Authorize.Net Verified Merchant Seal

Amazon Seal

Scientific Certification Systems

James Beard Foundation Seal

Goog Life Food Seal

OU Kosher Certified Seal

More Matters Seal

More Matters Seal
Flavor First
September 2015



Icy Gazpacho with Fresh Lime
Time-Honored Tomatoes
By Cheryl Forberg, RD


Tomatoes


The seductive scent of a plump, ripe tomato beckons us to take a bite. Juicy tomatoes taste like summer, no adornment is required. From Kashmir to Guadalajara, tomatoes have been savored for centuries. Imagine people from all over the world standing over a sink with a salt shaker in one hand and a juicy tomato in the other. It’s a common thread. We can give thanks to sixteenth century European explorers who returned from Peru with tomatoes. Five centuries later, this global tomato has not lost its appeal. Whether hot and spicy in a Bengali curry or cool and refreshing in an icy gazpacho, tomatoes are a versatile and much-loved ingredient. They also belong to the "superfoods" group. Lycopene is the secret. This plant pigment brings the blush of red to the tomato (green and orange tomatoes have lesser amounts). Considered a vegetable by most, tomatoes are actually the fruit of a plant from the Lycopersicon family, hence the name lycopene. Smaller amounts of this pigment are found in other fruits, such as watermelon, pink grapefruit, and guavas.

Lycopene is a carotenoid and like the beta-carotene found in carrots, it is a powerful antioxidant. Though beta-carotene may be converted into vitamin A, lycopene cannot. On the other hand, it is capable of slowing or halting oxidative processes, which may prevent or deter the onset of many diseases associated with aging. In one study, men who had heart attacks had lower tissue levels of lycopene than men with healthy hearts. More recent research indicates that men with low lycopene levels showed significant evidence of carotid artery thickening, a prime indicator of cardiovascular disease.

The lycopene in tomatoes is concentrated during the cooking process because of the water loss that occurs. Tomato paste and ketchup are the richest sources. Because lycopene is fat-soluble, cooking tomatoes with a small amount of oil will further increase lycopene absorption by the body. Full of fiber and vitamin C, tomatoes are a winning first step toward living a healthier life. It's easy to increase your intake when you add scrumptious tomato recipes to your menu. Here's one of my favorites.

Icy Gazpacho with Fresh Lime

The southern region of Spain is the birthplace of this refreshing summer favorite. The sweetness of plump, ripened tomatoes mingles with the fresh flavors of garden vegetables, cilantro and a hint of balsamic vinegar. Serve chilled with crunchy garlic bread or add a few shrimp for a twist on an old favorite.

Yield: 1 quarts; 4 (1-cup) servings

Ingredients:

Ingredients:  Icy Gazpacho with Fresh Lime


1 large Red Bell Pepper
2 large Tomatoes or 6 Plum Tomatoes (about 1 pound)
1 large Cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded
½ medium Yellow Onion
1 cup Tomato Juice
¼ cup Fresh Cilantro, without stems, chopped
¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional:

2 tablespoons Roasted Peppers such as Shishito, Padron or Jalapeño, chopped
12 large Shrimp, poached or grilled

Instructions:

Roast the whole red pepper under a broiler or over a gas flame, turning occasionally, until the skin blisters and chars all over. Place in a bowl, cover with a lid, and allow it to steam to loosen the skin, or place in a paper bag. Carefully peel away the skin and remove the seeds. Cut the pepper into medium dice and set aside.


Roast the whole red pepper under a broiler or over a gas flame, turning occasionally, until the skin blisters and chars all over. Place in a bowl, cover with a lid, and allow it to steam to loosen the skin, or place in a paper bag. Carefully peel away the skin and remove the seeds. Cut the pepper into medium dice and set aside.

Cut half of the tomatoes, half of the cucumber, and half of the onion into 1-inch pieces and transfer to the bowl of a food processor or a blender jar. Add the roasted bell pepper and process to a puree. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Add cilantro, vinegar and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Cut half of the tomatoes, half of the cucumber, and half of the onion into 1-inch pieces and transfer to the bowl of a food processor or a blender jar. Add the roasted bell pepper and process to a puree. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Add cilantro, vinegar and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Seed the remaining tomato. Cut remaining tomato, cucumber, and onion into medium dice and add to the soup along with the optional roast peppers, if using...


Seed the remaining tomato. Cut remaining tomato, cucumber, and onion into medium dice and add to the soup along with the optional roast peppers, if using...

Refrigerate until chilled. Serve well chilled, garnished with cilantro and cooked shrimp if using.

Tomato Factoid: Juicing tomatoes that haven't been cooked results in separation of the juice due to an enzyme that is activated when tomatoes are cut or crushed. Cooking the tomatoes first inactivates the enzyme, and the juiced tomatoes won't separate.

Nutrient Analysis: per 1 cup serving

Calories 119
Prot 4 grams
Carb 28 grams
Total Fat 1 gram
Sat Fat 0 grams
Mono Fat 1 gram
Choles 0 mgs
Fiber 5 grams
Sodium 61 mgs