Cherry tomatoes: useful properties and contraindications
Among the variety of tomatoes, not all can combine their usefulness, attractive appearance and unique taste throughout the year. However, it is these properties that have won the world popularity of cherry tomatoes. Small rich red fruits with a pronounced aroma and taste will not leave anyone indifferent. Today there are many varieties of small-fruited tomatoes, which differ in color, shape, size and taste. Therefore, it is necessarily necessary to understand what are the benefits and harms of cherry tomatoes, how to choose, store and use this variety correctly.
- What is the difference between cherry tomatoes and ordinary tomatoes
- Which are more useful
- Composition and calories
- What are the usefulness of cherry tomatoes
- General benefits
- For Women
- For Men
- During Pregnancy
- For children
- Slimming down
- Dried cherry tomatoes: benefits and harms
- Health Hazards and Contraindications
- How to choose and store them.
- Can I freeze?
- What can be cooked from cherry tomatoes: Recipes
- Cherry Tomato, Avocado and Shrimp Salad
- Bruschetta with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella
- Pizza with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and cheese
- Appetizer: pancakes with salmon
- Tart with grilled vegetables
- How to marinade cherry tomatoes
- Pickled cherry tomatoes for winter
- Quick Pickling
- Interesting Facts
What is the difference between regular cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes (from English "cherry") got their name because of their shape and small size, resembling a cherry. Unlike their traditional counterparts, they have small and rich red glossy fruits, which have absorbed the maximum benefits, taste and aroma.
Indeed, for residents of Russia, this may be the only alternative to traditional tomatoes from October to June. After all, large fruits in the cold period noticeably lose their properties. And imported or specially grown cherry tomatoes are tasty all year round. However, such an alternative from warm countries will cost significantly more.
Cherry tomatoes are significantly superior in taste characteristics, even the summer harvest of large brethren. The mini variety is endowed with a characteristic sweet and dessert flavor with distant berry tones. Any dish using cherry tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes will have a brighter and richer flavor. In addition, the small red fruits will be a great decoration for the holiday table.
Unlike ordinary tomatoes, the small, firm fruits with dense skins can last much longer under the same conditions. In addition to eating them fresh, cherry tomatoes are also canned, dried and pickled.
Which ones are healthier
Cherry tomatoes do not lose their value even in the cold season. Therefore, eating small-fruited tomatoes will allow the body to replenish the necessary vitamins and elements during the off-season and winter.
Compared with other varieties, the benefits of tomatoes of this variety is undeniable. Small-fruited tomatoes contain twice as many useful substances and trace elements. Some specially bred varieties have an increased number of lycopene and beta-carotene. Lycopene has powerful antioxidant properties and helps to heal the cardiovascular and circulatory system. And beta-carotene is recognized as the "elixir of youth and longevity".
Composition and calories
The most outstanding feature of the composition of cherry tomatoes is a doubling of the indicators of useful substances, compared to the traditional large varieties. With the constant and moderate consumption of cherry tomatoes, the human body receives many essential vitamins and minerals.
- A, important for vision, skin and hair.
- B group (B1, B2, B6, B9), involved in energy metabolism.
- C, essential for connective tissues.
- D, obtained by humans only from the outside.
- E, which plays a role in muscle development.
- PP, protecting blood vessels.
- Potassium, which affects muscle function.
- Calcium, essential for bone tissue.
- Magnesium, important for the heart.
- Sodium, a component of intercellular fluid.
- Phosphorus, essential for bone tissue.
- Iron, an essential component of blood cells.
- Manganese, found in all organs and tissues.
- Copper, essential for the synthesis of female hormones.
- Zinc, essential for the musculoskeletal system.
- Iodine, which affects metabolism.
- Copper, essential for the synthesis of female hormones.
- Chromium, which affects the process of hematopoiesis.
- Fluoride, which maintains youthfulness.
- Molybdenum, important for the nervous system.
