Enjoying Healthy & Delicious Summer Produce!

tomatoesI am so in love with and addicted to these small little gems. They are grape tomatoes, and the yellow/orange ones are so sweet and delicious. I bought them at my local farmers market. If you haven’t already tried them you should. You will be hooked. They are a bit pricier than the regular tomatoes, especially if you buy them organic, but they are well worth it. The really terrific news is that they are low in calories and high in health benefits! Lycopene – which is a compound found in tomatoes can have a positive effect on prostate health. They also contain Vitamin A which is great for the immune system and can benefit eye health. They also contain Vitamin C which is good for the immune system and health of the skin.

I love using them to make a simple tomato salad. Try making this simple salad that is delicious and packs a powerful nutrient dense punch! It took me about 5 minutes to put together. All you need is some good olive oil. I have used avocado and walnut oil as well. Coat the tomatoes with the olive oil, add some crushed garlic (I like a clove or two) add a handful of basil, salt & pepper to taste and that’s it! The basil came from my garden. I grow different varieties such as Thai and Cinnamon Basil and they are all wonderful. There are over 60 varieties of basil. I used sweet basil with the tomatoes but have experimented with the others and they all add great flavor to any dish. Basil is so easy to grow and is probably one of the most used herbs from the garden since it’s hardy all summer long. Basil is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It is a source of magnesium, Vitamin K, calcium, iron and Vitamin C. Chinese medicine uses it to sooth irritated bladder and kidneys as well as for digestive and circulatory problems. It can help headaches and migraines by increasing blood flow and also helps to calm nervous tension. I love to just tear the fresh leaves and throw them into green salads. You can also add it to olive oil with some garlic and lemon juice for a nice salad dressing – and don’t forget pesto too.

Enjoy,
Maria

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