How to follow the season and enjoy tomato all over the year
Last summer you probably ate a lot of delicious fresh red tomatoes. We hope so because tomatoes contain plenty of vitamins – those natural substances containing “amino-acids” and that are necessary to live. “Vita” means life!
They are also full of other molecules that help us to prevent disease thanks to their antioxidant activity. The most famous of these substances is lycopene, a red pigment also found in guava, papaya, pink grapefruit, watermelon, and tomato.
You know what? Cooked tomatoes contain even more lycopene than fresh tomatoes!
Maybe you had the chance to be picking tomatoes directly from the plant of your kitchen garden, or you have been buying them at the local market. In all cases, you should know that tomatoes grow up in summer, when cultivated the natural way.
Nowadays, you can find tomatoes all over the year. How can it be? During the cold seasons, tomatoes are grown in heated greenhouses, so the production of this summer fruit (yes, technically tomatoes are fruits!) is guaranteed all year round.
When you go and by tomatoes during the winter season, pay attention to their origin. You are likely to notice that they come from places far from you. This has a negative impact to the environment, because heating greenhouses and transporting the tomatoes harvested far from when they have grown up, produces high levels of CO2, the gas responsible for global warming.
In France, for example, the growing season of tomatoes is from May to October, depending on the region. If you want to be Earth friendly, you should eat in season and locally grown tomatoes.
Fortunately, tomatoes do keep their health benefits even cooked, so you can enjoy tomatoes all over the year in the form of delicious tomato sauces! In fact, the best ripe tomatoes can be used to make passata tomatoes sauce during summer, which is their natural growing season!
The “passata” is the base to make a wide diversity of tomato sauces and can also be added in soups like minestrone, the italian vegetable soup.
Cover Photo: (c) istockphoto.com/jorgegonzalez