With summer’s warm embrace, it’s time to celebrate the abundance of fresh flavors and nourishing ingredients that nature provides. From vibrant salads to refreshing drinks, summer recipes offer a delightful opportunity to indulge in healthy and delicious meals. However, one ingredient that truly shines during this season is tomatoes!
While fresh tomatoes have their allure, canned tomatoes have their own advantages. Packed at the peak of ripeness, they offer consistent quality and flavor year-round. Canned tomatoes undergo minimal processing, are environmentally friendly, and are rich in vitamins A, C, and lycopene, an antioxidant associated with various health benefits.
So, let canned tomatoes be your culinary companion as you cook your way through the summer season. With their ability to infuse dishes with vibrant color, robust flavor, and nutritional benefits, you’re sure to create something that everyone will enjoy. From light and refreshing appetizers to hearty main courses, here are 15 healthy summer recipes to invigorate your taste buds and nourish your body.
Check out this collection of healthy summer recipes to get inspired in the kitchen during the season. Plus, these recipes all feature canned tomatoes (and canned tomato products) for an added boost of health, color, and flavor.
This vegetarian chili, which is also vegan and gluten-free, is packed with summery vegetables, including zucchini, peppers, corn, carrots, and tomatoes. Plus, the addition of steel cut oats gives it a “meaty” texture.
You can make this recipe from common pantry staples in very little time, especially if you've got leftover rice from another meal! Any mix of vegetables in your freezer will work. Feel free to get creative with what you toss in!
Packed with the nutrition and flavor power of tomatoes, you can whip up this 100% plant-based (vegan), gluten-free hummus recipe in seconds—relying mostly on shelf-stable, economical staples, such as canned tomatoes and chickpeas.
Whip up these crispy baja fish tacos with tomato-cabbage slaw, avocado crema, and a healthy dose of salsa in no time! Ready in 30 minutes, this is the perfect light, delicious meal ideal for any night of the week.
What could be more comforting than dipping bread into a bubbling hot dish of savory Marinara sauce laden with melted cheese? We’re not really sure, which is why this recipe for Cheesy Pizza Dip should be on your appetizer rotation this month.
Rise and shine! This easy, savory zesty tomato smoothie is like a healthy, nutrient-rich, alcohol-free Bloody Mary. Rich in lycopene—thanks to a whole can of tomatoes—it’s a great snack, post-exercise drink, and light breakfast.
Bring the quaint flavors or Europe to your kitchen with this recipe for ratatouille! This is a classic dish that is loaded with summer garden vegetables and lots of flavor. This stew originated in the Provence region of France near the Mediterranean Sea, and is a delicious entree enjoyed during any time of year.
An easy homemade salsa queso sauce turns pantry ingredient nachos into super flavorful, cheesy nachos. Top your chips with whatever ingredients you have on hand as well as this salsa queso sauce made with shredded cheddar cheese and fire roasted salsa.
Struggling to decide between canned tomatoes vs fresh ones? We’re here to help you make that choice. From their health benefits to environmental impact, here’s the ultimate guide to canned tomatoes.
When it comes to incorporating tomatoes in your diet, you may find yourself faced with a common dilemma: fresh or canned? While fresh tomatoes have long been regarded as the epitome of flavor and nutrition, canned tomatoes offer a compelling array of advantages that make them a kitchen essential. From their year-round availability and extended shelf life to their convenience and intensified flavors, canned tomatoes have continued to carve a place for themselves in countless culinary creations.
In this ultimate guide to canned tomatoes, we will delve into the reasons why canned tomatoes deserve a spot in your pantry, from their availability and convenience to flavor and nutritional benefits. So, let’s uncover the wonders of canned tomatoes and discover why they are more than just a practical alternative to their fresh counterparts.
Why should you use canned tomatoes?
Canned tomatoes are available year-round, regardless of the tomato season. This allows you to enjoy the flavor and benefits of tomatoes in your dishes even when fresh tomatoes are out of season or not readily accessible. They are also convenient to use as they are pre-cooked, peeled, and often diced or crushed. This can save you time and effort in preparing dishes that require tomatoes as an ingredient.
Furthermore, canned tomatoes are often more affordable than fresh tomatoes, especially when the latter is out of season or in regions where they are not locally grown. This makes canned tomatoes a cost-effective option for adding tomato flavor to your dishes.
Canned tomatoes can be more environmentally friendly than fresh tomatoes in certain circumstances. Here are a few reasons why.
