You might not think that tomatoes would work well in a green smoothie. Surprisingly, they do! They blend well with sweet fruits like mangoes, as well as savory ones like avocado.
They are perfect for savory smoothies or blended soups. I sometimes make vegetable smoothies with tomato, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes and red peppers.
Tomato Nutrition and Health Benefits
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A (as beta-carotene) and C. A large tomato contains about 431.3 milligrams of potassium (9% RDA). They also contain small amounts of the B vitamins (except B12), copper, calcium, iron and phosphorus as well as dietary fiber.
Tomatoes are also a rich source of chromium, which plays a role in regulating blood sugar. Studies have shown that tomatoes may provide protection against high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Tomatoes are also a great source of the powerful antioxidant carotenoid, lycopene. Lycopene has been studied for its potential for protecting against cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, male infertility and certain cancers – specifically cancers of the prostate, lung and stomach.
While the prevention of these diseases by eating tomatoes is commonly promoted, the scientific research is ongoing and currently too limited to make specific claims.
Regardless, it’s a good idea to get more tomatoes in your diet!
How To Use Tomatoes In A Green Smoothie
A lot of people don’t like the taste of tomatoes on their own (I’m one of them) so it can be very tricky to add them to a green smoothie. I find that adding mango helps to sweeten the flavor and gives the smoothie a creamy base.
I prefer to use either grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or small Campari tomatoes. I wouldn’t blend a giant beefsteak tomato with a banana. That might be a little weird in the flavor department, but dropping 6 or 7 sweet grape tomatoes or a small plum tomato in a big blend or mango-coconut smoothie won’t change the flavor and will provide a good dose of lycopene and other nutrients.
I use tomatoes as a base in blender soups and savory vegetable smoothies. I also like to use sun-dried tomatoes for a richer, bolder flavor in raw vegan soup recipes.
Tomato Smoothie Recipes
- 1 mango, peeled and pitted
- 4 ounces of homemade almond milk
- 2 Campari tomatoes
- 1 cup pineapple, cubed
- 1 cup cilantro, loosely packed
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
Calories: 274 | Fat: 1.6g (gram) | Protein: 6.5g | Carbs: 67g | Calcium: 16% | Iron: 4.0 mg | Vitamin A: 545% | Vitamin C: 252%
The Raw “V-Gr8″
- 1 mango, peeled and pitted
- 2 medium tomatoes, quartered
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 medium stalk celery, chopped
- 2 ounces of water
Calories: 210 | Fat: 1.3g (grams) | Protein: 4.1g | Carbs: 51.9g | Calcium: 7% | Iron: 1.2 mg | Vitamin A: 467% | Vitamin C: 104%
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How To Select And Store Tomatoes
Purchase tomatoes that are a deep red color for the most flavor. If you are not going to use them right away, buy tomatoes that are slightly yellow and leave them in the sun to ripen up.
As with most fruits and vegetables, I prefer to buy organic when possible. Using only organic becomes more important when you are consuming a whole food, peel and all.
While tomatoes are not on the so-called “dirty dozen” list of pesticide-laden produce, they still rank high enough that I’m pretty strict with only using organic. It is possible to find conventional tomatoes that are grown hydroponically and are certified pesticide and herbicide free. The packages of Campari tomatoes I get at Costco (as of this writing) are not organic, but they are certified pesticide-free.
Generally, you are not supposed to put tomatoes in the refrigerator. Storing them at room temperature maintains flavor and texture, provided the tomatoes are fresh, in season and from a farmer’s market. I’ve always kept my tomatoes in the refrigerator, though, and mainly out of habit. I’ve never really noticed any difference at all, and for most supermarket tomatoes, it probably doesn’t matter.
If you shop frequently, go ahead and buy a couple tomatoes at a time and store them at room temperature. Otherwise, stick your cartons of Campari or grape tomatoes in the refrigerator and enjoy them anyways!
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Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.