Summer is coming at us fast, and that means it’s time to put away our heavy winter and spring stews and bring out something a little more refreshing.
In a more health conscious world, what could be better than juicy cherry tomatoes?
A cross breed between garden variety and wild tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are some of the most popular varieties of the fruit/vegetable available to us.
They’re sweeter than many full-sized tomato varieties, snackable and portable. Its wild parent is thought to be the only native North American variety of the wild tomato plant itself before it was cultivated for agricultural purposes.
Cherry and Roma Tomatoes are Delicious and Super Healthy
A colorful and delicious addition to any meal, cherry tomatoes are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and healthy fats (Mediterranean diet anyone?).
High in Vitamins A, C, and E, roma tomatoes could be considered a superfood akin to pomegranates, acai, and citrus relatives like guava and passionfruit.
This is especially important in the USA where deficiencies in vitamins A and C are common, as well as deficiencies in potassium intake.
Tomatoes on their own contain over 500 mg of potassium, comparable in amount to bananas, but are infinitely more usable in cooking and other lifestyle choices such as some skincare products and masks.
Tomatoes are also a perfect low calorie option for any diet. A medium sized tomato is less than 30 calories. A single cherry tomato will have even less, while still being absolutely jam-packed with essential nutrients, especially if you leave the skins on.
These benefits combined make them amazing for heart healthy individuals, as we all should try to be right?
But, that’s not all! Tomatoes’ high fiber content makes them excellent for healthy digestion and the acids and high vitamin C and A content are fantastic for maintaining your skin’s production of collagen and retinoid compounds whether you eat or drink them.
In a more general way, roma and cherry tomatoes are also excellent for bone health, eyesight, and even as an anti-carcinogenic food staple with an estimated 31% decrease in certain forms of cancer from people who consumed tomatoes regularly.
How to Enjoy Roma and Cherry Tomatoes
So, tomatoes are great for you, how do you enjoy them to the fullest?
Fortunately, there are seemingly endless options:
- Snack em’ - Cherry tomatoes are delicious on their own, and it’s easy to buy either on or off vine ripened pre-packaged cherry tomatoes in many colors and levels of sweetness at your grocery store,
- Pasta! - My personal favorite way to consume cherry tomatoes is within a pasta sauce or even as pre-made tomato additive noodles that are a lovely red color and can be found both fresh or dry and boxed, though I would always recommend fresh, wouldn’t you?
- Salads - Tomatoes add a fantastic, acidic crunch to your salads, either plopped in whole or halved with some basil and mozzarella.
- Salsa - Especially practical for the summer months, a simple tomato salsa is excellent with some tortilla chips after a day working out, gardening, or relaxing in the sun.
Recipe: A Simple Salsa
For summer, I like to use tomatoes in a classic pico de gallo salsa. It’s refreshing, delicious, and takes less than ten minutes while giving you around four cups worth of the good stuff.
The spice level can obviously be tailored to your preference, but I like it hot.
- 2 to 3 medium sized fresh tomatoes or 1 pound of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 jalapeño (stems, ribs, seeds removed)
- juice of one lime
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or a pinch of dried oregano if you have the cilantro tastes like soap gene)
- salt and pepper to taste
Dice everything to your desired chunkiness, mix together thoroughly. Then, serve with chips, quesadillas, tacos, carne asada, or whatever your heart desires.
How do you like to have your cherry or roma tomatoes?
Let us know all your ideas in the comments!