Reduced food waste: Fresh tomatoes have a relatively short shelf life and can spoil quickly if not consumed or refrigerated promptly. This can lead to significant food waste if not managed properly. Canning allows tomatoes to be preserved for extended periods, reducing the likelihood of spoilage and minimizing food waste.
Extended availability: Canned tomatoes provide a consistent and readily available source of tomatoes throughout the year, even when fresh tomatoes are out of season. This reduces the demand for out-of-season fresh tomatoes, which often require long-distance transportation and energy-intensive greenhouse production methods. By opting for canned tomatoes during the off-season, consumers can reduce the environmental impact associated with the production and transportation of fresh tomatoes.
Efficient transportation: Canned tomatoes are generally more compact and have a longer shelf life, allowing for more efficient transportation and reduced carbon emissions. Transporting fresh tomatoes often involves refrigerated trucks or air transportation to maintain their quality and freshness, which can have a higher carbon footprint compared to canned tomatoes that can be transported at ambient temperature.
Reduced water usage: Tomato cultivation requires significant amounts of water, particularly in regions with water scarcity. Canning tomatoes can help reduce water usage by preserving tomatoes that may otherwise be discarded due to imperfections or surplus supply. Additionally, canned tomatoes often require less water for processing and canning compared to fresh tomato production, which involves washing, sorting, and packing.
Reduced packaging waste: While packaging materials are required for canned tomatoes, they are typically more efficient in terms of weight and volume compared to the packaging used for fresh tomatoes. Canned tomatoes also have a longer shelf life, which means they can be stored without the need for additional packaging or preservation techniques, such as plastic wraps or coatings.
Canned tomatoes can offer several health benefits, so here are some of the key health benefits you should know about.
Nutrient-rich: Canned tomatoes are packed with essential nutrients, and are a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as minerals like potassium and folate. These nutrients contribute to a healthy immune system, support eye health, and help maintain overall well-being.
Lycopene content: Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and carotenoid pigment responsible for their red color. Canned tomatoes are actually known to have higher levels of lycopene compared to fresh tomatoes. Lycopene has been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, including prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. It also has potential cardiovascular benefits and may help protect against heart disease.
Antioxidant properties: Canned tomatoes contain various antioxidants (such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and flavonoids) which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. This can support overall health and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including certain cancers and cardiovascular conditions.
Nutritional stability: The canning process used for tomatoes helps preserve their nutritional value. Canned tomatoes retain their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants over time, making them a reliable source of nutrients even during off-seasons when fresh tomatoes may not be as readily available or affordable.
Cooking benefits: Cooking tomatoes enhances their nutritional benefits by making the lycopene and other antioxidants more bioavailable, meaning they are easier for the body to absorb and utilize.
How to use canned tomatoes in the kitchen
Canned tomatoes are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes to add a burst of flavor and richness. Let’s wrap up this ultimate guide to canned tomatoes with some of our favorite ways to use them in the kitchen.
In the world of culinary choices, the decision between fresh and canned tomatoes often arises. While fresh tomatoes have long been cherished for their taste and nutritional value, canned tomatoes offer a range of advantages that make them a practical and flavorful option. From their environmental impact to astounding health benefits, canned tomatoes are one pantry staple you should always have on hand.
Get the scoop on Tomato Wellness member, Los Gatos Tomatoes. We are proud to have this company as part of the Tomato Wellness Family!
For over three decades, Los Gatos Tomato Products has earned a reputation for their commitment to customers and the environment as an industry-leading supplier of high-quality tomato paste. Their strong commitment to the industry, coupled with a focus on long-term relationships with customers and growers, make it an honor to profile this Tomato Wellness founding member.
Los Gatos Tomato Products was established in 1991 in the heart of Western Fresno County with the objective of growing and harvesting tomatoes from the most productive growing region in the world with a singular focus on producing high-quality tomato paste. Presently, four families with multi-generational farming operations and deep roots in agriculture serve as both committed growers and owners with shared values and commitment to a sustainable future.
The location of the processing facility is environmentally advantageous because of the short transit time from field to processing, with the majority of tomatoes grown within a close proximity to the plant. Long term relationships with growers and customers allows for alignment in the production of high-quality tomato paste tailored to customer needs and specifications.
The dedicated team at Los Gatos Tomato Products has built their reputation on quality and consistency over the years. Their customers have come to rely on a trusted supply of high-quality tomato paste for their products.
We applaud the values of Los Gatos Tomato Products as an authentically quality and sustainably minded processor and appreciate their contributions to our industry.
