Fresh Tomatoes

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.

Tomato Juice
Tomato Juice

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. 

Tomato Uses
Tomato Uses

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 idea
Tomato meal idea

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. 

Enjoy Tomato soup
Enjoy Tomato soup

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.

This article has 22 Comments

  1. Tomato is one of my favourite vegetable (or fruit 😆). I have heard so many times that it contains good stuffs and I am privileged to know what the contents are after reading this article. I think carotene is also found in carrots and some other fruits.

    I have eaten a lot of those recipes you shared in this post. Delicious recipes… I love tomatoes (and even onions) raw (when not properly cooked) in these recipes.

  2. If there is one food in the world that I love most that are the Tomato. I come from Africa too, but now live Europe and I still love the Tomato. With my limited experience, there are only two things I could suggest is that you might consider placing more images of the juicy goodness you are talking about.

    I would also like to say congrats, you have come a long way from the posts made in 2015.

    Regards Tania

  3. Hi

    Thank you for sharing your post
    It is really good i love tomatoes and i also like learning new ways to prepare as well.
    I often use tomato in a Persian salad called salad Shirazi tomato, cucumber, and red onion.
    But best of all i really love the smell of the new summer tomatoes they smell so good.
    Tomatoes are good for breaking down fat as well.
    Tracey

  4. Hello Juliet.

    I started eating tomatoes when I was old because I didn’t like it before. I eat it today but I cannot say that I am very fond of this fruit.

    I agree with you that the tomato is full of good nutrients and that’s why I eat a little.

    I use it mainly in salads and sandwiches but I like soups and tomato juice.

    I always like ketchup and I always ask why I don’t like the tomato itself more than that.

    I must admit that all of your recipe suggestions seem delicious.

    Your article is very refreshing and interesting.

  5. I just love tomatoes. They do have many health benefits. I just didn’t realize how many. I enjoy tomatoes mostly in salads and sandwiches. When I was growing up we had tomatoes in our garden and also got fresh tomatoes from relatives and they were so tasty and nutritious. The soil back then was not as depleted as it is today.

    I never heard of them being a skin cleanser. Tomato soup is one of my favorites even today. I especially liked it when I was down with a cold or flu. 

    Thanks so much for this information as it brings back many good memories. All the Best to You

  6. I absolutely LOVE tomatoes. We usually grow a big garden but as our health has declined we were forced to minimize and only grow what we can handle. Tomatoes are a necessity for us. We have at least 6 plants every year. All tomatoes taste good but there is nothing as good as a homegrown tomato, aged naturally in the sun. Store-bought just don’t have the flavor that I have come to love but will work if that is all that is available. I eat tomatoes like you would eat an apple if it is a good one. I also stuff them with chicken salad or tuna salad. I can and freeze them every summer. We eat them as soon as they are ripe. They also enhance any beef gravy or stock and give it that dark color and the flavor. we are also diabetic and make our own ketchup with tomato paste, way too much sugar in most condiments. I add tomatoes to all my recipes as I never follow a recipe to the letter. I have a natural ability to figure out what would taste good with what, I believe it came from being a bartender for so many years. We grew the best tomatoes I have ever eaten in the last couple of years. the plot had birds hanging over the soil years ago that may have been it or the fact that my dog urinates on the plants often. I don’t care if it is gross they taste wonderful (after washing of course). we buy low acidic brands as I will eat them until my face breaks out if we don’t. I am a person that doesn’t care if they are a fruit or vegetable I just know they are one of the greatest things to eat we have been blessed with.  I am in total agreement and we could exchange recipes! Thanks! Come on spring!

  7. And still, to this day gets mistaken as a vegetable when it’s really
    a fruit?
    I love tomatos, have them in almost every meal. Thanks for writing about it, I have learnt a lot about its nutritional benefits and unique uses. 
    I never knew you could use tomato as a mouth wash or as a skin cleanser. Thanks for this information. 

  8. I love tomatoes.  They come in a variety of colours and sizes and acidity levels.  There are tomatoes fit for a variety of taste buds.  The vegetable-fruits can be a bit tricky to grow at times if you garden, but if you can succeed with just one plant, you can grow more by cutting off their suckers or runners. With all that can be done with tomatoes healthwise having as many of them in your life as possible is a good thing.  A kitchen is not complete without them.

  9. Wow. This is such an informative article about tomato and thank you for this useful explanation given. I want to tell you that tomatoes in my country are the most popular vegetables. I and my family have a greenhouse where we grow many tomatoes every year. Fortunately, the government with money also helps, a financing program called “help the tomatoes”. There is no food without tomatoes and our favorite are bruschetti with tomatoes, olive oil and basil pieces. You gotta try it too.
    Thanks again and I wish you good luck!

  10. It was such a pleasure reading this article because tomato is my favourite vegetable. The colour, the way I can use it in gravies, salads, sandwiches makes it a must have in my shopping cart. I am glad to know that it has so many nutrients in it and it is therefore good for me. I have never had any of those side effects mentioned. Maybe it is because I have never had too much in one sitting. Thank you for this information

  11. I’ve had tomatoes since I was a child. If I remember correctly, I think it tagged along most of our dishes. But I have to admit, I never really put any thought into its benefits and clearly, it is packed with nutrients. Also, it’s uses appears to boarder across consumption. Tomatoes are without doubt, superfoods. Thanks 

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