Mo' Berries and Tomatoes

Here with some of our favorite berry go-to's and one of the most eaten vegetables in America (and let's not kid ourselves - probably Italy too).

-Tomatoes-
-RED, RED, RED Tomatoes FTW (have the greatest nutritional value) and are generally more nutritious than yellow, gold, or green tomatoes
- The smaller the tomato, the HIGHER its sugar and lycopene (potential antioxidant) content - use these for the most flavor and the most benefits
-Be wary of 'on-the-vine' and 'heirloom' tomatoes. Taste to justify whether it is worth the increase in price. No significant increase in phytonutrient benefits.
-Processed tomato products can be more flavorful and nutritious than fresh tomatoes. These are ripened in the field and processed shortly after being harvested. Canned tomato paste, for example, contains the highest concentration of lycopene.
-Cooking tomatoes converts lycopene into an easily absorbed form - as well as concentrating the flavor. 
-Use the skin, seeds, and juice of the tomato whenever possible as those are the most nutritious parts!

-Strawberries, Cranberries, and Raspberries-
Strawberries:
-Always pick the red, ripe berries that are uniform in color - the fresher the better (farmer's markets or U-pick farms the best). 
-Eat within a few days (storing them for a day on the counter before eating, increases their antioxidant value, however)
-Freeze as discussed with blueberries in a previous post (Vit. C/powdered pectin and microwave thaw)

Cranberries:
-Eat throughout the year - very high in antioxidants!!
-Dried are less nutritious than fresh
- Unsweetened juice (no cocktails or juice blends) has shown to be beneficial

Raspberries:
-High in Fiber and antioxidants!
-Look for DARK RED or BLACK varieties

Remember, feel free to click on the post titles and comment with any questions or if you are interested in anything more from this post of this blog. Thanks for reading!
 

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