Try one of their tomato products in some of our favorite recipes!
Get the scoop on Tomato Wellness member, California Tomato Growers Association. We are proud to have this company as part of the Tomato Wellness Family.
The California Tomato Growers Association has been supporting growers and the processing tomato industry since 1947 to ensure the stability, viability, and prosperity of the processed tomato industry. The CTGA is involved in every phase of the state’s processing tomato industry, from the economics of establishing a fair price to involvement with international trade, technological advances, public policy advocacy, and assisting growers with all aspects of their production and marketing. They recognize that after the growers’ hard work and expense of raising a crop, fair grading is essential. For this reason, the CTGA worked to form the California Processing Tomato Advisory Board and continues to be involved in this service today.
They also understand that scientific and technological discoveries allow growers to prosper in the highly competitive global tomato business. Therefore, in conjunction with the California Tomato Research Institute and private and public agencies, the CTGA has supported and assisted with a broad range of tomato-related research efforts. This research gives the grower the edge to produce a tomato crop second to none. Finally, their advocacy work for policies like the Bracero Farm Worker Program, which enables workers from Mexico to work here in the United States to support their families through a work permit, really sets them apart when it comes to assisting all aspects of the tomato processing industry. It helps to know that with the support of an organization such as this, the industry remains prosperous, the growers are taken care of, and the quality of the product is ensured.
We absolutely admire the CTGA and their passion for their members, industry, and products. Join us in honoring an exceptional organization.
To show your appreciation, order extra red sauce on your pasta or pizza tonight or try one of their tomato products in some of our favorite recipes!
Looking to warm up during the cooler months? Here are the best soup recipes for fall and winter that are also dietitian approved.
There’s nothing quite like a comforting bowl of tomato soup to warm your soul, which is why these hearty soups are a nutritious option that will leave you feeling cozy. Additionally, these soups have ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen (like canned and jarred tomatoes), making them an easy option to whip up on any weeknight.
Thanks to the canned tomatoes, these recipes are heart healthy options that are also teeming with nutrients. And, since tomato sauce is rich in lycopene, it also contributes to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, as research shows that tomato products play an important role in preventing platelet aggregation (i.e. reducing the amount of blood clots that can lead to cardiovascular diseases). Additionally, tomato products can improve cholesterol by improving lipid profiles, as studies have found that consumption has lead to a significant decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as body weight and fat percentage.
So, go ahead and enjoy the following categories in this recipe collection:
instant pot soup recipes
crockpot soup recipes
vegetarian soup recipes
vegan soup recipes
Your heart, soul, and taste buds will thank you. Bon appetite!
Best soup recipes for fall and winter
These hearty soup recipes are sure to warm your soul during fall and winter.
Looking for a plant-based ingredient to add that creaminess factor to your soup? Try using walnuts in this Creamy California Walnut and Tomato Soup. This is a classic recipe, made completely plant-based. Try serving it alongside a grilled cheese for the ultimate combo!
Soup’s up! There’s nothing quite like a comforting bowl of tomato soup to warm your soul during the cooler months. That’s why this recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup with Popcorn is a fan-favorite–it’s a unique twist on a classic meal that will leave you feeling cozy.
Take a trip to Mexico without leaving your kitchen! This Spanish-inspired Fideo soup (Sopa de Fideo) is perfect to cozy up with any time of the year. Plus, this recipe only requires 30 minutes of cook time, so it is great for a quick weeknight meal!
Here’s a simple, flavorful soup recipe that you can throw together in minutes! This Curried Leek Vegetable Soup has anti-inflammatory spices and antioxidant-rich veggies can help boost your health—and spirits—on the gloomiest day.
This healthy slow cooker chicken tortilla soup is the ultimate easy and delicious family-friendly meal that can be jazzed up with so many delicious toppings. It’s amazing for meal prep and freezer-friendly too! Definitely a recipe you’ll want to add to your regular menu rotation!
This low sodium lentil soup is the easiest you can imagine! We use regular ingredients that you probably have hanging out in your fridge and pantry, and toss them all in a pot to cook in only 30 minutes.
15-bean vegetable soup is a tasty, comforting, warm bowl of goodness: perfect for a chilly day! Enjoy the variety of colors and textures in this easy vegan recipe. You can make a batch on the weekend and then enjoy it during the week for convenient packed lunches or dinners.
This late summer roasted poblano soup with chicken is the perfect late summer soup! It's filled with roasty toasty sweet corn and spicy poblanos, black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, shredded chicken and spices. You'll love it!