Cherry tomatoes are considered to be a diet product. Their caloric value is only 24.2 kcal. Per 100 g of product:
- water - 93.4 g;
- carbohydrates - 3,84 g;
- fats - 2,02 g;
- protein - 1.2 g;
- dietary fiber - 0.81 g;
- organic acids - 0,50 g.
How are cherry tomatoes useful?
Small-fruited tomatoes are far superior to large fruits at least in the number of useful substances. That is why you need to think about introducing cherry tomatoes into the regular diet.
The benefits of regular consumption:
- Mood Enhancement. Certain substances contained in cherry tomatoes contribute to the production of serotonin, the happiness hormone. This natural antidepressant will help maintain an optimistic mood during difficult situations in life. Good mood is the key to stable operation of the nervous system, which is necessary for human health.
- Normalization of the kidneys. A significant amount of vitamin K in cherry tomatoes promotes the absorption of calcium and a positive effect on the kidneys. Regular removal of excess fluid from the body is necessary for health and beauty. Such processes reduce swelling and allow you to always look alert and fresh.
- Maintenance of the cardiovascular and circulatory system. Cherry tomatoes contain a necessary antioxidant for the human body - lycopene. Its sufficient amount helps to reduce the risks of many pathologies, including heart disease. Lycopene works exclusively with fats. Therefore, when eating tomatoes it is necessary to add vegetable oils and foods containing fats.
- Reducing the risk of cancer. The previously mentioned lycopene also helps to prevent the occurrence of cancer of some organs: lungs, stomach, esophagus and intestine. It is worth noting that the effect of lycopene only gets stronger after heat treatment. In this case, the color of the tomato is also particularly important. Among all varieties, it is better to choose bright red fruits, they contain the greatest amount of useful antioxidant.
- Replenishment of mineral reserves of the body. Cherry tomatoes, which are rich in micro- and macroelements, will help improve the overall condition of the body in the off-season and winter period. Tomatoes are useful for a depleted nervous system, loss of strength and mood, hypovitaminosis. In the winter it is recommended to replace the usual tomatoes with mini varieties to replenish the reserve of vitamins and minerals a person needs.
Cherry tomatoes are good for women's health - lycopene and alpha-tomatine reduce the risk of breast cancer. Other important constituents of tomatoes help improve the condition of the skin, making it soft and smooth.
The positive effects of the constituents of cherry tomatoes on men's health have been scientifically proven. Numerous vitamins and elements help the body to prevent prostate inflammation. According to studies, regular consumption of fresh, small-fruited tomatoes reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
The diet of a pregnant woman must include cherry tomatoes - it is beneficial not only for the future mother, but also for the baby. Vitamin B9 is necessary even before conception to reduce the risk of malformations of the future child. During pregnancy, calcium and phosphorus help properly form the baby's musculoskeletal system. Iron and potassium help pregnant women avoid anemia. A high proportion of vitamin C will boost the immune system and protect the mother-to-be from possible colds.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, tomatoes will benefit both the baby and the nursing mother. Fresh tomato juice will help if necessary to strengthen lactation and normalize the water balance of the body. However, any tomatoes can cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, it is important to closely monitor any manifestations on this product. The introduction of tomatoes into the diet should be gradual. In the absence of negative reactions, the portion can be gradually increased.
Cherry tomatoes, along with other fruits and vegetables, should be present in children's menus. The first introduction of tomatoes in the child's diet should not be earlier than 10 months of age, otherwise you can only harm the digestive system of the immature organism. The first complementary foods are given in the form of heat-processed tomato without peel, rubbed through a sieve. The maximum size of the first portion is 0.5 tsp. If there are no allergic reactions, the portion size of the tomato puree can be increased.
Fresh tomatoes can be introduced into the diet of a child from the age of at least 1 year, also with a normal reaction to the product. Children over 3 years of age can add tomatoes to various ready meals: salads, soups, baked vegetables.
