Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, September 23rd, 2013
This summer went well in the garden. Almost too well as everywhere I go someone is trying to give me tomatoes from their garden. Good thing I love a home grown tomato, but even I can eat only so many. It is time to get creative.
Tomatoes are an amazing fruit. A nutrient rich powerhouse,
one serving of red, ripe, raw tomatoes (one cup) is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium. Tomatoes are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. On top of that, tomatoes provide 2 grams of fiber per serving and have a high water content so they are very filling.
If health does not hook you, maybe vanity will. Tomatoes’ lycopene also makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles.
And of course, tomatoes are a natural cancer fighter. They can reduce the risk of several cancers, including cervical, prostate, mouth, pharynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectal, prostate and ovarian cancer.
So now what to do with them all? This Italian believes, when life throws you tomatoes, make tomato sauce! When it comes to making a sauce I prefer it simple so you can taste the fresh tomatoes. Of course you can enhance this basic sauce with ground beef or sausage as well for more of an Italian gravy. Whip up batches and freeze for those cold winter nights to come.
Simple Raw Tomato Sauce
1 to 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, about 3 large tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or any other herbs from the garden.)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 pound whole wheat pasta noodles
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
If desired, peel tomatoes; remove seeds, straining juice into a bowl. Save the juice and discard seeds. In a food processor, combine garlic, tomatoes with juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and basil. Pulse quickly to chop roughly. Pulse more for a smoother sauce, if desired. Transfer to a bowl, add salt and pepper and let stand to marinate for about 20 minutes.
Cook pasta until just tender, drain and toss hot with the marinated tomato sauce. If hotter spaghetti is desired, heat the sauce just until hot on stovetop or in microwave. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4 to 6.
So when your neighbor wants to unload a bag of tomatoes on you, thank her and start cooking. Come February, you will be glad you did.
Sherri Sacconaghi, AADP, NASM-CPT
Certified Health Coach
"Inspiring you Towards a Healthy Body and a Joyful Life".