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One of my favorite parts of summer has to be the fresh garden vegetables! Even though summer is coming to a close, the garden is still producing a wonderful variety of tomatoes to enjoy! Tomatoes come in a variety of types, colors, and sizes. Heirloom tomatoes to me have the best fresh summer taste and can be used in so many things! The types of heirloom tomatoes vary quite a bit too. I planted heirloom beefsteak, heirloom brandywine, and a sweet yellow Sun Sugar cherry tomato. There is also a new type called Black Krim and they are a beautiful green, red and almost black shade. Great flavor too! A new favorite of my summer planting is the San Marzano tomato. This variety is the pride of Italy, right in my own back yard! They are revered for their amazing flavor and make the best tomato sauces and pastes for all your Italian cooking needs.
The uses for tomatoes are endless. I eat them whole, throw them in salads, on a sandwich, cherry tomatoes in the kids’ lunch boxes, fresh or cooked salsa, caprese, chopped for a tapinade, chopped for bruschetta, pasta sauces, grilled on the BBQ, stuff them, and the list can go on and on!! A new and fun use for tomatoes is to barter them! If you have a friend or neighbor maybe you can trade your tomatoes for their garden abundance of choice!!
All in all, summer is not complete with out tomatoes. Since I have such a love for them, I felt it necessary to find out why I can eat them and know they are food for my health and soul.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes:
Great source of lycopene
Anti-Cancer benefits from Antioxidants
Fresh tomatoes can lower cholesterol levels
Reduce heart disease
Vitamin and mineral rich
Strengthens immune system
Reduces blood clot risks
Increases fat burning capacity
Reduces breast cancer risks due to carotenoids
The color of a tomato does not decrease the health benefits either. They are all good for you. Each in their own wonderful ways. Enjoy the fruits of summer before they are gone!!
I was out in the garden today, gazing at my hummingbird friend, listening to the bees buzzing in the lavender, strolling around to see which vegetables and fruits are ready. My garden was a little slow to get going so now lots of things are thriving finally, all at once, rapidly. Makes me laugh, and sparks the happiness (or giddiness) I get from growing my own food. From my bushel of pride I became inspired to throw together a fresh salsa from the abundance of tomatoes and jalapeños. I think this is the tastiest one yet this summer. Check out my Super Simple Summer Salsa, kick up your feet and enjoy the wrap up of summer deliciousness.
Super Simple Summer Salsa
1 jalapeño, cut into 4 pieces
2 cloves garlic
1/2 of one sweet onion (Walla Walla Sweet is my favorite)
4 medium tomatoes, quartered (I used heirloom in variety of colors)
3/4 Cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 lime juiced
1 tsp salt
Place the jalapeños and garlic in a food processor (manual; pull 4 times, electric; coarsely chop). Add the onion and roughly chop in processor again. Set aside in a bowl. Add the tomatoes and cilantro to the processor bowl, process until your desired chunkiness is reached. Add the bowl with the jalapeños, garlic and onion. Add the lime juice and salt. Stir. That is it! It is so simple and delicious! You can adjust the quantities of ingredients based on your taste. I think this captures the garden fresh flavor just perfectly!