Cooking at Home with Canned Tomatoes

Cooking at Home with Canned Tomatoes

Cooking at home doesn’t have to be complicated! Here’s how you can use canned tomatoes in the kitchen to make nutritious, easy, and affordable meals. 

Our fast-paced lifestyles, fueled by the demands of work, family, and social obligations, have catalyzed a paradigm shift in our relationship with food. Time – or rather the lack thereof – has emerged as a critical determinant in shaping consumer preferences. Coupled with the pervasive influence of technology and digitalization, this confluence of factors has spurred a burgeoning demand for convenient meal solutions. In fact, recent statistics show that the global market for convenience foods is projected to reach unprecedented heights, reflecting a seismic shift in purchasing behavior.

Canned tomatoes are one such convenience food item that is also on the rise. Unlike their fresh counterparts, canned tomatoes offer a myriad of advantages that cater to the needs of today’s discerning home cooks. With their year-round availability, extended shelf life, and remarkable versatility in recipes ranging from hearty stews to zesty pasta sauces, canned tomatoes serve as a cornerstone of modern pantry essentials. They are also rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants (such as lycopene) which may reduce the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer.

Cooking at Home with Canned Tomatoes

Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy cooking at home with canned tomatoes:

Need some more inspiration? Here are 10 recipes that feature canned tomato sauce

Why Canned Tomatoes are a Staple in the Gen Z Kitchen

Why Canned Tomatoes are a Staple in the Gen Z Kitchen

Each generation’s food values are unique, and Gen Z tends to prioritize healthy, plant-based, easy meals that still taste delicious and are totally instagrammable. Tomatoes are the ideal food for the flexitarian-focused generation, packing in the nutrition, color, and taste they crave in a convenient can. Read more about why canned tomatoes are a staple in the Gen Z kitchen with this guest blog from RD2Be, Ally Mirin.

According to the latest research, Gen Z (that’s people born between 1996 and 2010) is setting the stage for food trends. Gen Z’ers have embraced several core values when it comes to food choices, including nutrition, convenience, and a tendency towards plant based. Fruits and vegetables are stars of all three of these categories, which has great implications for our future health. Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure, reduce risk of chronic disease, and promote a healthy weight. Choosing more plant-based meals is a great way for the youngest generation to help improve health outcomes, as well as decrease the harmful impacts of animal agriculture on the planet. Luckily, a recent survey from Aramark found that 65% of Gen Z’ers were interested in plant-forward eating, and 79% would eat meatless one to two times a week.

So what foods fit into the core values of Generation Z? Canned tomato products hit all the marks. From pasta sauce to salsa, tomatoes are versatile veggies that are chock full of nutrients, convenient to buy, store, and use, and taste delicious in a wide variety of dishes. Gen Z tends to lean towards fresh products, and canned tomatoes are picked at the peak of freshness and packaged immediately, so flavor and quality are perfectly preserved. When it comes to nutrition, tomatoes are rich sources of Vitamin C, potassium, iron, fiber, and beta carotene. Many people don’t realize that cooking and processing can actually increase the bioavailabity of certain nutrients. Lycopene is one of the more unique compounds found in tomatoes and is responsible for their signature red hue and cancer-fighting properties. Lycopene becomes more readily absorbed by your body during the cooking process, making canned tomatoes an excellent choice for Gen Z’ers focused on maximizing nutrition.

Gen Z loves to get creative in the kitchen and is more willing to try out foods from international cuisines than older generations. Tomatoes are key ingredients in classic dishes in many cultures, from Italian spaghetti Pomodoro to Indian tikka masala, to North African shakshuka. Using canned tomatoes enhances the flavor and nutrition of these diverse meals and makes preparing them easy and convenient for a generation who’s always on the go.

Gen Z is also known for their dedication to social media, and the bright red pigment in tomatoes provides a pop of color perfect for sharing via photo or video on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Canned tomatoes make it easy for busy young people to create delicious, nutritious, plant-forward meals that taste and look incredible.

The up-and-coming generation has been breaking down barriers and fighting for change across all fronts, and food is no exception. With a focus on health, sustainability, and convenience, Gen Z has the power to shift food trends in a nutrition-focused, environment-friendly direction. Canned tomatoes are a prime example of a food that checks all the boxes and can hold a critical space in the Gen Z pantry.

RD2Be Initiative: Tomato Wellness is a big supporter of Registered Dietitians and has a new series featuring the Registered Dietitians of Tomorrow! Get to know the future leaders in nutrition and dietetics. #RD2Be 

Ally Mirin is an RD2Be from Ithaca, NY. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Society with a minor in Nutrition and Health from Cornell University and is currently working on her Master of Science in Nutrition Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Ally is passionate about plant-based nutrition and cooking up healthy, delicious recipes, and hopes to work as a clinical dietitian in the future.