Preserving Summer

Summer is coming to an end and I still want to eat produce from the farmer’s markets!

If you want to preserve summer fruits and vegetables into winter, such as tomatoes, there are several methods including canning, freezing, drying and baking. There is an abundance of tutorials and recipes throughout the internet, click here: Preserving tomatoes. If you’ve had bariatric surgery, learning to preserve the summer’s harvest can be beneficial in preparation for phase IV- V of your post-surgery diet. Please refer to your Clarity Surgical’s “Weight Loss Surgery Nutritional Guide”. 

I dove into my Colorado roots and began canning organic Long Island grown tomatoes and Browder Birds chickens in my pressure canner after I lost most of my harvest during Storm Sandy.  These canned organic vine ripened tomatoes and chickens can be enjoyed all year long and are “out of this world” delicious. 

However, if you don’t care to take up canning any time soon, and want to chance keeping power, then simply freezing fruits and tomatoes will keep them preserved.  You can grind them up, crush them, or pulverize them in a blender, place in freezer bags, flatten and freeze.  Whole tomatoes can also be easily frozen.  The peel comes right off with a just a little defrosting. 

Speaking of tomatoes:  Tomatoes come from the “berry” of the plant Solanum lycopersicum, aka the tomato plant.  They are rich in vitamins that includes Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, as well as Vitamin B6, folate and thiamin.  However, eating organic tomatoes is best for your health.  According to a study at the University of Barcelona, organic tomatoes are produced in an environment that promotes an abundant formation of antioxidants due to the growing conditions. As we all know, antioxidants are good for health and help in reducing heart diseases. “Most tomatoes you buy in the store involve chemical-based tomato farming which includes spraying tomatoes with large quantities of pesticides and insecticides. Tomatoes are a highly sprayed crop throughout the world.” Therefore, protect your body from the effects of pesticides and invest in eating organic. You’re worth it!  As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, local and organic foods are easily obtained, and organic gardening is good for the environment!

Here are a few articles describing additional health benefits of tomatoes:

http://www.renalandurologynews.com/prostate-cancer/lycopene-may-decrease-prostate-cancer-risk/article/335907/

https://www.spandidos-publications.com/etm/3/4/577

https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/11529

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/23/6/733.short

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24710903

https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/are-organic-tomatoes-better-for-your-health/