There's nothing like fresh tomatoes in season. Nowadays, high-quality canned tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes preserve much of that delicious taste -- even in the off season. And some varieties of plum and other tomato varieties found in winter markets can be worth their price.
Tomatoes are one of those delightful foods that are not only tasty but also good for you. They are low in calories and have no cholesterol. They're high in Vitamins A and C, and a good source of potassium. They are rich in antioxidants such as lycopene that nutritionists believe help fight cancer and heart disease. Cooking tomatoes doesn't destroy their health benefits. In fact, cooked tomatoes and those processed into sauces have even higher concentrations of lycopene. That's because processing steams out a lot of the water that makes up fresh tomatoes.
Tomato lovers are a lucky bunch. They can eat tomatoes in all their usual favorite ways, from fresh sliced tomatoes to spaghetti sauce. And they can get more tomatoes in their diet by substituting them for other ingredients. They might be in a crisis because they suddenly discover they're lacking a called-for ingredient. Or they might prefer tomatoes. Or they might just feel creative.
Whatever the reason, read on for some tasty ideas.