When losing weight
Due to their low caloric value, fresh small-fruited tomatoes belong to the products of the dietary diet. For those who lose weight, cherry tomatoes are a tasty product without extra calories, which has a number of useful properties:
- eliminates swelling;
- removes bile and toxins;
- Improves digestive processes;
- normalizes metabolism.
Chromium contained in the composition contributes to rapid satiety, lycopene is involved in the process of breaking down fat cells.
Dried cherry tomatoes: benefits and harms
Sweet and fragrant cherry tomatoes are especially popular in almost all cuisines of Europe and the Mediterranean. This is due to the many ways of processing and preparation of this product. Dried or dried tomatoes appeared comparatively recently and have already conquered the hearts of many gourmets.
The appearance of dried tomatoes is not very presentable, which does not impair their taste properties. During cooking, dried product acquires a rich flavor and aroma, complemented by spicy notes from various spices. Such a delicacy can be stored for up to a year if all the storage conditions are observed. Dried cherries are versatile in their application: they can be a component of the dish, part of a snack or an independent product.
Benefits of dried tomatoes
Dried product is able to retain its useful components for a long time. Therefore, dried delicacy will help to replenish the supply of vitamins and essential elements at any time of the year. Properly prepared dried tomatoes have a wide range of properties that are beneficial to the human body:
- Dried tomatoes have an average caloric value, but this is not at all a reason to exclude them from the dietary diet. Rich in nutrients, they diversify the daily diet without damaging the figure, it is only important to adjust the rate of consumption.
- As a natural antidepressant, sun-dried tomatoes can normalize the nervous system, have a positive effect on brain activity and even improve memory.
- Thermal processing enhances the properties of lycopene, which can reduce the risk of certain cancers and slow down the aging process.
- The high potassium content of dried tomatoes will prevent swelling and improve the cardiovascular system.
- The vitamins and minerals preserved after heat treatment will improve the gastrointestinal tract and circulatory system.
It is important to soak the dried fruit in warm water for a few minutes to remove excess salt before serving the dried delicacy. The resulting product will have a more elegant and delicate taste.
The harm of dried tomatoes
Harm from dried tomatoes can be only in case of overeating: the high value of oxalic acid is destructive to the liver. Since dried tomato retains almost all of its properties, the contraindications to the dried product will be the same as for the fresh one.
Harms and contraindications
Every product, in addition to its benefits, has a number of contraindications. Cherry tomatoes can cause harm to people suffering from at least one of the following pathologies:
- joint disease;
- diseases of the liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract;
- presence of stones in the bladder;
- metabolic disorders;
- tendency to food allergies.
How to choose and store
When buying cherries, it is important to pay attention to the following features:
- The fruits have a regular shape.
- The skin of the fruit is smooth, with a glossy sheen, with no signs of decay.
- The color of the tomato corresponds to the variety, uniform.
- The aroma of the ripe fruit is always rich and characteristic of tomatoes.
- The lack of a pronounced flavor indicates a premature harvest.
Store tomatoes in a dark cool place, but not in the refrigerator.
Can they be frozen?
Many people argue that freezing will only disrupt the structure of the tomato, making it too soft and depriving it of all its flavor features. To avoid such an experience, it is important to strictly follow the recommendations for choosing, preparing and freezing tomatoes:
- Only ripe and sufficiently elastic fruits without visible damage will be suitable for proper freezing.
- The sorted tomatoes should be rinsed thoroughly with clean, cold water.
- Drying should take place naturally on a clean towel.
- For freezing and subsequent storage, you must use suitable containers: sealed bags or plastic containers that are resistant to low temperatures.
- Using the super-freezing mode or rapid cooling to the minimum temperature will prevent the fruit from sticking together in the process.
Freezing tomatoes has a number of advantages:
- It doesn't take much time or effort to prepare.
- Freshly frozen tomatoes retain up to 90% of their nutrients.
- Freezing does not require additional preservatives for long-term preservation of the product.
- The taste and flavor of properly thawed cherry tomatoes will be richer than winter large-fruited tomatoes.
