A healthy eating plan must include a lot of nutritious vegetables. Fortunately, the days of the hothouse tomato and the red delicious apple are long gone. These days, even mainstream grocery stores carry organic produce and at least some exotic vegetables you might not be able to identify. Farmers markets and health food stores showcase locally grown vegetables.
Even people who say “I don’t like vegetables,” generally eat tomatoes, even if it’s only on a sandwich, in pasta, or on pizza. It’s time to broaden your horizons and make heirloom tomatoes part of you healthy eating plan.
Tomatoes are very low in calories and they are an excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Dieticians and nutritionists recommend them as part of a healthy diet for people who have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
The many antioxidants present in tomatoes are protective against various types of cancer, while the lycopene in tomatoes helps protect our cells from harmful oxygen-free radicals. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and are rich in potassium.
Try Heirloom Tomatoes as Part of your Healthy Eating Plan
If you’ve never tried an heirloom tomato, you’re in for a real treat! They have names like Brandywine, Green Zebra and Cherokee Purple, and range in color range from deep purple to bright red and even lime green with stripes and vary in size and shape. Heirloom tomatoes are grown by smaller farms from seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Healthy Eating Plan Recipe for Grilled Heirloom Tomato Soup with Crab & Chives
Try this healthy heirloom tomato soup recipe from Whole Foods:
Ingredients (serves 4)
• 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
• 1 small sweet onion or red onion, cut in eighths through the root
• 1 slice country-style bread
• Zest and juice of 1 orange or 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
• Ground black pepper, to taste
• 4 ounces lump crab meat
• Chopped fresh chives for garnish
1. Preheat the grill to high heat. If the tomatoes are very large, slice them in half crosswise. If they are smaller, grill them whole.
2. When the grill is hot, grill tomatoes until lightly charred all over, turning occasionally, 6 to 10 minutes.
3. Grill onion until charred on all sides, turning occasionally, 6 to 10 minutes.
4. Add the slice of bread and grill both sides until lightly toasted, 2 to 4 minutes.
5. Set everything aside until cool enough to handle.
6. Cut tomatoes, onion and bread into large chunks. Puree in batches with orange zest and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, until a thick puree is obtained.
7. Chill soup. Before serving, taste and adjust seasoning with pepper and orange juice or vinegar. Pour into bowls and garnish with crab and chives.
Nutrition (per serving, about ¾ cups)
Fiber: 4 g
Click here for this healthy eating plan recipe for Grilled Heirloom Tomato Soup with Crab & Chives.