TOMATOES!!! The Fruit That Acts Like A Vegie

Tomatoes are loaded with many health properties, every home should always have them in there kitchen or pantry. Tomatoes are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. One medium tomato, about 4 oz, provides 22 calories, 0g of fat, 5g of carbohydrate (including 1g of fiber and 3g of sugar) and 1g of protein. Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamins A, C, & K, Folate, Potassim and Folic Acid. Vitamin K and C are very good for strengthening and repairing bones as, vitamin A improves vision and help prevent night blindness, it also can make hair strong and shiny. Tomatoes also have beneficial nutrients and antioxidents including alpha-lipoic acid which helps the body convert glucose to energy, a good source of Chromium which helps regulate blood sugar and lycopene. Lycopene makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, improves bone mass and can reduce the risk of several cancers. Lycopene also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, memory and assists in the absorption of fats, so it is necessary to include it in your diet. Tomatoes also include Thiamin, niacin, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Copper. Since tomatoes are a great source of potassium they can create a 20% decrease in dying from all causes, if included regularly in your diet. Some easy ways to include them into your diet may be: adding tomatoes to your sandwich’s, chopped up in a salad, using marinara or tomato based sauces as opposed to cream based sauces, drinking tomato juice, adding to eggs or breakfast taco, adding canned or stewed tomatoes to soups and stews, or even making your own salsa with lots of fresh or canned tomatoes. Salsa is a great replacement for high fat salad dressing and is very tasty on meats, fish and eggs. Here is a few delicious recipes you can use to help include tomatoes into your everyday diet. ENJOY!!!

Almost Homemade Garlic and Onion Tomato Sauce

Servings: 4 (about ¾ -1 Cup each)

2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2/3 cup chopped Sweet Onion

½ cup chopped Red, Yellow, or Orange Peppers

2 tsp minced, Garlic

a dash of Black Pepper

¼ cup chopped Fresh Basil

2 cups Bottled or Canned Marinara Sauce

¼ cup Red Wine of choice such as Merlot (optional)

*Add Olive Oil, to a medium nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat, once oil is hot add onion and bell pepper and saute until soft (about 4 mins)

*Reduce heat to low stir in Garlic and Black Pepper and cook about 1 min. longer until Garlic begins to foam.

*Stir in the Fresh Basil, Marinara, and Wine (if using), and simmer until the sauce is good and hot (about a min or 2 longer)

*Serve with cooked pasta, chicken, fish, etc.

Per Serving: 132 calories, 3g Protien, 17g Carb, 6g Fat, 0.9g Sat Fat, 3.8g Monounstaturated Fat, 1.4g Polyunstaurated Fat,

0mg Cholesterol, 3g Fiber, about 500mg Sodium (depending on what marinara sauce using) calories from fat 41%

Restaurant Style Salsa

Servings: 12 Prep Time: 10 mins Difficulty: Easy

1 can (28oz) Whole Tomatoes with juice

2 cans (10oz) Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)

¼ cup chopped Onion

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 whole Jalapeno, quartered and sliced thin

¼ tsp Agave Nectar, Sugar or Splenda

¼ tsp Salt

¼ tsp Ground Cumin

½ cup Cilantro (can use more if desired)

Juice from ½ of a large lime (can use more if desired)

*Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, Onion, Jalapeno, Garlic, Agave/Sugar/Sweetener (which ever one using), Salt, Cumin, Lime Juice, and Cilantro in a blender or food processor.

*Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you would like, I do about 8-10 pulses.

*Test seasonings and adjust as needed- remember keep in mind if your serving with tortilla chips the chips already have salt so adjust the salt accordingly

*Refrigerate Salsa for at least 1 hour and serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos

*NOTE: Recommend using a 12 cup blender or food processor or process the ingredients in small batches then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl

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