- Easy to remove the skin after blanching the tomatoes.
Every method of preserving has some disadvantages, and freezing is no exception:
- Deviation from freezing technology can lead to a complete loss of the original structure of the tomato.
- The quality of stocks can suffer in case of power outages, because repeated freezing will negatively affect all the properties of tomatoes.
Preparing cherry tomatoes by freezing, you can provide the family with delicious and useful raw material for the whole winter. Compliance with the technology will maximize the preservation of the original composition and properties of the product.
What can be cooked from cherry tomatoes: recipes
Cherry tomatoes, thanks to their unique rich taste, have a wide application in cooking. The mini variety is used for preparing various appetizers, sandwiches, salads, pizza, hot dishes. Cherries, like traditional varieties, are pickled, frozen and even dried for the winter.
Salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado and shrimp
For the salad you will need:
- cherry tomatoes - 8 pcs;
- Avocado - 1 pc;
- Lettuce shrimps - 100 gr;
- leaf lettuce - a small bunch;
- herbs (dill, parsley, basil) - to taste;
- half a clove of garlic;
- lemon juice - 1 tsp;
- olive oil - 3 tbsp;
- pepper and salt - to taste.
Calorie value of the ready salad - 51 kcal.
Cooking time - 15 min.
Step by step recipe:
- Prepare all ingredients. Fry the shrimp in olive oil for 2 minutes, cool and peel. Wash the vegetables and greens with running water and dry with a towel.
- Slice the vegetables. Peel and halve the avocado, remove the seeds and dice the flesh. Cherry tomatoes cut in half. Shred the herbs and garlic finely.
- Dressing: mix olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.
- Serve. Tear the leaf lettuce into large pieces and put it on the plate. Top with avocado, peeled shrimp and tomatoes. Add the dressing and your favorite seasonings.
A delicious and healthy light salad is ready!
Bruschetta with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella
For the preparation you will need:
- cherry tomatoes - 300 g;
- extra flour baguette or loaf - 400 grams;
- olive oil - 2 tbsp;
- Provencal herbs - 1 tsp;
- mozzarella - 100 gr;
- fresh basil leaves.
Calorie value of the ready dish - 90 kcal.
Cooking time - 30 minutes.
Step by step recipe:
- We cut the baguette into portions, sprinkle with olive oil, send it to the oven heated to 200 degrees for 5 minutes. We finely chop the cherry tomatoes and quickly fry them on a high heat with olive oil and pro-vana herbs for 1-2 minutes. Slice the mozzarella into thin slices.
- Place slices of mozzarella on toasted baguette, spread roasted tomatoes on top and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Serve the appetizer hot, when ready. Fans of Mediterranean cuisine will really appreciate this dish.
Pizza with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese
To prepare the dough you will need:
- flour -180 g;
- dry yeast - 5 gr;
- olive oil - 30 ml;
- salt - to taste;
- warm water - 70 ml.
For the stuffing:
- tomato sauce - 100 g;
- mushrooms (champignons) - 100 gr;
- cherry tomatoes - 100 gr;
- mozzarella cheese - 120 gr;
- Parmesan cheese - 50 gr.
Calorie value of this pizza - 200 kcal.
Cooking time - 50 min.
Step by step recipe:
- Knead the dough. Sift flour, add salt, yeast, oil, warm water. Mix all ingredients until a soft homogeneous dough is obtained. Cover with clingfilm for 20-30 minutes.
- Prepare stuffing. Cut mushrooms into thin slices. The cherry tomatoes are cut in half. Grate cheese.
- Roll out the dough into a round cake, generously brush with tomato sauce, spread the mushrooms on top. Sprinkle with cheese, spread tomatoes, add spices to taste.
- Bake in a preheated 180 degrees oven for 15-20 minutes.
Serve the homemade pizza to the table, decorating it with herbs and slices.
Appetizer: pancakes with salmon
To prepare you will need:
- smoked salmon or salmon - 150 g;
- cottage cheese - 5 tbsp;
- cherry tomatoes - 8 pcs;
- Greens - to taste.
