Is tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Some say it’s a fruit, some say it’s a vegetable while some say it’s both. Would you chop some tomatoes into your fruit salad? May be you would but I think tomato goes better with lettuce, cucumber and so on. Tomato grows like a fruit but it is consumed as a vegetable. What exactly are the health benefits in tomato? And what are the uses of tomato? What meals can you prepare with tomato? You are about to find out in this post.
Nutrients and Benefits in Tomato
Tomato contains the following nutrients:
Vitamin A. Protects the body immune system, also good for maintaining healthy eyes and healthy skin.
Vitamin C. Good for growth and the healing of wounds.
Antioxidants. Protects body cells from getting damaged.
The main nutrient in tomato is Lycopene, This is the red in tomato, it’s called carotene.
Tomato is generally Very good for the eyes. Reduces High Blood Pressure. Heart health. Skin care. Prevents Gallstones . Helps manage diabetes. Improves the digestive system. Boosts immunity. Prevents cancer.
Lowers body (bad) cholesterol. This lowers the risk of having a stroke.
What is tomato used for
In salads, tomatos could be chopped in or sliced on to salads. It’s lovely to see the red colour in salads and it tastes good too.
Breakfast, tomato is always a great part of breakfast. It can be grilled or eaten fresh.
In sandwiches, thin slices of tomato would make any sandwich very delicious and good for your body system.
Baby mouth wash. I used this method to clean my children’s mouths when they were babies and was really fascinated at how they sucked at it while their mouths were being cleaned. Wrap a layer of cotton wool round your little finger. Dip it into a fresh tomato to get it soaked in tomato juice. Carefully wipe the inside of baby’s mouth with it. It’s the best baby tooth paste!
Face mask or face cleanser: Tomato will clean dirt from your face and leave it glowing. Cut a tomato into two and rub it evenly over your face. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water
Skin cleanser: Tomato wakes up your skin, and cleans it, you can mix a drop or two drops of lemon juice into a tablespoon of tomato juice, spread it on your skin, leave for 10 minutes and rinse it off. Do it twice a week.
Soups – You can buy tomato soup in a can but it is best made from fresh tomatoes. Ingredients: Tomato, Onion, Flour, stock and a teaspoon of tomato puree. Ripe tomatoes are the best to use in making tomato soup. Serve it with some vegetables right inside it, that always works for me.
Meals. Tomatoes are a major part of many meals. Some meals such as Jollof rice, beans and yam porridge are actually cooked in tomato sauce
Tomato juice. A very healthy drink is the fresh tomato juice drink. Cut tomato into chunks put them into a juicer with some carrot or apple to make it taste better
Tomato Smootie. This drink is thicker than the juice because the tomato pulp is blended into it. Just like the juice, blend some apples, carrots or both into it.
Tomato paste. Tomato is made into a thick paste. This paste is used to thicken soups and stews. And in some cases the paste serves as colouring for the meal.
Tomato jam. This is tomato preserved with sugar, similar to marmalade
Tomato ketchup is a condiment, it adds flavour to food.
Tomato meal ideas
Tompep is my combination of tomatoe, bell pepper, onion and scotch bonnet pepper. These are blended in a unique combination and used as a base for many meals.
my signature tomatoe sauce. Fry some chopped onions in 1 tablespoon of oil. Add tompep. Add Derica. Add spices. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serves as sauces for: fries, toast, bread, rice, pasta. This sauce can be made in various flavours such as beef, fish or poultry.
Tomato soup. Made with smooth blended tomato. It is served with crusty bread. I prefer it with garlic bread.
British breakfast. Tomato in a British breakfast is cut into 2 equal halfs. the open surface is spiced and the tomato is grilled for about 4 minutes.
Jollof rice. This rice cooked in tomato sauce. Jollof rice is the most healthy way to eat rice. The way it is cooked traditionally can make it very unhealthy. There is a lot of oil involved traditionally, but with my method you only need 1 table spoon of oil or no oil at all.
Omelettes. Chop tomatoe into 1/2 inch cubes, chop onions, chop scotch bonnet fry this in 1 table spoon of olive oil. Cook till ingrdients are soft. Add beaten eggs. Mix and keep mixing till it is nice and firm. serve with toast, yam or potatoes.
Beans porridge. Bring water to the boil. Add washed beans. Add some tompep. Add some chopped onions. Cook till soft. Mix and serve. Serve with fried plantain or mix some sweet corn into it.
Bean and yam porridge: Pick your beans to rid it of remaining chaff . Rinse and add water. Place on medium heat for about 30 minutes. Add yam and chopped onions. Then add a portion of my tompep. Boil till very soft. Mix and serve.
Plantain Porridge: Chop unripe Plantain into 1 cm cubes. Cook them in blended tomato and spices till they are soft.
Vegetable stew: make my signature tomato sauce. Add chopped dark green vegetables to it, simmer for 5 minutes and serve
Can you eat too much tomatoes?
Tomatoes are healthy but they are acidic, eating too much of it could make your tummy acidic and cause heart burn. Eating too much tomato can also decolour the skin or cause diarrhoea. It is also advised not to eat tomatoes on an empty stomach.
Tomato leaves are dangerous, avoid them.
Start enjoying your tomatoes
Include tomatoes in your salads and meals, or simply snack on them. You can eat them fresh, cook them whole or you can blend them into soups, stews or drinks.
Remember: You are cooking with a purpose and “being healthy is not what you do, it’s who you are.
Let me know about your experience with tomatoes, and how you are getting on with tomatoes. Or if you have any questions Leave a comment below.