CANNED TOMATOES 101

FROM PHIL LEMPERT, SUPERMARKET GURU

Canned Tomatoes 101
July 30, 2012
tomato ripe on top of a can

What are Canned Tomatoes? Roma or plum tomatoes and their varietals are the most commonly used in cans. They are sold diced, sliced, stewed, roasted, crushed, and ready-cut or whole. They are often packed a “peak freshness” and so a great option when tomatoes are not in season.

How to Buy: Prepared tomatoes, sold in cans, are conventional or organic, sold plain, with basil, chilies or chili seasoning, fire roasted, with onions and garlic, onion and green pepper, or garlic and oregano. Some are imported or gourmet choices at substantially higher prices.

How to Use: Excellent time-saver for creating your own sauces, as peeling, cooking, and the flavoring, is done for you. Use in any recipe that calls for a tomato sauce or blend with cheese or milk for richer sauce. Can be used for Italian, Mexican or Caribbean recipes, or use in soups or stews with vegetable, beef or chicken stock.

How to Store: Can be stored in a cool dry cupboard until ready to use; once opened, refrigerate in a tightly sealed container.

Health Benefits: Tomatoes are high in fiber and antioxidants, particularly the carotenoid, lycopene, well known for promoting eye health and fighting some cancers. Cooked tomatoes have high amounts of vitamins C, A and K, potassium and manganese, and trace elements of many other nutrients. Cooking does not seem to diminish the nutrients significantly. Relatively low in calories (70-80 per ½ cup.) Sodium content varies from 280-700mg per ½ cup. Some salt free choices.

Smarter Shopping: Sizes vary from 10-14.5oz. for most brands; larger 28oz. cans are available; check the per-ounce price to verify value. Look for sodium free versions, read ingredient lists for unnecessary additives.

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Posted on August 1, 2012 at 12:07 am by rebrapp · Permalink
In: General Topics, Health

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  1. Written by RBurrell
    on August 2, 2012 at 10:17 pm
    Permalink

    Back in the day when people were still stocking bomb shelters in case of atomic attack, my college roommate was a Home Economics major. She told me that if you had to have one thing in your shelter, it should be canned tomatoes because of their high food value, shelf life and benefits. Now I live in earthquake territory. We always have at least a half dozen cans of tomatoes. (Our favorite most versatile are Muir Glen diced tomatoes.) You can stock up on these when they come on sale once or twice a year. Even during tomato season, the canned are superior to most of the tomatoes in the supermarket for cooked dishes. We savor heirlooms and local Roma tomatoes raw, but for cooked, nothing really beats the organic packed at peak canned.

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