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25/02/2018

Tomatoes – Aztec Gold

tomatoes

Food should be fun and vibrant in colour, and there is nothing more vibrant than a bright red tomato. I was surprised to find out that this fruit was probably originally the size of a cherry tomato and yellow, rather than red.  Originally, tomatoes came from western South America and Central America. The word “tomato” is derived from a Spanish word that came from the Aztec language.   They are also known as “golden apple”, hence the Aztec gold.

In my household I have one son who loves tomatoes and will eat a tomato like an apple. My other son really dislikes raw tomatoes, but will happily eat them cooked in spaghetti bolognaise every day of the week, if you let him! The nice thing about a tomato based sauce, is that you can sneak lots of veggies into it.  My bolognaise sauce has onion, garlic, carrots and celery sauted first, before the mince is added, and it gives it a lovely flavour with lots of goodness.

Nutrition

The good news is that tomatoes are nutritious in both forms, raw and cooked! Raw they are higher in Vitamin C, which decreases slightly in the cooking process, but cooked they are higher in Lycopene, which has been shown to protect against various forms of cancer, especially prostate cancer, as well as being important for bone health and protecting against heart disease.

Recipes

If you are looking for some inspiration for new recipes for your tomatoes, how about a Mexican twist? Tomatoes have been used for many years in Mexico, and tacos are a firm favourite dinner idea in my household, and such messy fun. As mentioned before, cooked tomatoes in a pasta sauce are delicious, or try your hand at making your own tomato ketchup, or sundried tomatoes, or make this lovely fresh tomato and caramelised onion jam: Fresh tomato and caramelised onion jam

Here is my favourite aubergine parmigiana recipe from Jamie Oliver: Melanzane alla parmigiana

I hope that you enjoy your Aztec gold!

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