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Tomato Nutrition

Tomatoes and spaghetti in glass jars

Origins and varieties

Tomatoes are ancient cultivated plants that Christopher Columbus brought back to Europe from Central and Southern America in 1498. They first became an important part of our diet at the start of the 20th Century. Nowadays, tomatoes are one of the most important types of vegetables we eat. They are grown all over the world, in all climate regions. The comparatively small quantities produced in Germany are supplemented by imports throughout the year. These come mainly from the Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy, Morocco and the Baltic countries. [You can update here for your Market or remove] The many tomato varieties differ in the shape, size and weight of the fruits. Conventional tomatoes – also called round tomatoes – are the most popular variety. Also well-known are the large beef tomatoes and the cherry-sized, bright red or yellow cherry tomatoes.

Ingredients and nutritional values

The flesh of the tomato has a pleasant, fruity, sweet flavour, but contains relatively large amounts of fruit acid. Because tomatoes consist of around 94% water, they are, however, very low in calories. In addition, they are rich in various minerals, e.g. potassium, and contain the phytonutrient lycopene. This red or yellow pigment within the tomato has a stabilizing effect on the protective layer around the body’s cells.

Nutritional values

based on 60g uncooked weight, or about one medium-sized tomato

Energy 0.6g
Protein 0.6g
Carbohydrate 1.6g
Vitamin C 15mg (15%)*
Vitamin A 68 µg (8%)*
Potassium 145mg (7%)*
Fibre 0.6g (2% of the recommended daily intake of 30g)

Source: The large GU Nutritional Information table, 2010/11. The recommended daily intake amounts correspond to the reference values for nutrient intake (2000) for an adult. * of the daily recommended intake Fresh Cherry Tomatoes

Buying tomatoes

From July to October, it is possible to buy fresh tomatoes that have been grown in Germany [localise for your Market]. These tomatoes can be identified by the light green colour of the stem ends, which is why they should be left to ripen for 2 to 3 days at room temperature. Whether loose or in packaging, when buying tomatoes you should ensure that the fruits feel firm and are free from blemishes or bruises.

Storage

We recommend storing tomatoes at room temperature, since they quickly lose their flavour in the fridge. Very soft tomatoes should not be kept longer than 2 days. If they are still very firm to the touch they can be kept for up to a fortnight. Fruits that are still green and unripe can be left to ripen, for example on a sunny windowsill. Tomatoes should ideally be stored separately, since the ripening gas, ethylene, that they emit will make other fruit and vegetables spoil more quickly. If freezing uncooked tomatoes they should first be skinned. They will keep for around 10 to 12 months in a chest freezer, however after being defrosted they are only suitable for use in soups and sauces. tomato and turkey sandwitch

Cooking with tomatoes

Tomatoes can be eaten raw, added to salads and starters, meat or vegetable stews or casseroles, pizzas, or used in sauces and soups. They also make a healthy side dish for any occasion when grilled, baked or, for large beef tomatoes, when stuffed with other ingredients. Small cherry tomatoes are particularly sweet and ideal for eating raw, garnishing cold dishes, used in cocktails, or also for pickling.

Particular characteristics/nutritional information

Tomatoes are a delicious, low-calorie snack. One round tomato contains just 10 kcal. Those who are looking to stay trim can therefore eat plenty of tomatoes, whether used in cooking or as a healthy snack between meals. By the way: tomato and mozzarella is not nearly as low in calories as is often thought. This is due to the very high fat content of the mozzarella. To choose the lower-fat option, slice the mozzarella very thinly, or go for a “light” mozzarella instead and only drizzle on a small amount of olive oil (1tsp). This means you can still enjoy tomatoes in a calorie-conscious way.