatoes, deseeded
- 1 large red bell pepper, roasted (either homemade or jarred)
- ½ cup roasted almonds
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Combine all ingredients except olive oil in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse on low until ingredients begin to blend together.
- With motor still running, slowly add olive oil to mixture until all ingredients are incorporated. Mixture is not meant to be completely smooth.
This is traditionally served with grilled green onions, but also great as a condiment for other grilled vegetables, chicken, fish, and eggs.
By Sarah Lawson, CD, RD, Registered Dietitian at PRO Medical
PRO Medical’s Registered Dietitians provide personalized meal plans and education to support you in making realistic lifestyle changes and in achieving your individual goals. We have experts in a variety of areas and provide support for adults, pediatrics and families.
Check out more healthy recipes from our team of Registered Dietitians here.