As we approach August, ripe tomatoes of every variety — plum, heirloom, cherry, and beefsteak, to name a few — overflow supermarkets and farmers market stalls. It's hard to avoid grabbing handfuls left and right, and it's equally as difficult to use up the tomatoes before they become overly soft and squishy. These five recipes make it easy to integrate tomatoes into dinner every night this week.
We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Health.com here on our site.
Feeling puffy? Bloating caused by gas, irregularity, or water retention can make even a tiny tummy become anything but. Here's how to deal with the problem.
The more salt you consume on a given day, the more potassium-rich foods — asparagus, citrus fruits, melon, tomatoes — you should eat, says Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, the author of The Secret to Skinny.
Get off the couch
"In many people, exercise stimulates the bowels, ending constipation," says Jacqueline Wolf, MD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard University and author of A Woman's Guide to a Healthy Stomach.
Down eight glasses of liquids each day
Fluids help flush waste out of your system and reduce water retention. Coffee can have the added bonus of contracting the colon, helping you to go.
Sip peppermint tea
It alleviates gas by relaxing the digestive tract and boosting normal peristalsis, says Wolf. Research suggests that enteric-coated peppermint-oil capsules also help with stomach pain.
Stop it before it starts
Before a little-snug-dress event, take a cue from red-carpet vets: cut out excess salt and drink two to three liters of water a day, says Carrie Wiatt, nutritionist to Fergie and Sela Ward.
Flickr User goosegrease
We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!Is your food loaded with toxins and chemicals? Here, simple swaps to protect yourself
By Anne Underwood
Clean eating means choosing fruits, vegetables, and meats that are raised, grown, and sold with minimal processing.
Often they're organic, and rarely (if ever) should they contain additives. But in some cases, the methods of today's food producers are neither clean nor sustainable. The result is damage to our health, the environment, or both. So we decided to take a fresh look at food through the eyes of the people who spend their lives uncovering what's safe — or not — to eat. We asked them a simple question: "What foods do you avoid?" Their answers don't necessarily make up a "banned foods" list. But reaching for the suggested alternatives might bring you better health — and peace of mind.
1. Canned Tomatoes
Fredrick Vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A, gives us the scoop:
The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people's body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. "You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young," says vom Saal. "I won't go near canned tomatoes."
The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe's and Pomi.
Budget tip: If your recipe allows, substitute bottled pasta sauce for canned tomatoes. Look for pasta sauces with low sodium and few added ingredients, or you may have to adjust the recipe.
This month, I've shifted my focus from Summer cookout food to something a little more soothing, but amidst a San Francisco Indian Summer, I'm not quite ready to plunge into full-blown Fall fare just yet. So in addition to treasuring those timeless staples, I've also looked for recipes that fall (pardon the pun) right in between those two seasons. One such gem is this slow-cooked dish of chicken with fresh tomatoes.
It incorporates the sunny flavor of Early Girl tomatoes with the reassuring tenderness of chicken braised in its own stock. Lighten it up with skinless chicken breast, swap out the sage for tarragon or basil, or use cherry or heirloom tomatoes instead. The result is a sumptuous main meal that's fantastic over grits, polenta, or mashed potatoes. Savor the in-between moment when you keep reading.
If you belong to the latter camp, I highly recommend this farm-stand tomato recipe; it only requires a few hours before it's totally ready to consume. These pickled tomatoes have a smoky, slightly spicy flavor that comes from cumin, fresh ginger, and jalapeños. The high proportion of olive oil in the base imparts a mild flavor on the tomatoes (although you can play with the proportions for a more pickled taste), and the tomatoes last up to three days when refrigerated. Keep reading to see the recipe with step-by-step photos.
This season, I made it a priority to educate myself on the basics of canning, pickling, fermenting, and food preserving. Thankfully, I was able to put my knowledge to work when I finally confronted a boiling-water canner and my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. My parting thoughts after this first brush with home canning? It's not as hard as it sounds, and once you get the rhythm of it, it can be well worth the effort. My advice for those new to jarring: start with a project, such as this one, that isn't too complicated. To see how I canned whole tomatoes in their own juice, keep reading.
I sliced up a basket full of fresh tomatoes, placed them in my colander, and salted away. After 20 minutes, the tomatoes had lost a fair amount of water, and with that most of the salt as well. The result was just as Jamie Oliver promised: a more intense tomato flavor that wasn't overly salted. Of course, assembling a caprese with these flavorful tomatoes, burrata mozzarella and a variety of basil fresh from my garden was a piece of cake. I can't wait to use the same technique for my next batch of bruschetta — or even a simple garden salad. Don't be scared of a little extra salt to bring out even more flavor; keep reading for the recipe.
Source: Flickr User nimTake the Quiz
They range from the hefty, irregularly shaped, explosively juicy cherokee purple to the tiny, tart, and firm green zebra. Because heirloom tomato cultivars come in early-, mid-, and late-season varieties, pay attention to what's available at your local market that day. Generally speaking, select tomatoes that are firm, heavy for their size, and free of any open cracks or wounds. For ideas on how to cook with them, read more