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July and August are best months to take advantage of the best that farmers markets have to offer, especially in the northern states. It is after all, tomato season. This is the time of year when you can actually smell the familiar aroma of tangy freshness that arises when you cut into a tomato. It’s best to capture the flavors of the tomato in your daily diet this time of year, when not only the tomatoes are freshest, but also when they are their most nutritious.
Tomatoes are nutrition powerhouses.
Tomatoes are high in lycopene and carotenoids. A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology showed the tomato paste containing lycopene protected against photodamage in skin cells. Tomatoes are also high in vitamins C, K, and A. As if we didn’t need extra reasons to eat tomatoes by now, tomatoes also contain 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid, which studies show helps normalize lipid metabolism.
Here are our top 10 most delicious ways to eat fresh tomatoes this summer:
Raid the farmers market for peppers, tomatoes, onions, parsley, and cilantro. There is nothing better than fresh homemade salsa with tortilla chips and a cold beer on a weekend summer night.
Caprese salad provides the greatest taste return on taste for your time. It takes 5 minutes to make, but it is perfect to linger over during a long dinner.
Screw V8 juice, homemade tomato juice has nothing on bottled tomato juice. Seriously, this stuff is like the nectar of gods.
Who knew that cold soup could taste so good? Gazpacho is like the love child of salsa and tomato juice. Simply amazing.
Need something heartier? Try stuffed tomatoes. Large tomatoes make great vegetarian entrees, and smaller tomatoes make perfect hors d’oeuvres.
Cottage Cheese and Tomato Snack
Tomatoes and cottage cheese make the perfect “snack soul mates”, especially if you are looking for a high protein, low fat food.
Crust + basil + olive oil + fresh tomatoes = heaven. No sauce needed.
Use whole wheat pasta, low fat yogurt dressing, and fresh vegetables from the farmers market for an easy dish to bring to a backyard potluck.
This appetizer is a classic for a reason – it’s a no fail crowd pleaser.
Homemade Bloody Mary Mix
If you are going to drink, at least get your daily vitamins in with your vodka.
What are your favorite ways to eat tomatoes in the summer?
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