Health benefits of tomatoes
Tomato fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E and phosphorus.
Spanish researchers found tomato-based sauce contains as many as 40 antioxidants which are believed to protect the heart from ‘oxidative stress’. Polyphenols are natural antioxidant molecules derived from vegetables. But in order to get all the good health benefits the ingredients have to be combined in the sauce, rather than eaten separately.
The researchers used a technique called high-resolution mass spectroscopy, and also found a number of other health-protecting compounds including carotenoids. The study was published in the journal Food Chemistry.
So, it’s time to think outside the jar. Head to the kitchen with these simple instructions!
If you are in the habit of buying jarred tomato sauce because it is more convenient, then you should stop right now! Despite what you might think, you don’t need a long list of ingredients or an entire afternoon of free time. The recipe offered bellow will have you saying goodbye to the supermarket sauce aisle for good!
This family recipe utilizes canned San Marzano tomatoes, which you can find just about anywhere.
While most jarred sauces tend to be thick and taste more like garlic than anything else, this sauce has a light, refreshing taste and a bitter-sweet tomato flavor.
It is simple and delicious. Don’t limit the stuff to spaghetti—it also makes a great complement to meatball subs, chicken parm, or baked ziti.
And because the recipe makes seven cups of sauce, feel free to share…
Homemade tomato sauce:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, halved
- 2 28-ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice
- 2 tablespoons hearty red wine (Merlot or a Cabernet works well)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
While the onion and garlic cook, pour the tomatoes and juice into a large bowl and squish with your hands until they reach a chunky consistency.
Add the tomatoes to the saucepan with the wine and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors combine – which takes about 35 minutes.
Discard the bay leaves and continue simmering, covered, until the sauce thickens for another 25 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, basil and parsley.
Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered until well combined, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon through the sauce and pick out the halves of garlic.
Season the sauce with a pinch of salt and pepper according to your taste.