Tomatoes are at the forefront of the most commonly used vegetables in Europe. Only the potato, onion and lettuce are ahead of them. They owe their popularity to their availability, versatility and low price. Tomatoes can be bought in various forms. The most popular are purees, juices, concentrates, sauces and dried tomatoes. Especially the latter deserve our attention, they are extremely tasty, aromatic and can be an addition to many tasty dishes. They are a great source of lycopene, the properties of which we will tell you today.
Dried tomatoes – nutritional value
Tomatoes are vegetables appreciated almost all over the world. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) came to Europe in the 16th century and it was brought from Central America. The beginnings of cultivating tomatoes on our continent were not easy – due to the intense red color, they were considered a highly poisonous plant and were only cultivated for ornamental purposes. Today, tomatoes are appreciated by consumers and are appreciated for their nutritional, health and dietary properties.
Dried tomatoes are obtained by drying purified and cut fresh tomatoes. Although they look less attractive than raw, they definitely outweigh them with nutritional values, including the content of lycopene. Dried tomatoes usually occur in two forms. The first one is tomatoes dried in oil, the second is dried without oil (in dry form). The observation shows that consumers more often choose tomatoes dried in oil. Such a product in 100 g contains about 213 kcal, including 20 g total carbohydrates (including 6.7 g dietary fiber), 13.3 g fat and 6.67 g protein. However, those dried without the addition of oil in 100 g contain about 257 kcal, including 55 g of carbohydrates (including 13 g of dietary fiber), 3.7 g of fat and 14.8 g of protein. Such disparities result both from the manufacturing method and, type and method of cultivation. When buying dried tomatoes, special attention should be paid to the type of oil that the vegetables are filled with. The best quality tomatoes are cold pressed rapeseed oil and olive oil. It is not recommended to buy tomatoes in a flood of sunflower oil due to the unfavorable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which can increase the inflammation in our body and have a bad effect on the cardiovascular system. For example, tomatoes in raw form in 100 g provide about 18 kcal, including 3.9 g carbohydrates (including 1.2 g dietary fiber), 0.2 g fat and 0.8 g protein.
Dried tomatoes are a real treasury of mineral salts and vitamins. 100 g of dried tomatoes contain as much as 39 mg of vitamin C. An adequate supply of vitamin C ensures beneficial effects of the immune system. Vitamin C also takes part in the collagen synthesis process and reduces the concentration of bad cholesterol. In addition to vitamin C, in dried tomatoes there are also significant amounts of vitamin A, 100 g of the product provides our body with about 833 IU of this vitamin. Proper supply of this compound ensures good skin condition, strengthens the eyesight and regulates the processes of creating new cells. In dried tomatoes we can also find vitamins from group B, including B1, B2, B3 and B6. Their appropriate level plays an important role in the prevention of diseases of the nervous system.
In addition to vitamins, dried tomatoes contain a large amount of necessary for the proper functioning of micro- and macroelements. The most important of these is potassium, which in the body is responsible for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and correct muscle spasms. Both fresh and dried tomatoes are a great source. Apart from potassium, we can also find sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium in them. The amounts of the elements listed above are however small. The healthiest and the tastiest dried tomatoes are those that come from natural crops (eg from our gardens and plots).
What properties do the dried tomatoes have?
Due to the low energy value, tomatoes are included in dietetic food. Conscious consumers who have knowledge about healthy eating use them daily as part of their meals. Over the past dozen or so years, tomatoes have gained a special position in the prevention of cancer. All this is due to lycopene, an organic compound from the carotene group. It exhibits strong pro-health properties, while its absorbability from dried tomatoes is definitely higher than from raw ones. Lycopene has a strong antioxidant effect, therefore it is well suited for the prevention of cardiovascular and cancer diseases. It is worth noting that lycopene scavenges free radicals twice as efficiently as beta-carotene and ten times more efficiently than alpha-tocopherol. Such a high content of lycopene makes real dried superfood tomatoes.
