It’s Tomato Time!

Tomato lovers, rejoice … tomatoes are in season again!  Tomatoes come in many different colors, shapes and sizes, from the small grape tomato to the large, meaty beefsteak.

The best time of year to buy fresh tomatoes in Maryland is July through September, when they will be ripe and delicious.  If you haven’t eaten a fresh, local tomato, you don’t know what you are missing!

Tomatoes bought in season have a completely different flavor and texture than a tomato bought out of season. That’s because tomatoes that are grown out of season are typically chemically treated to force them to turn red before they are ripe, leaving them mealy and lacking flavor. 

Even though most people consider the tomato a vegetable, it is a fruit in the nightshade family alongside potatoes, eggplants and peppers. Tomatoes are primarily made up of water and are very low in calories and carbohydrates.  A tomato is also a great source of vitamin C, folate, Vitamin K and the antioxidant lycopene. 

Health Benefits

Tomatoes (and other tomato-based products) have some amazing health benefits, including

  • Reducing the risk for heart disease
  • Cancer prevention such as prostate, lung, stomach and breast cancers
  • Improvement in skin health

Carroll’s Farmers Market

If you are excited to try out delicious local produce, including tomatoes, make sure to head to the farmers market on the Carroll Hospital campus every Thursday from now until October 6; market hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tomato Ideas

Need inspiration?  Here are a few ways to include tomatoes into your diet (but there are so many more!):

  • On a sandwich or burger
  • In a salad
  • As a salsa
  • On a kabab
  • Homemade tomato sauce
  • On a pizza
  • Roasted
  • In soups or stews

And here are some great recipes to try out:

Homemade tomato sauce: The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce | Ambitious Kitchen

Tomato basil soup: Homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup | Ambitious Kitchen

Caprese Sandwich: Caprese Sandwich Recipe – Cookie and Kate

Tomato salad: https://cookieandkate.com/easy-tomato-salad-recipe/

Tomato tip: When buying already prepared tomato sauce, check the nutrition panel. Tomato sauce is notorious for having lots of added sugars. Choose a tomato sauce with no added sugar for best health. 

Now go enjoy those tomatoes!

 

 

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