For the pancakes:
- flour - 1 cup;
- milk - 1 cup;
- egg - 1 pc;
- baking powder - ½ tsp;
- salt - to taste;
- oil - for frying.
Calorie content - 140 kcal.
Cooking time - 35 minutes.
Step by step recipe:
- Prepare the ingredients. Mix pancake batter from flour, milk, eggs, baking powder and salt. On a hot, greased pan bake small pancakes, similar in size to pancakes. Add your favorite seasonings and chopped greens to the cottage cheese. Slice the salmon thinly and the tomatoes in half.
- Decorate the dish. Put cottage cheese and greens on the appetizer pancake. On top we put the fish slices and decorate with tomatoes.
The appetizer will be a hearty and delicious decoration for the holiday table.
Tart with grilled vegetables
To make the tart you will need:
- ready-made puff pastry - 1pc;
- eggplant - 1 pc;
- cherry tomatoes - 6 pcs;
- zucchini - 1 pc;
- cottage cheese - 50 g;
- onions - ½ pc;
- flour - 1 tbsp;
- oil - for frying;
- ready sauce (cheese or pesto);
- spices - to taste;
- parchment for baking.
Calorie value - 60 kcal.
Cooking time - 45 minutes.
Step by step recipe:
- Prepare the components. Ready puff pastry defrost to room temperature. All vegetables from the list of ingredients are washed and dried. Peel zucchini, eggplant and onion, cut into slices and quickly fry in a hot oiled pan. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves.
- Prepare the dish before baking. Lay out the dough on baking parchment, sprinkled with flour. Roll out, giving the desired shape. Grease with your favorite sauce; pesto or cheese sauce will work well with vegetables. On the dough beautifully lay out the roasted vegetables. Put tomatoes and pieces of cottage cheese on top.
- Bake the dish in a preheated 180 degrees oven for 20 minutes.
Crisp and juicy tart with grilled vegetables is garnished with fresh herbs and served as a hot meal.
When making a tart, be sure to experiment with the ingredients - use seasonal vegetables, add mushrooms and hard cheese. By cooking several variations of the dish, you can figure out which combination of ingredients will become a signature recipe.
How to pickle cherry tomatoes
Pickled tomatoes are an indispensable decoration of the Russian table in the cold season. Especially delicious will be a blank of rich, sweetish cherry tomatoes.
Pickled cherry tomatoes for winter
The recipe is designed for 3-liter or 1 three-liter jar. A small container is convenient when you want to diversify your daily diet, but not to keep a large jar in the fridge for several days. A 3-liter container would be appropriate at a large holiday table.
For the preparation you will need:
- cherry tomatoes - 2 kg;
- garlic - 4 cloves;
- onion - 1 pc;
- bay leaf - 4 pcs;
- allspice - to taste;
- water - 1.3 l;
- salt - 30 g;
- sugar - 60 g;
- 70% vinegar - 1 tbsp.
You can put bell peppers, carrots, parsley and zucchini in a jar with the tomatoes. For a spicier brine, nutmeg, coriander and dill umbrellas are added.
- Wash the tomatoes with running cold water and remove the stalks. Dry naturally, spreading them on a clean towel.
- Jars and lids sterilize in a convenient way: over a boiling kettle, over a pot in a colander, or in the oven at 100 degrees.
- To keep the tomatoes intact and the skin from bursting from the hot filling, pierce them at the base with a toothpick. This tip only works on firm tomatoes with dense skin. Too soft and thin-skinned fruit will burst even after piercing.
- Place the seasonings and garlic on the bottom of the jars. Then carefully and densely place the tomatoes in the jars. In the empty spaces we add pieces of your favorite vegetables, put onion rings on top.
- Pour the prepared jars with steep boiling water and cover with sterilized lids. Leave them in this form for 15-20 minutes.
