Updated: Feb 26
It’s time to once again deepdive into all the different ways to use a nutritious and delicious crop that people all over the world love. Last time we explored the lemon, this time we’re taking a look at the tomato. Personally, I’m crazy about tomatoes - and today I’ll show you why you should be too! It’s not only the versatility of the vegetable*, or the delicious flavour, but the tomato does in fact have many health benefits and could be used to boost, nourish and recuperate the body.
We’ve learned that out of all the food that goes to waste in Canadian households, vegetables take first place with the shockingly high 30%. At third place comes fruits, at 15%. This is a shame, because the second that product ends up in the trash, the whole production line of manual labor, water to grow the crop, emissions from transportation and in some cases the plastic used for packaging; has all been for nothing.
This is why we’re continuing this deepdive-of-a-produce series; to rekindle your relationship to food and awaken your creativity in order to see each useful side of all the fantastic resources we have accessible to us. Because in the trash is the last place that they should end up!
Exploring the health benefits of the tomato, we find vitamins such as;
Vitamin C (one medium sized tomato can fulfill about ⅓ of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C)
Potassium (helping to regulate blood pressure and prevent heart diseases)
Vitamin K (playing an important role when it comes to bone health)
Folate, one of the B vitamins (facilitating normal growth of tissue as well as cell function)
Besides these advantages, I came across a household remedy using tomatoes as a cure for sunburns or cooking burns (minor ones). The lycopene in the tomato has an amazing ability to fight off cellular damage and alleviate skin reddening. So, if you’re a clutz in the kitchen like me and manage to burn yourself quite often, put a slice of tomato on your burn and apply some pressure by wrapping your hand, let it rest for 10 min, and this should prevent your skin from forming a painful blister.
Moving on to the different ways of preserving your tomato!
A while back, embellir actually posted two different recipes of tomato soup in true zero waste spirit! Don't know what to eat for dinner tonight? Problem solved! The beauty of making tomato soup is the fact that your tomatoes don't have to be in tiptop shape, cause they're being simmered into a beautiful tasty liquid anyways! No need to waste those tired Tommies.
In my last post about lemons, I brought up dehydration. Turns out, this is a great method to use for tomatoes as well! You go about the same; rinse tomatoes, slice into thin slices and put in your dehydrator or oven on the lowest temperature for a longer period of time, flipping the slices occasionally. Once this is done, let cool and store in a container with olive oil to preserve and put in salads or hummus! To keep the dried tomatoes good for even longer, grind them up in a mixer or with a food processor to make tomato powder stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Tomato conserved bruschetta!
This is a delicious way to expand your tomatoes life span by at least 1 month provided you put in just a little effort. This tasty, creamy tomato spread it the perfect appetizer, alternatively just a spread to put on top of any slice of bread when feeling like treating yourself to something extra fancy. The recipe, along with all the other recipes in this blogpost, will be posted at the end! Make sure to check it out!
As always, there are so many other ways to use this crop apart from the ones I've stated, I could list hundreds of other recipes, however in that case we would end up with a blogpost so long the only person who would be down to read it would be my mom. Either way, I'm throwing in the towel and calling it a day. We will continue this series soon, if you happen to be curious about the different ways to use a specific fruit or veggie, don't hesitate to contact us with a suggestion!
We hope that you're all staying happy and healthy.
Until next time!
* Tomatoes are botanically classified as fruits, however most commonly eaten and prepared as if being a vegetable.