There are numerous scientific studies around the world that are looking for irrefutable evidence that lycopene contained in dried tomatoes has anti-carcinogenic properties. There are studies that showed a positive correlation between lycopene consumption and a decrease in the activity of breast cancer cells. Lycopene is responsible in this case for inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. Proper supply of this component ensures proper DNA synthesis and prevents its damage. Therefore, it is safe to say that currently conducted scientific research gives great hope to oncological patients. Unfortunately, to find unambiguous and indisputable evidence, research should be carried out constantly.
In addition to the potential use in the prevention of cancer, lycopene is also credited with a significant role in the prevention of bone diseases. When we talk about this type of illness, we think about the diet with an increased amount of dairy products, calcium supplementation and vitamin D. Of course, the above-mentioned ingredients are necessary to ensure good bone health, but let’s focus this time on the role of lycopene. Bone system diseases, including osteoporosis, go hand in hand with systemic inflammation and increased oxidative stress. The latter is particularly harmful. It directly affects the inhibition of bone formation and shortens the lifespan of osteoblasts. As mentioned before, lycopene is an extremely powerful antioxidant and it is this feature that makes it a substance extremely helpful in the prevention of bone diseases. , r
How to prepare dried tomatoes yourself?
The purchase of dried tomatoes is an expense of about 10 to 15 PLN for a small jar. Tomatoes bought in the store are quite tasty, but the label often does not provide us with enough information on how to produce them. We do not know if they were dried in the sun or in a drying room. We do not know what crops they come from and whether they meet our requirements. Despite the addition of fruit, seeds or various spices, bought tomatoes sometimes just simply tasteless. So if we want to get dried tomatoes of the highest quality, it is best to prepare them yourself. This is not so difficult, contrary to appearances, and can have a big impact on our health.
The first step is to chop the cherry tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds with a spoon. The next is to put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper (a sheet skin). You need to gently salt them, then set the oven to about 90 ° C, preferably with the function of thermo-flow. Drying tomatoes at this temperature usually takes about 2 hours. The baking tray is pulled out of the oven only when the tomatoes are already heavily wrinkled. It then translates the dried tomatoes into a bowl, seasoning it according to your taste and arranges tightly in the jar. A few slices of garlic are put into each jar. The last step is pouring the jars into warm, slightly warmed oil and turning the jars upside down. Such a recipe for dried tomatoes is very simple to make and guarantees us the perfect taste for many, many weeks.
Recipes for dishes using dried tomatoes
Below are two ideas for delicious use of dried tomatoes in the kitchen.
Hummus With Dry Potatoes
– 200 g of chickpeas in brine,
– 100 g tahini (sesame paste),
– 3 cloves of garlic,
– lemon juice juice,
– 70 g of dried tomatoes (10 pieces),
– 10 g olive oil.
In the bowl, put chickpeas, sesame paste, garlic cloves squeezed through the press, lemon juice and finely chopped dried tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. The whole blends to a uniform mass. If the mass is too dry, add a small amount of water. Hummus can be served with crunchy or whole grain bread.
Nutritional value in the whole portion
– 1182 kcal,
– 42.2 g protein,
– 71.7 g fats,
– carbohydrates 81.8 g,
– fiber 32.1 g.
– 80 g wholemeal baguette,
– 40 g mozzarella cheese (half balls),
– 20 g arugula lettuce,
– 70 g of dried tomatoes (10 pieces),
– fresh basil leaves,
– 20 g walnuts (handful),
– 10 g olive oil – for spreading.
Nutritional value in the whole portion
– energy 722,9 kcal,
– 30,3 g protein,
– fats 34.4 g,
– 69.5 g carbohydrates,
– fiber 16.2 g.
Cut the bun in half. We lubricate with olive oil. Dried tomatoes are cut in half. Slices of mozzarella, tomatoes and half of basil leaves are placed on a whole-grain baguette. Place the buns in the oven heated to 180 ° C, bake them until the mozzarella dissolves. After removing from the oven, place the nuts and fresh basil leaves on them.
Dried tomatoes are not only a tasty addition to Mediterranean cuisine. They have health properties that many of us have not heard of yet. Due to the high content of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants should often appear on our tables.