- Pour the water into a large clean saucepan. Add sugar and salt, put on the fire and bring to a boil. Boil the brine for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the vinegar (you can both in a common pot, and in each jar). For the entire volume of brine need 1 tbsp of vinegar.
- Pour the brine in jars and screw the lid with a capper.
- Jars with pickled tomatoes turn over with the bottom up and put on a lid. Be sure to wrap with a blanket for gradual cooling. After a few hours remove the blanket and leave for another 24 hours at room temperature.
The preparation can be put in the cellar with a lower storage temperature or left at home on the shelf of the pantry. You can try pickled cherry tomatoes in 3-4 weeks.
If you do not want to wait a whole month to pickle, you can use a quick way. Option "quick hand" will allow you to enjoy the taste in just a few days.
To prepare the pickles you will need:
- cherry tomatoes - 1 kg;
- onion - 1 pc;
- garlic - 2 cloves;
- water - 1 l;
- sugar - 2 tbsp;
- salt - 1.5 tbsp;
- 6% vinegar - 4 tbsp;
- bay leaf - 4 pcs;
- nutmeg - to taste:
- cloves - to taste;
- allspice - to taste.
- Tomatoes are washed with clean cold water. Then we dry them on a clean towel naturally.
- Jar and cover sterilize or scald with boiling water.
- Place garlic, bay leaf, pepper, cloves, nutmeg and other favorite spices in the bottom of the jar.
- Tomatoes are pierced with a toothpick or a skewer at the base, so that the skin does not burst because of the sudden change in temperature. Plus, through the holes, the brine will flow into the flesh of the fruit.
- Carefully place the cherry tomatoes in the jar, trying to fill all the empty space. Put onion rings on top.
- Pour boiling water into the prepared and filled jar with tomatoes, cover and leave for 10-15 minutes.
- Pour the water from the jars into a large saucepan, add salt and sugar and boil for 1-2 minutes. Add vinegar essence to the brine.
- Pour the ready brine into a jar and close the lid.
- After complete cooling of the preparation we put in the fridge.
After 5 days, pickled cherries will be ready. The same way you can prepare and ordinary large tomatoes. Have to wait even less - just a couple of days. However, the miniaturized tomatoes will have a richer flavor.
Today, almost every Russian is familiar with the bright taste and aroma of cherry tomatoes, although in our country this variety of tomatoes appeared relatively recently. Many people do not even realize what interesting facts are associated with these appetizing fruits.
- At that time in Mexico, the South American Indians were already growing several varieties.
- Until now, it is still genuinely unknown how tomatoes appeared in Europe. The first notes on European tomatoes are dated to the middle of the 16th century. It wasn't until the 1970s that the small fruits gained their greatest popularity.
- In America, tomatoes were long considered poisonous. Only in 1820 Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson debunked this myth by eating a bucket of tomatoes in front of a crowd of two thousand in front of the courthouse. After such a meal, the colonel remained alive and well, and tomatoes became ubiquitous.
- The Aztecs invented the first name for tomatoes, "matl. The familiar word "tomato" was invented by the French. And "tomato", in translation from Italian, literally means "golden apple".
- There are more than 10 thousand different kinds of tomatoes throughout the world. The smallest ripe tomatoes have a diameter of less than 2 cm.
- Cherry tomatoes are incredibly profitable for farmers. From a single plant, it is possible to produce a stalk, thereby obtaining two plants already. The lightness of mini tomatoes and the delicate leaves promote the growth of young branches with new fruits. Therefore, one plant can bring a double harvest.
- The amount of nutrients in cherry tomatoes is nothing short of amazing. Vitamins, macro and micronutrients benefit many body systems.
It is almost impossible to imagine the cuisine of many famous countries of the world without cherry tomatoes. Appetizers, salads, soups, hot dishes, and even sauces without bright little tomatoes will no longer be as tasty, flavorful, and beautiful. And canned, frozen and dried tomatoes will help to diversify and decorate the table in the cold season. In addition, cherry tomatoes are not only very tasty, but also useful.
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